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Bridging The Digital Divide – Ensuring Accessibility of Health Tech Products

8 February, 2022 by Moiz Yamani

health tech accessibility

Over the years, health insurance companies and healthcare providers have developed and deployed new technologies to improve patient education, care, and health. Digital technology has broad prospects in addressing inequalities and barriers in quality and access to healthcare. They have the potential to reduce health care costs, transform the medical system to provide more accurate and responsive medical services, and bridge the silos between departments. The use of digital technology to promote health may create a variety of potential human rights issues, including inaccessibility (digital divide) and the privatization of health information and services. 

Our team at BarrierBreak, consisting of 250+ accessibility testers & native assistive technology users ensure accessibility of all your Health Tech tools with cost-effective Accessible Health Tech Services. 

Health Sector Overview 

In the health sector, we have seen this topic discussed as the gap in technology and Internet access between the poor and everyone else. While the Internet and digital isolation are not a new problem, the pandemic has shed light on populations that lack digital literacy, addiction or access to online systems. While an individual may have access to technology, they may not be literate enough or have the digital skills required to use the technology and, as a result, may not be able to access online health education content. Often, devices or technologies, by their very design, are simply inaccessible to everyone. 

In addition, many business owners and investors mistakenly believe that patients covered under insurance are not interested in using digital tools to manage their health. However, many promising health information technology (HIT) solutions are not being adopted and used by these patients and other vulnerable populations or are not being implemented in hospitals that provide care to a high percentage of these patients. 

As digital transformation in healthcare improves the quality of patient care, Health Delivery Organizations (HDOs) must continue to support those who choose or need to rely on offline healthcare. Demand for telemedicine services is growing because it is an efficient and effective way to get health care, which is why health insurance providers are working to ensure access to the people they serve, no matter where they live or their economic situation. Health insurance providers help meet the technological needs of rural and low-income communities. 

Drawback of Health Tech 

Without proper planning and protection, digital health technologies can increase health inequalities by widening the digital divide separating those who can and cannot access such interventions. The complexity of the social and health problems that contribute to the availability and diffusion of health-related technologies must be studied and addressed in greater depth before the benefits can be fully realized for all populations. These challenges need to be addressed given the disproportionate burden of disease facing patients from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and gaps in digital strategies to provide them with more effective prevention and treatment. 

Remedy 

Accelerating and wider adoption of technology during the pandemic is positive, but the digital divide requires additional investment. The government should ensure that digital health interventions directly address the digital divide and inequality of access. Digital technology must be developed with end users (for example, healthcare providers, system administrators, patients, and communities), and must have effective feedback and repetition mechanisms. 

When it comes to web products, all stakeholders involved in creating a product must ensure that common barriers to digital accessibility are overcome through appropriate methods. In such a scenario, technology plays a significant role in bridging the gap to ensure that people with disabilities have equal and convenient access to digital tools, devices and systems. Technological accessibility means providing digital access to all types of users. 

But beyond that, we need digital health solutions that are affordable, accessible to those who need access most, and demonstrate the effectiveness of their best health outcomes. The only real way to ensure digital health is enabled is to collaborate on solutions with intended users. The access structure, combined with utilitarianism, provides us with strategies for providing medical technology to the poor. 

Get in Touch 

Beyond digital health and medical innovation, this is an article about giving people access to technology that enables them to actively manage their health, well-being and disease. These are all positive changes that can make it easier and easier for many people to obtain high-quality care.  

And we at BarrierBreak strive towards an accessible and inclusive future for all. 

For accessible, affordable and actionable solutions, get in touch with us at sales@barrierbreak.com 

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