Wired: When Health Care Moves Online, Many Patients Are Left Behind

Wired: When Health Care Moves Online, Many Patients Are Left Behind

An excerpt:
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, more of the nation’s medical care is being delivered by telephone or videoconference, as in-person care becomes a last resort for both doctors and patients. That’s a problem for tens of millions of Americans without smartphones or speedy home internet connections. For them, the digital divide is exacerbating preexisting disparities in access to health care…

Overall, as many as 157.3 million people in the US only have access to substandard download speeds. During the pandemic, roughly half of low-income American say they’re concerned about affording to pay their broadband and smartphone bills, according to April Pew Research data. In rural areas (where Pew figures suggest only 63 percent of residents have home broadband subscriptions), phone calls might be patients’ best option.

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