Behind the Mask

The Great Tech Divide

As the pandemic rolls on, general fears about the virus and many worldwide governments announcing order to stay home unless ill, led the way for technology to influence how healthcare systems continue to work.

Telehealth especially, was quickly adopted by health care professionals and has proven to be an adequate and rather easy way for doctors to diagnosis, consult and provide guidance for patients. But this shift towards technologically led communication, has also opened the eyes of many HCPs to certain tech inequalities created by socioeconomic status, or age.

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Many patients do not have access to computers or are not tech savvy enough to do a video visit. Often times, these are our most vulnerable patients (i.e. elderly).” 

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Rheumatologist - US  

 “Most of the elderly people in our area did not leave their homes and asked their neighbors or relatives to go shopping, For them, a video consultation might have been nice, but these patients often did not have the possibility to make Skype calls – sometimes, they did not even use mobile phones.” GP – Germany.  

As the pandemic continues, and more of our everyday from school to work to things like doctors appointments become virtual, it’s important to recognize that access and understanding of technology is a privilege. It can and will act as another barrier, dividing the globe unless focused on. With this in mind, we must continue to make sure technology is available for all, so that health or education will not become stunted without reason.  

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