How tech disparities affect Americans’ digital health: 6 things to know

Access to broadband high-speed internet and tech devices like smartphones can make or break a person’s ability to participate in virtual healthcare.

For its 2020 State of Telemedicine report, Doximity researchers surveyed 2,000 American adults ages 18 and older about their opinions and use of telemedicine technologies.

Six things to know:

1. Forty-five percent of Americans said cell phones are their preferred device for participating in virtual care visits, while 39 percent said they prefer using a laptop.

2. About 64 percent of households with incomes of $25,000 or lower report having broadband internet access, compared to 93.5 percent of households with incomes of $50,000 or lower.

3. Seventy-eight percent of households in non-metropolitan statistical areas have broadband internet access, compared to 86.7 percent of households located in metropolitan areas.

4. Seventy-nine percent of white Americans report having access to home broadband and high-speed internet compared to 66 percent of Black and 61 percent of Hispanic Americans.

5. However, recent tech advancements have helped expand digital health access by allowing patients to participate in telemedicine visits using just a smartphone. Among white, Black and Hispanic survey participants, 82 percent, 80 percent and 79 percent, respectively, said they have a smartphone.

6. The greatest tech disparity among the survey respondents is owning a desktop or laptop computer, which 82 percent of white people do, followed by 58 percent of Black people and 57 percent of Hispanic people.

Click here to view the full report.

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