The tens of millions of Americans who do not have access to high-speed, broadband internet services feed a digital divide hindering telehealth’s potential to become a more convenient, cost-effective and equitable pathway to care.
To make matters worse, the lack of access is mimicking what caused the greatest inequities during the past year. Those with the lowest adoption of broadband internet services are among the most vulnerable populations: predominantly low-income and racial and ethnic minority communities.
“The reality is that we’re moving into an era that is heavily dependent on connectivity,” said Gerry Meklaus, vice president of strategy, innovation and population health advisory services at Premier. “Some folks who are in areas where they are less advantaged in that regard may clearly see disparities, and the industry is very concerned about that.”