Promoting health equity with technology

Health equity is defined as our ability to reach our full human potential in all aspects of health and well-being. It goes beyond accessibility to care. Health equity encompasses clinical, mental, social, emotional, physical and mental health and is influenced by social, economic and environmental factors.first

Healthcare organizations have an important role to play in medical equity, as they are not only responsible for providing care, but can also be advocates of change in the physician community. clinic and the populations they serve.

Studies estimate that social, economic and environmental factors that “promote health” (also known as social determinants of health) may account for up to 80% of health outcomes, whether or not is positive or negative.2 Discrimination and prejudice can often turn these dynamics negative, making it difficult for historically disadvantaged and low-income groups, or people with disabilities, to achieve happiness. overall happiness.

While poverty and lack of access have long been barriers to health equity around the world, the pandemic has only exacerbated the problem and highlighted the true depths of grievances. class.

Studies have shown that COVID-19 disproportionately impacts low-income and historically disadvantaged groups. This has resulted in poorer overall health compared to other segments of the population.

COVID-19 also negatively impacts people with disabilities, with pre-existing health conditions and illnesses, by limiting opportunities for community and home care and suicide prevention support.3

Health equity is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and it is vital that healthcare organizations, governments, and the larger healthcare ecosystem work together to innovate, collaborate and drive meaningful change.

No individual or organization can tackle health inequality alone. Our collective responsibility is towards systemic change. Working with their communities and trusted digital health technology partners, healthcare providers can lead the way for an equitable future of healthcare for all. everybody.

Digital healthcare initiatives around the following elements of equity of care are at the core of creating a fair distribution model:

  • Improve access to care: Access to care anywhere, anytime, in any language, at a reasonable and timely cost
  • Improved care: Prevention, intervention and post-intervention processes, including notifications and reminders about screening, testing and immunization – improving nutrition, health, sleep, safety and education are also important.
  • Improve care delivery: Leverage existing resources in new ways to deliver the best possible clinical outcomes

But where should healthcare organizations start? Which workflows should be prioritized? First, they must aggregate and analyze data to understand health equity in the communities they serve. Once they have a deep understanding of the current situation, they can begin to draw up a plan, with technology used as an important tool to advance equity initiatives. Organizations must also seek a commitment to change from their entire workforce – from the top management to those in direct contact with patients.

A fundamental component that healthcare organizations must also consider is the connection base within their community. For technology to effectively promote equitable access to care and ultimately equity in health, we must increase connectivity to the internet and basic digital literacy training. copy. Globally, 37% of the world’s population (2.9 billion people) is still unconnected.4

Access to technology has greatly increased globally over the past decades, but progress has not been uniform. Only when everyone has equal access to connectivity can we make full use of technology to engage communities and deliver better health outcomes.

After connecting, digital front door technology can help expand health education and get information into the hands of patients faster. Active patient involvement should be in the patient’s preferred channel (be it voice, video, or text), resulting in better interaction and the delivery of more holistic care.

Collaboration technologies like Webex Instant Connect can bring care to remote and underserved populations by removing the barrier of location. Real-time translation services can make these virtual consultations more accessible.

EHR integrated collaboration tools that collect lifestyle data, health drivers, and clinical information can be searched and proactively implemented, thus improving engagement, frequency and adherence to treatment.

When paired with wearable devices like RealWear, Webex experts on demand can bring important training and knowledge sharing to remote locations where no surgery or specialist was previously available.

For people with developmental disabilities, technology such as remote monitoring, smart notifications, alert services, and smart device integration will provide support at home and enable independent living.

Now is the time for us to come together as a global society to address the systemic inequalities that exist in our healthcare system. We need to drive progress and innovation to achieve even more positive health outcomes.


  1. Mobilizing towards health equality: Action steps for healthcare organizations, Deloitte
  2. County Health Rankings & Roadmaps,”Grain health rating model, ” Accessed April 5, 2021; National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, Active community (National Academy Press, 2017)
  3. Progress Report 2021: Impact of COVID-19 on People with Disabilities, National Council on Disability
  4. Facts and figures 2021, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations


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