Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Crowdsourcing Raises Billions for Families Hit Hard by Medical BillsBiden Says He Will Release All Vaccine Doses After Taking Office1 in 4 Doctors Harassed Online, Study FindsMoves, Evictions Often Trigger Harmful Breaks in Health Care: StudySome Americans Can't Access Telemedicine, Study ShowsHealth Care After COVID: The Rise of TelemedicineNeurologists Much Tougher to Find in Rural AmericaAs Testing Costs Rise, Neurology Patients May Skip Screening1 in 7 Studies in Nutrition Journals Have Food Industry TiesUSPS Cuts Could Pose Harm If Mail-Order Meds Delayed: Study329 Americans Are Injured by Guns Every Day: StudySome Talc Products Contain Asbestos: StudyAHA News: Why People Fear Performing CPR on Women – and What to Do About It'Green Prescriptions' May Backfire for SomePreventive Health Care Falls by Wayside During PandemicSmoking Bans Don't Work If Not Enforced, NYC Study FindsTelemedicine Out of Reach for Those Who Can't Get OnlineLies Spread on Social Media May Mean Fewer Vaccinations1 in 3 Americans Prescribed Inappropriate DrugsColon Cancer Screening Should Start at Age 45: Task ForceWhat Will It Take for People to Embrace a COVID Vaccine?What Will Convince Americans to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?CDC Recommends Face Masks in All Public Transportation SettingsInsured Patients Are Getting Surprise Bills After ColonoscopiesBogus 'Cure' Claims Have U.S. Consumers Snapping Up CBD ProductsPediatricians' Group Tackles Racism in Health CareAs Virtual Doctor Visits Spike, Concerns About Equity, Missed Diagnoses GrowWas FDA Lax in Approving Opioids Too Easily?Allowing More Gay Men to Donate Corneas Could Save Sight for Thousands: StudyAccuracy of COVID-19 Antibody Tests Varies Widely, Study FindsCould Drones Delivering Defibrillators Save Lives?Statins Going Generic Saved Medicare BillionsAHA News: Looming Wave of Evictions, Housing Instability Pose Threat to HealthAHA News: Health Apps Pose Privacy Risks, But Experts Offer This AdviceCould You Save a Life After Mass Violence? Most Americans Say NoGun Violence Costs U.S. Health Care System $170 Billion AnnuallyWith COVID Vaccine in Works, 1 in 5 Americans Doesn't Believe in ShotsTelehealth Skyrocketing Among Older AdultsPharmacists in All U.S. States Can Give Kids Childhood ShotsAHA News: COVID-19's Economic Fallout Expands Food Insecurity, as Groups Scramble to HelpCOVID-19 Clinical Trials Lack Diversity, Researchers SayLook Beyond Fossil Fuels to Curb Air PollutionTelemedicine Is Here: Experts Offer Tips for SeniorsMany Older Adults Can't Connect With Telehealth: StudyAHA News: High-Speed Internet Offers Key Connection to Health, But Millions Lack It11 States Could Face ICU Doc Shortages as Coronavirus Cases SurgeWill the Telemedicine Boom Outlast the Pandemic?Yet Another Study Finds Vaccines Are SafeIn Rush to Publish, Most COVID-19 Research Isn't Reliable, Experts SayWith Tighter Handgun Laws, U.S. Would See Fewer Suicides by Young People
Links
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

Telemedicine Out of Reach for Those Who Can't Get Online

HealthDay News
by By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Nov 4th 2020

new article illustration

 

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- As the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the United States, many people changed the way they live: As shopping, education and work shifted online, so did routine health care appointments.

However, while telemedicine seemed to make it easy to check in with a primary care doctor, a new study suggests that wasn't the case for everyone.

Researchers found that certain patients with conditions that benefit from regular care were less likely to have used the internet in a 30-day time period -- suggesting the real problem was a lack of access to the Web.

"Telehealth is great, but it may actually exaggerate these disparities even further that we see in care right now," said study author Dr. Salim Virani, a professor of medicine and cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

In fact, increased physical distancing could lead to progressively worse outcomes for people with preexisting diseases because of inadequate follow-up, Virani's team suggested.

To come to that conclusion, the researchers used 2016-2017 data on more than 910,000 participants in a national questionnaire from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Questions included, "Have you used the internet in the past 30 days?"

They found that 74% of those with high blood pressure had used the internet in that stretch of time compared to 89% without the condition. For people with diabetes, only 65% had used the internet during that time compared to 86% without that condition.

Breaking that down further by race, the study found that the prevalence of internet use for people with either high blood pressure or diabetes was 56% for Hispanic people, 62% for Black people and 77% for white people.

Frequent internet users were more likely to be white, educated, employed, younger or to have health care coverage, according to the study.

"We're already seeing that some of our minorities are suffering from COVID-19 more. They get more diabetes, hypertension," Virani said. "And now, even in terms of access to internet to get in touch with the clinicians, these can be not a single or a double whammy, but it can be a triple whammy."

Diabetes, hypertension and heart disease are common chronic diseases that require a lot of management by doctors, Virani noted.

The study also found that the disparity is not uniformly distributed throughout the United States.

Dr. Alejandra Casillas, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, has researched digital health disparities, including how patients from underserved backgrounds may face barriers to using online health care.

Certain technologies, like patient portals, were developed with mainstream, English-speaking populations in mind, Casillas explained. With that initial development, health care is already leaving some patients behind, which can lead to a cycle of getting further behind as new technologies come into use.

"When this whole transition [to telemedicine] happened overnight, I immediately became very worried," said Casillas, who wasn't part of the study.

"In my gut, I sort of knew what this paper was saying, that we were going to see this phenomenon, not unlike the phenomenon we see with Zoom learning and children from underserved backgrounds. It's the exact parallels where the most vulnerable are very likely to be left behind because of the quick shift," she said.

Though telehealth could be a great tool for patients in underserved populations by making it easier for patients to get care without having to take time off work or travel long distances, the system to make this happen inclusively wasn't in place yet, Casillas noted.

"It's very disheartening and worrisome that even by the most basic self-reported metrics we see disparities. And, so, you could just imagine, if you delve deeper, these would likely be much worse," Casillas said. "I think these are important conversations for our health systems to start to address and think about."

The study did not provide information about the quality of the internet access and where people accessed their internet.

Solutions could include doctors being aware of access disparities for their patients and policymakers improving internet access and making it more affordable, Virani said.

"We need to really very closely keep an eye on it as clinicians and policymakers," Virani added.

The findings were published online Nov. 2 in the journal Diabetes Care.

More information

Learn more about health disparities from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

 

 

 

SOURCES: Salim Virani, M.D., professor, medicine-cardiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston; Alejandra Casillas, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, division of general internal medicine and health services research, UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles; Diabetes Care, Nov. 2, 2020, online

 




328 W. Claiborne St.
P.O. Box 964
Monroeville,
Alabama 36460
Tel: (251)575-4203
Fax:(251)575-9459


powered by centersite dot net