Digital technologies can be used to address various determinants of health by helping dismantle inequity. Below are a few factors of inequity that can be addressed by digital technologies.
- Unequal support for high medical expenses
Every year, more than 900 million individuals spend roughly 10% of their household budget on healthcare expenses. Of this number, about 100 million are pushed into poverty because of this.
While government financial schemes and health insurance are important protections for people, they aren’t widely available to marginalized communities. Digital financial services can help lay the groundwork for accessible insurance schemes which hinder catastrophic medical expenses that cause poverty, as part of efforts to attain universal health coverage.
- Unequal representation in public health services and systems
The data collected by information systems doesn’t always equitably represent populations. Data that is not inclusive or representative will produce inequitable results.
However, digital technologies that are thoughtfully designed can be used to increase access to health services for people who would otherwise be deprived of care, as well as improve representation in health system data.
In addition to this, digital tools may also be used to reach more individuals and connect with those who may not have found ways to access important health services that feel comfortable and safe.
- Unequal access to medical commodities
The availability of crucial medical commodities such as devices, diagnostics, vaccines and medicines has an impact on the quality of care delivered.
As we’ve observed during the coronavirus pandemic, lack of equitable access to essential commodities such as medical oxygen has huge consequences. Digital approaches and tools could be used to offer better data to forecast and address shortages in supply when they occur, as well as streamline chains of supply.
- Unequal access to medical expertise
Estimates show that by the year 2030, the global health sector will need almost 20 million additional health workers in order to attain universal health coverage. This shortage in the healthcare workforce isn’t shared equally among communities. Digital approaches and tools can be used to offer new ways to address this gap, as well as extend the skills and reach of the current workforce.
- Unequal access to reliable health data
Lack of timely and high-quality information can result in ineffective health interventions, wasted resources and even an increase in the health equity gap. Digital tools can be used to address and meet this need.
Many believe that the digital transformation of health systems spells doom for those employed in the healthcare sector. On the contrary, digital tools help support health systems, enabling the provision of better health services. This is why we should work towards expanding the digital health community.
Many companies, including RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH), have also stepped up to bring innovations such as the RYAH MD platform intended to facilitate virtual interactions between doctors and their patients. Such technologies will ease the transition to remote health.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/RYAH
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