digital divide

Truly Accessible Medicine

More of the health industry is moving to the internet for billing, diagnosis updates, and communication. To many people, this is a blessing because it keeps the medical process accessible by phone. Since medical practices are consistently understaffed, online transactions have become one helpful way to streamline paperwork. However, for many people, internet access is an assumption, not a reality, and the health industry should remain aware that just because it uses more upgraded technology does not mean its users can afford it.

Healthcare is largely focused in urban cores, and there is very little coverage in rural areas. Also unpredictable in rural areas is internet service, hovering somewhere between spotty and nonexistent. Service providers also charge more for people who live in “low demand” service areas, and people in marginalized communities have to decide whether internet service is essential to their lifestyle. Until the United States has consistent, reliable and affordable internet service provision, this country cannot become a paperless society. The healthcare industry should be working with the communications industry to make both services truly accessible to all who need it.

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