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Digital Technology to Engage Patients: Ensuring Access for All

June 15, 2017

We are in a new communication age in which change has happened so fast that the technology we use every day was unimaginable to most of us 20 years ago. Data show that 77% of Americans now own a smartphone and that ownership is ubiquitous in the 18- to 29-year-old age group. Older citizens are catching up, with 74% of 50- to 65-year-olds connecting in this way; however, this rate decreases to 42% among those over the age of 65.

Digital technology and much of the “disruptive innovation” that is needed in health care delivery is likely to be driven by start-ups, which are often run by educated 20- to 30-year-olds. However, these people are not the same as those who may be the greatest users of health care, such as the oldest old, lower-income patients, and individuals with chronic health care problems. To ensure that we engage the patient groups who have much to gain from the more flexible health care interactions that digital innovation can provide, we must consider issues of computer literacy, access, and trust.

To learn more, read the full article about USC Center for Body Computing and its partnership with ICT to develop the Virtual Care Clinic.