J Med Online Res. 2021 Jun 923(6):e24947. doi: 10.2196/24947.
History: Telehealth is an ever more essential part of health and fitness care shipping and delivery in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, perfectly-documented disparities persist in the use of electronic systems.
Aim: This review aims to describe smartphone and internet use in just a diverse sample, to assess the association of smartphone and world-wide-web use with markers of health and fitness literacy and well being entry, and to detect the mediating elements in these associations.
Techniques: Surveys have been distributed to a targeted sample developed to oversample traditionally underserved communities from April 2017 to December 2017. Multivariate logistic regression was utilised to estimate the affiliation of world-wide-web and smartphone use with results describing well being care entry and markers of wellbeing literacy for the overall cohort and following stratifying by own record of cancer. Wellness care obtain was captured making use of several variables, together with the means to obtain clinical treatment when wanted. Markers of well being literacy included self-noted confidence in obtaining wellness details.
Final results: Of the 2149 participants, 1319 (61.38%) ended up women, 655 (30.48%) have been non-Hispanic White, and 666 (30.99%) were being non-Hispanic Black. The median age was 51 yrs (IQR 38-65). Most respondents noted employing the world-wide-web (1921/2149, 89.39%) and proudly owning a smartphone (1800/2149, 83.76%). In contrast with the respondents with smartphone or web entry, those with no smartphone or web obtain were extra possible to report that a medical doctor was their most latest resource of health and fitness details (344/1800, 19.11% vs 116/349, 33.2% for smartphone and 380/1921, 19.78% vs 80/228, 35.1% for world wide web, respectively equally P<.001). Internet use was associated with having looked for information on health topics from any source (odds ratio [OR] 3.81, 95% CI 2.53-5.75) and confidence in obtaining health information when needed (OR 1.83, 95% CI 1.00-3.34) compared with noninternet users. Smartphone owners had lower odds of being unable to obtain needed medical care (OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.40-0.95) than nonsmartphone owners. Among participants with a prior history of cancer, smartphone ownership was significantly associated with higher odds of confidence in ability to obtain needed health information (OR 5.63, 95% CI 1.05-30.23) and lower odds of inability to obtain needed medical care (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.06-0.47), although these associations were not significant among participants without a prior history of cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: We describe widespread use of digital technologies in a community-based cohort, although disparities persist. In this cohort, smartphone ownership was significantly associated with ability to obtain needed medical care, suggesting that the use of smartphone technology may play a role in increasing health care access. Similarly, major illnesses such as cancer have the potential to amplify health engagement. Finally, special emphasis must be placed on reaching patient populations with limited digital access, so these patients are not further disadvantaged in the new age of telehealth.