Digital health : promoting or preventing access to care?

CRAIG, Claire and CHAMBERLAIN, Paul (2016). Digital health : promoting or preventing access to care? In: 1st COTEC-ENOTHE Congress, Galway, Ireland, 15-19 June 2016.

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An ageing society demands innovative thinking to reshape our future healthcare. Technology is considered to play a key role in changing both how and where healthcare is delivered (Huang 2013). However whilst technological developments are moving apace far less attention has been paid to understand the experiences of those individuals who through gender, ethnicity or disability are more marginalised by society. This paper shares the findings of the initial phase of a two year ethnographic research study which has sought to build understanding of the experiences of individuals who are currently under-represented in this research arena including people from diverse ethnic communities and areas of high socio- economic need. Over two hundred hours of participant observations have been supplemented by interviews, which have been analyzed using a thematic method. Initial findings have highlighted a number of significant challenges including costs associated with accessing and running everyday technologies, problems of health literacy and difficulties of attempt- ing to learn how to use an increasing range of diverse products at the same time as individuals also grapple to come to terms with declining cognitive and physical abilities. Technology has the potential to increase the access individuals have to health information. However further research is required to explore the experiences of groups who are more marginalised by society for whom the digital divide could lead to a greater health divide. Occupational therapists working in the area of tele health and tele care need to be aware of these broader issues.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
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Depositing User: Claire Craig
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2016 08:34
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2016 08:34

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