Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Disparities in Telemedicine Literacy and Access in the United States 

According to a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, demographic factors at the county level are associated with low telemedicine literacy. The researchers found that age, sex, race, employment status, income level, marital status, educational attainment, and urban or rural classification were significantly associated with telemedicine literacy. Counties in the lowest tertile of telemedicine literacy had significantly lower median annual income levels ($43,613 versus $60,418) and a lower proportion of the population with at least a bachelor’s degree (16.7 versus 26 percent). The study finds that patients who fall into specific socioeconomically disadvantaged groups are at the highest risk of being underserved by telehealth services. The findings may help in targeting at-risk communities for interventions to increase telemedicine literacy and access.

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