Fierce Healthcare: Rural patients have a digital connection but want a human one, too

A new report from Phreesia Life Sciences surveyed adult patients in urban/suburban, and rural areas to get a better understanding of how rural versus urban patients engage with the internet when it comes to health information. The study found there was only a one percent difference in access to smartphones and data plans among rural patients compared to their urban counterparts, however gaps widen when those phones are used for health information. For urban patients, 68 percent reported using the internet to search for health information, compared to 61 percent in rural areas. The study suggests that it’s not accessibility that keeps rural patients from embracing digital health care, but attitudes and understanding of these tools.

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