Forbes: Telehealth can have a positive impact on health care use and health outcomes

A recent study by the University of Houston found that racial and ethnic disparities persisted in telemedicine. The research suggested that the promise of the positive impact of telemedicine on health care use and health outcomes could elude underserved populations. The research found that African Americans were 35 percent less likely to use telemedicine than white Americans. Hispanic people were 51 percent less likely than white people to have a telemedicine visit and Asian people and American Indian/Alaska Natives and Pacific Islanders were also less likely to use telemedicine. However, the research did find that the further away someone lived from their clinic, the more likely they were to use telemedicine and that this held true for African American and Hispanic patients. Researchers emphasized that clinics will need technology support staff to conduct pre-visit device and connectivity testing with patients, which can be instrumental in helping patients maximize telemedicine as an option to access care.

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