Inequity in healthcare access and treatment has a significant impact on individuals and society as a whole. Unnecessary spending attributable to health inequity is estimated at $320 billion annually and projected to surpass $1 trillion annually by 2040, leading to an estimated three-fold increase in the cost of care to the average American. Factors that contribute to increased healthcare spending due to health inequity include delayed care, quality of care, missed diagnosis, and limited access to the latest scientific advancements and preventive services.
There is a clear need for innovative solutions to address health inequity and its resulting socioeconomic burden. Healthcare technology can play a major role in reducing health disparities by increasing access to care, improving quality of care, and reducing the costs associated with health inequity.
One example of such technology is remote physiologic monitoring (RPM). RPM is a type of wearable technology that allows patients to self-monitor their vital signs and health data remotely. This data can then be accessed by healthcare providers in real-time, allowing for more timely and effective interventions. A recent study showed that RPM was associated with a reduction in hospitalizations among high-risk patients, as well as improved health outcomes and satisfaction.
While there are many potential benefits of healthcare technology, its complex clinical and operational infrastructure can be a barrier to adoption, especially among underserved populations. In order to increase access to care and reduce health disparities, it is important to develop innovative solutions that address these barriers.
One approach is by working with existing health systems and organizations to promote the use of healthcare technology in underserved communities. Another way is to provide training and support for healthcare providers on how to use RPM and other types of health technology.
Health inequity is a complex problem with far-reaching implications. However, there are many potential solutions that can help reduce health disparities and improve access to care. By increasing the use of healthcare technology, we can make a major impact in addressing health inequity and its resulting socioeconomic burden.