Black surgical patients opted for telemedicine in late 2020

Health and Wellness Informatics News

A study clarified that surgical consultation in the wake of a pandemic uses telemedicine. The number of video and audio-only visits number increased in late 2020.

The Journal of the American College of Surgeons identifies the use of telemedicine in consultation. Researchers found that Latinx patients tend to use audio-only visits conducted between March 24 and June 23.

Black patients took more virtual surgical consultations in 2020. The study identifies the increased use of telemedicine in healthcare.

Besides, the covid condition has technologically transformed health care delivery. The fundamental shift enhanced patient access to healthcare.

The patient and healthcare are growing digitally. So, they can now effectively communicate with healthcare providers. Telemedicine has now become a social determinant of better health.

Telemedicine provided access to health care to marginalized communities. Hence, advocates and policymakers call this a great development to health care.

The first wave of the pandemic recorded the majority of video calls and audio-only visits. However, Black patients actively participated in telemedicine. They represented 8.8% and 10.2% of video and audio calls.

Women tend to shift to virtual care more than men. Latinx patients account for 8.8 percent of video calls.

Patients belonging to the vulnerable groups also used telemedicine. The video visits served a great deal to those demographic areas.

The researchers noted that “As the healthcare system shifts to a new normal, the digital divide and structural discrimination against vulnerable groups may continue to impair access to surgical care and create inequities in telemedicine utilization.”

The study identified the need for a critical mechanism. Telemedicine can actively create a platform for patients of color. It requires institutional effort in the expansion of digital health access. It holds the potential to remove various barriers in health care.

Digital literacy will enhance the use of telemedicine in marginalized areas. There is also a need for cultural and linguistic inclusivity in health care.

According to a Pew Research Center study, Black patients tend to take telemedicine more seriously than white patients. Though, the pattern is not the same all over the country.

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