Disparities along racial and socioeconomic lines have long persisted in health care. But it’s only somewhat recently that the health care industry’s often glitzy gatherings have started grappling with health equity, as the pandemic both widened health inequities and also demonstrated the potential of technology to tackle them.
Companies selling sleek and convenient digital health services like virtual doctors’ visits or apps to manage diabetes often struggle to get them into the hands of the patients who could benefit the most: people who don’t have primary care doctors, or those who can’t take time off work or struggle to access transportation for in-person appointments. And while the industry recognizes that issue, it still isn’t doing enough yet to reach those patients, panelists said this week at the Milken Institute’s Future of Health Summit.
“We’ve not been really engaging communities when we’re developing these tools,” said Irene Dankwa-Mullan, chief health equity officer at Merative, a new company formed using data assets bought from IBM’s Watson Health business.
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