208278 Digital Disparities: The role of technology/HIT in the development and elimination of Health Disparities

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:10 AM

M. Christopher Gibbons, MD, MPH , Urban Health Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Over the past decade a rapidly expanding body of literature has demonstrated the existence of disparities in health and health care. While consensus has not emerged regarding the causes of disparities, they are generally thought to be related to sociocultural, behavioral, economic, environmental, biologic, or societal factors. To effectively address disparities, several authorities have suggested the need for greater information technology research and investments. While computer ownership is increasing in most populations, significant differences exist beyond computer ownership that may have significant implications for public health and disparities research. If overcome, HIT/eHealth researchers may be able to make significant contributions to Disparities knowledge and Disparities reduction research. This presentation will discusses the role that the Internet, and access to the Internet, and HIT may play in the genesis of health disparities and the digital divide. This presentation will then discuss potential challenges, benefits and opportunities of HIT/eHealth applications and the possible contributions of the field to overcoming disparities in health and health care.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the current state of the digital divide Discuss the potential role of HIT in understanding Disparities Discuss the potential role of HIT in reducing/eliminating disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My research work and publications focus on this topic. I am an expert consultant to Governmental organizations, health foundations and other entities in the areas of minority health, urban health, eHealth/HIT and Disparities. I am currently funded for several research projects in the area of Consumer Health informatics.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.