Health tech used more by urban affluent (US)

A report by the US Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration confirms what most of us already have assumed–that telemedicine and telehealth’s early adopters are both urban (8 percent versus 4 percent rural) and with household income above $100,000 (11 percent versus 4 percent with $25,000 or less income). The usage sampled in the study of 53,000 households in July 2011 looked at the 7 percent who go online (via PC or increasingly smartphone) to access medical records,  engage in video conferencing with a health care provider (telemedicine) or participate in remote procedures, such as heart rate monitoring (telehealth). Ethnic differences are not great but notable:  “Asian-American internet users were significantly more likely to use telemedicine than other ethnics groups, but the differences between whites, blacks and Hispanics is minimal, with white utilization at 7 percent and black and Hispanic participation at 6 percent.” iHealthBeat, Clinical Innovation + Technology overviews; USDOC study (PDF)

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