STAT June 16, 2022
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Ann Aerts

Virtual health capabilities are evolving far beyond video consultations with a doctor. They now encompass a vast array of applications, from bots that screen people for common illnesses to artificial intelligence that can read X-ray images as well as a human radiologist. Many experts see virtual technology as a promising tool for eliminating barriers to health care and addressing long-standing global health inequities.

But that promise is far from assured. Many people have no internet access or lack the digital literacy needed to engage remotely with care practitioners or benefit from health-promoting services. According to the 2021 report of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations agency for information and communication technologies, 37% of the world’s population — that’s...

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Topics: Digital Health, Equity/SDOH, Health IT, Healthcare System, Patient / Consumer, Provider, Technology, Telehealth
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