Health Equity and the Role of Technology

February 3, 2022

// By Jane Weber Brubaker //

jane-brubakerHealthcare executives from Highmark Health, Virginia Mason, and Bristol Myers Squibb discuss the potential of technology to level the playing field in healthcare.

Technology is a two-edged sword. It can help solve some of healthcare’s thorniest challenges, and it can also create problems, however unintended, particularly in the realm of health disparities. Take mobile devices, for example. They keep us connected — unless you don’t have one. Or what if you have one, but you don’t have access to the internet? When the world shifted to virtual visits to keep patients safe during the pandemic, an entire subsection of the population was left out.

Stacy Hurt

Stacy Hurt, patient engagement consultant

A group of industry innovators took part in a recent panel discussion hosted by Reuters Events™, “Taking Action to Eliminate Disparities and Advance Health Equity.” In this article, we zoom in on technology, one of several topics these leaders covered during their wide-ranging conversation, moderated by patient engagement consultant Stacy Hurt.

Hurt asks the panel, “How can we prevent technology from being a barrier to care? Is there a risk that technology can exacerbate the inequity?”

The panelists, David Holmberg, CEO of Highmark Health; Dr. Gary Kaplan, chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason; and Patti Doykos, executive director of Healthy Equity at Bristol Myers Squibb, shared their perspectives on technology — their challenges, discoveries, and successes, and what they hope to accomplish in the future.

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