European Study Finds Digital Health Tools Not Equally Accessible


WHO/Europe finds disparities of digital health technology use along the lines of education level, ethnicity, primary language, and location.

A recent WHO/Europe study has found that digital health technologies are not accessible to all communities and areas in Europe equally. The study, carried out jointly with the Public Health Data, Knowledge and Research Directorate of Public Health Wales, summarizes the evidence from 2016 to 2022 on inequity in access, use and engagement with digital health technologies.

Among the findings are that digital health technologies tend to be used more widely in urban areas, and less by people from ethnic minorities and those facing language barriers. It also found higher use of digital health tools by people with more advanced education levels and higher economic status.

While many healthcare providers are increasingly using digital health technologies to help enable patients and the public better manage their health, the study warns a focus on these technologies “may inadvertently widen existing inequities in health, if known inequalities in access, use and engagement with digital technology are not considered and addressed.”

Read more about the study, ways to address challenges and the regional digital health plan for the WHO European Region 2023-2030.

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