Digital technologies have been transforming methods of health care delivery and have been embraced within the health, social, and public response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this has directed attention to the "inverse information law" (also called "digital inverse care law") and digital inequalities, as people who are most in need of support (in particular, older people and those experiencing social deprivation) are often least likely to engage with digital platforms. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic represents a sustained shift to the adoption of digital approaches to working and engaging with populations, which will continue beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is important to understand the underlying factors contributing to digital inequalities and act immediately to avoid digital inequality contributing to health inequalities in the future. The response to COVID-19 represents a sustained shift to adopting digital approaches to working and engaging with populations which will continue beyond this pandemic. Therefore it is important that we understand the underlying factors contributing to digital inequalities, and act now to protect against digital inequality contributing to health inequalities in the future.
Keywords: COVID-19; digital divide; digital exclusion; digital health; health inequality; population health.
©Alisha R Davies, Matthew Honeyman, Bob Gann. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 07.04.2021.