England: is digital inclusion the key to tackling health inequalities?

11 January 2021

Tackling the ‘digital divide’ is vital in order to reduce health inequalities, concludes a three-year NHS Digital project trialling digital technology with disadvantaged communities.

Having internet access and digital skills are now essential for people’s health and wellbeing, says the report from the NHS Widening Digital Participation programme.

The authors say the pandemic has further exposed the ‘digital divide’ – the link between digital exclusion and social and economic disadvantage.

The report’s recommendations included creating a network of ‘digital health hubs’ to build digital health literacy and improve access to services.

The report also calls for further work to ‘harness the benefits of digital inclusion’, for example by supporting people to try using different devices.

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