Because of COVID-19, many doctors rapidly switched from in-person visits to using the internet to see patients using telehealth. Researchers are now finding that not everyone has access to the internet. People with long-term medical conditions and minority patients have less internet access. In a recent study, internet access among people with high blood pressure or diabetes was compared to access among people without high blood pressure or diabetes. Of almost 1 million participants in the U.S., frequent internet users were more likely to be white, educated, employed, younger, and have health care coverage. Researchers also looked at how race impacts internet use. They found that internet use among people with high blood pressure or diabetes was 77% in white people, 62% in Black people, and 56% in Hispanic/Latinos. In general, across all U.S. states, Black people and Hispanic/Latinos with high blood pressure or diabetes did not use the internet as much as White people. We know that high blood pressure and diabetes affect more Black people and Hispanic/Latinos than White people. Also, these same minority groups often have lower health literacy and less resources (such as telehealth). As a result, the difference in internet access among Black and Hispanic/Latino people may mean that millions of people do not get needed health care.


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