Building a Framework for a More Inclusive Healthcare System




COVID-19, Global IEEE-SA, inclusivity, privacy, public health, security, telehealth inequity


Objective: With the explosion in the use of telehealth technologies, it is essential to address the challenges in global telehealth inequity in order to create a path to healthcare equality. To this end, this research paper focuses on investigating telehealth as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on healthcare inequality, telehealth inequity, and the continued vulnerabilities with increased demand in implementation.

Study Design: A set of voluntary questions were e-mailed to active members of the IEEE-SA (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association) Transforming the Telehealth Paradigm: Sustainable Connectivity, Accessibility, Privacy, and Security for all. The interview answers were analyzed via deductive thematic analysis organized into higher themes and theme-specific codes.

Setting: The country of residence varied among individuals who are the IEEE-SA Telehealth program members. These continents included:  North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Participants: Global healthcare leaders who are active members of the IEEE-SA Transforming the Telehealth Paradigm: Sustainable Connectivity, Accessibility, Privacy, and Security for all participated. The occupations of these individuals ranged from a variety of areas within the healthcare domain, such as physicians, scientists, and public health experts.

Main outcome measure: Qualitative data obtained voluntarily from global healthcare leaders participating in the IEEE-SA Transforming the Telehealth Paradigm: Sustainable Connectivity, Accessibility, Privacy, and Security for all.

Results: The major themes that emerged from the participants' responses included: telehealth infrastructure and access, digital literacy and user interface, government regulations, and telehealth legislation.

Conclusions: Telehealth has the power to decrease healthcare disparities, thus getting closer to achieving health equity. However, there are three significant common global barriers to the implementation of telehealth: infrastructure, digital literacy, and government regulations. Because the results were based on interviewer responses, the conclusions acknowledged how the background of respondents, including career and education, influenced their experiences and, thus, the responses. Suggestions for change in reducing barriers to telehealth accessibility are detailed in this research. These suggestions were derived from respondents and focused on the global barriers to implementation. To reduce these barriers, changes in political health policy, patient health education, health provider telemedicine support, and in regulation for telemedicine are suggested. Limitations in our research project included a small sample size and the ensuing lack of representation from more geographical regions.


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How to Cite

Palombini, M., Vereen, T., Taghiani, J., & Chitre, T. (2023). Building a Framework for a More Inclusive Healthcare System. Telehealth and Medicine Today, 8(3).



Original Market Research