Digital health services among the socioeconomically disadvantaged

Should access to health services require an online connection?

Flinders University Senior Research Fellow Dr Toby Freeman has been awarded a 2018 Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to study the extent to which health care users living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas are able to access, use and benefit from digital health services. 

This work will explore whether the shift of public services onto digital platforms could have a negative impact on Australians experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage, particularly in regards to health information and services. 14% of Australian households have no internet, yet health services are increasingly shifting to digital platforms. 

Via a series of face-to-face interviews and telephone surveys, Dr Freeman and his research team will examine who does and does not use digital health services, in order to understand the factors that can influence use of digital services and to better determine how we ensure health services are equitably accessible across Australia. 

This research is made possible thanks to a generous supporter and generous donations from the community. 


Project title: Investigating access to, use of and benefits from digital health services amongst health care service users in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. 

Lead researcher: Dr Toby Freeman 

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