HHS: Value in mobile for health needs of minorities

By Brian Dolan
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Garth GrahamThere has been a growing consensus that mobile phones are a key platform for reaching minorities in the U.S. when it comes to health information: Earlier this week we pointed readers to a report by the The Hispanic Institute and Mobile Future that found more than 50 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population uses the mobile Internet, while one about one third of U.S. whites do. The Pew Internet Group has published research that concluded this many times in the past. Now, a federal government official has publicly agreed:

"The fact is that minorities are more likely to look for health information on the Web," Garth Graham, the Department of Health and Human Services' Deputy Assistant Secretary of Minority Health, said during a keynote speech on Capitol Hill this week. "That creates an opportunity for health technologists to reduce health disparities. However, the government can be directive but cannot do it alone."

When asked whether mobile technology could be used to improve patient health, Graham responded:

"[Hurrican] Katrina proved there is value in mobile technology when trying to reach the health needs of minorities," he said. "Seventy-five percent of those affected by Katrina had access to a cell phone."

For more, read this full report on the talk over at Healthcare IT News