Digital inclusion in healthcare: Lessons learned from the NHS Widening Digital Participation Programme
The UK National Health Service (NHS) commissioned a review to assess the use of digital health services and develop digitally-enabled care pathways to: a) Increase inclusion; b) ensure all patients receive the same level of access and care regardless of their digital preferences; and c) ensure it does not spur health inequalities for others, due to barriers such as access, connectivity, confidence, or skills. To this aim, the Good Things Foundation examined the Widening Digital Participation programme and produced a report with lessons learned from the program. One of the recommendations is to develop community ‘digital health hubs’ to improve inclusion and to build digital health literacy. It also suggests harnessing the benefits of digital inclusion through improving national data on the links between digital inclusion, healthcare, and outcomes. The report further sheds light on the importance of building digital confidence and motivation among healthcare workers.