Peer reviews social determinants of health

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Respond to  two of your colleagues by using one or more of the following approaches: 

  • Respond to a colleague whose views differed from yours on whether digital inclusion of broad band access should be added as a key area to the social determinants of health. Expand on your colleagues’ posting by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on the readings. 
  • Respond to a colleague who discussed a different health IT system than you did. Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ posting, synthesizing the readings to provide new perspectives on how the system can impact or be impacted by the social determinants of health. 

Peer 1

Onyeka Uti

Jan 12, 2024Jan 12 at 6am

Manage Discussion Entry

Module 4 Week 9 Discussion

In today’s world, internet connectivity and digital inclusion are becoming more and more important, having an impact on many facets of peoples’ lives, including healthcare. In my view, I will back the addition of digital inclusion or wideband access as a crucial component to the social determinants of health. Nowadays, most people in the digital era obtain their health information online. It may be difficult for people without broadband connections to access resources, preventative care, and important health information. The use of telemedicine has increased since the COVID-19 epidemic. For people living in underserved or rural locations, broadband connection facilitates remote consultations with medical specialists, hence increasing access to healthcare services (Benda et al., 2020). Campaigns for health education and awareness can be distributed using digital platforms (Sieck et al., 2021). The reach of such projects may be hampered by a lack of broadband connectivity, which may impair people’s capacity to make knowledgeable decisions about their health. Health outcomes and socioeconomic factors including access to technology are intimately related. People’s capacity to access healthcare services and engage in the digital economy may be negatively impacted by a limited broadband connection, further exacerbating already-existing economic inequality. In conclusion, the context and particular demographic will determine how digital inclusion or broadband access is included in the social determinants of health. For comprehensive and equitable health outcomes, it is crucial to strike a balance between tackling the larger socioeconomic determinants of health and utilizing technological breakthroughs to increase healthcare accessibility.

Patient portals, telemedicine, mobile health (mHealth), and electronic health records (EHRs) are essential elements of the changing healthcare environment. The social determinants of health (SDOH) have the potential to greatly affect and be impacted by them. EHRs, which offer a consolidated patient data repository, can improve continuity and coordination of treatment. They make it possible for medical professionals to have a thorough understanding of a patient’s medical history, which helps them make more educated and individualized treatment decisions. Social variables including socioeconomic position, health literacy, and technological access might affect how successful EHRs are. Patients who are economically disadvantaged or have low levels of digital literacy may find it difficult to use and benefit from EHR features. Applications for mobile health provide chances for individualized treatments, health education, and remote monitoring. To address some of the challenges associated with geographic access and information availability, mHealth applications, for example, can offer customized health education material, assist medication adherence, and give real-time health information. Digital literacy, internet connection, and smartphone ownership are some of the requirements that must be met for mHealth adoption. It may be difficult for people without cellphones or dependable connectivity to take advantage of mHealth solutions, which might exacerbate already-existing health inequities. Through patient portals, people may make appointments, have access to their health information, and get in touch with healthcare professionals. This can facilitate collaborative decision-making, increase patient participation, and lead to better health outcomes. Disparities in health literacy and technological access may make it more difficult for patients to use patient portals (Sharma & Patten, 2022). Patient portal engagement may be difficult for people with limited internet access or language problems, which might restrict the tools’ potential advantages. Geographical impediments to healthcare access are addressed via telemedicine, particularly in underserved or rural areas. Improved healthcare results can be attributed to its ability to facilitate virtual consultations, remote monitoring, and prompt interventions. The acceptance of telemedicine may be impacted by factors like as cultural concerns, computer literacy, and broadband connectivity. Telemedicine services may be difficult to obtain in communities with poor high-speed internet connectivity, which might exacerbate health inequities.


Benda, N. C., Veinot, T. C., Sieck, C. J., & Ancker, J. S. (2020). Broadband internet access is a social determinant of health! 
American Journal of Public Health
110(8), 1123–1125.

Sharma, P., & Patten, C. A. (2022). A need for digitally inclusive health care service in the United States: Recommendations for clinicians and health care systems. 
The Permanente Journal
26(3), 149–153.

Sieck, C. J., Sheon, A. R., Ancker, J. S., Castek, J., Callahan, B., & Siefer, A. (2021). Digital inclusion as a social determinant of health. 
Npj Digital Medicine

Peer 2

Laura Ferretti

Manage Discussion Entry

MAIN POST  1/17/24

Broadband access and digital inclusion are undeniably taking space in the social determinants of health.  Social determinants of health and non-medical factors that have an impact on health outcomes. It includes the conditions where people are born, grow, and live (Social Determinants of Health, 2022). With technology making the world a global village today, it has become part and parcel of current healthcare prowess. As such, they impact the potential outcomes of the health of communities.  Limited broadband access may lead to disparities in healthcare provisions, preventing people from experiencing the full potential of telemedicine, patient portals, mobile health, and electronic records. A good example could be the fact that the distribution of healthcare services is limited in rural areas due to poor broadband when it comes to accessing and fast delivering telemedicine services. 

Electronic Health Records are pivotal in the operations of modern healthcare as they provide a comprehensive digital overview of patients’ medical history.  Unfortunately, inadequate digital infrastructure may present a challenge when recording and updating patient data in the required digital systems (Sieck et al., 2021). Additionally, the patient portals that give progress about the state of the patients greatly rely on the digital infrastructure. Therefore, not having a well-established digital infrastructure means that there will be no continuous care. Limited broadband availability limits patients’ engagement in participating more actively in their care, leading to significant health disparities (Sharma & Patten, 2022). Similarly, mobile health initiatives that include wearable devices and healthcare applications depend on digital inclusion and broadband access. 

Certainly, the current-day provision of healthcare is greatly reliant on technological access. Therefore, broadband access and digital inclusion form part of the social determinants of health. As such, they should be included in the everyday programs that advocate for efficacy in providing healthcare services. 



Sieck, C. J., Sheon, A., Ancker, J. S., Castek, J., Callahan, B., & Siefer, A. (2021, March 17). Digital inclusion as a social determinant of health. 
Npj Digital Medicine

Sharma, P., & Patten, C. A. (2022, September 14). A Need for Digitally Inclusive Health Care Service in the United States: Recommendations for Clinicians and Health Care Systems. 
The Permanente Journal
26(3), 149–153. to an external site.

Social Determinants of Health. (2022, December 8). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.,the%20conditions%20of%20daily%20lifeLinks to an external site.

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