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New research shows sexual minority adults more willing to use digital health tools for public health

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Newswise — (Toronto, March 11, 2024) — Little is known about the willingness of sexual minority adults – people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or other non-heterosexual orientation identities – to use digital health tools. A new studypublished in the Journal of Medical Internet Research by Dr. Wilson Vincent of Temple University, shed light on this issue in the context of public health screening and monitoring. The research challenges assumptions around the adoption of such technologies, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Vincent notes that previous studies have rarely examined the extent to which sexual minority groups are willing to use digital health tools, particularly when it comes to pandemics or non-HIV prevention measures. In the era of COVID-19, the use of cutting-edge mobile health tools such as smartphone apps for testing, monitoring and treatment of the virus has exploded, marking an exciting advancement in health care technology. health. Yet, how enthusiastic are people about adopting these new technologies?

To answer this question, Dr. Vincent used data from the COVID Impact Survey, which was conducted at the height of the COVID-19 response in the United States and surveyed more than 2,000 people. An in-depth analysis of this publicly available dataset found that sexual minority adults were more willing to use digital health tools for screening and tracking than heterosexual adults. Interestingly, there were no notable differences in this group in terms of age, gender, or race/ethnicity. On the other hand, white heterosexual adults showed disproportionately low willingness to use such tools.

The results show how important it is to make digital health tools work for everyone. Population diversity must be considered in the development and implementation of digital health strategies, particularly during public health crises. By understanding and responding to the needs of sexual minority adults, policymakers and health workers can make health strategies better and more equitable for all.

The study also highlights the need for further research into the digital divide between different demographic groups. Obtaining insights into the factors that shape willingness to interact with digital health tools can guide the creation of tailored interventions aimed at reducing current disparities in healthcare accessibility and adoption. Future studies that delve deeper into the different dynamics at play can help create healthcare solutions that work for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or other demographic factors.

Please cite as follows:

Vincent W.

Willingness to Use Digital Health Screening and Tracking Tools for Public Health in Sexual Minority Populations in a National Probability Sample: Quantitative Intersectional Analysis

J Med Internet Res 2024;26:e47448

doi: 10.2196/47448

URL: https://www.jmir.org/2024/1/e47448

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