Oregon State University Albany, United States of America
A pivotal change in tackling medical disparities occurred as a serendipitous decision to apply to an XSEDE program this July. It was my first insight delving into the world of computation and utilizing supercomputing resources to explore research I was curious about. With a foundation primarily in wet-lab research, this was a whole new world to explore and brought much excitement.
The abrupt mass utilization of telemedicine to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines created a unique need of resuming care while at a distance and reserving limited resources for prioritized patients. This study investigated the rising adoption of telehealth and disparities in remote care that might widen, acknowledging that it is imperative to pioneer an equitable digital health era and ensure the innovation curve does not reinforce the social gradient of health.
Through use of XSEDE and Texas Advanced Computing Center resources, data was analyzed to investigate barriers in coverage as a replacement to in-office care. Case studies were presented to highlight the discrepancy in telehealth visits versus expected visits. To explore this deficit in care and identify which populations are most at risk of telehealth becoming a barrier, the basic defining factor of telehealth was examined: access to the digital platform on behalf of both the provider and the patient; if one side was severed in access, there was no care that could take place digitally. The two chief prongs of research first investigated were 1. technology access at home, 2. local hospital telehealth integration and feasibility.