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Educational attainment and willingness to use technology for health and to share health information – The reimagining healthcare survey

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-15, 22:38 authored by CMY Lee, E Thomas, R Norman, L Wells, T Shaw, J Nesbitt, I Frean, L Baxby, S Bennett, Suzanne RobinsonSuzanne Robinson
Background: Australia has seen a rapid uptake of virtual care since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to describe the willingness of consumers to use digital technology for health and to share their health information; and explore differences by educational attainment and area of remoteness. Methods: We conducted an online survey on consumer preferences for virtual modes of healthcare delivery between June and September 2021. Participants were recruited through the study's partner organisations and an online market research company. Australian residents aged ≥18 years who provided study consent and completed the survey were included in the analysis. We reported the weighted percentages of participants who selected negative response to the questions to understand the size of the population that were unlikely to adopt virtual care. Age-adjusted Poisson regression models were used to estimate the prevalence ratios for selecting negative response associated with education and remoteness. Results: Of the 1778 participants included, 29% were not aware of digital technologies for monitoring/supporting health, 22% did not have access to technologies to support their health, and 19% were not willing to use technologies for health. Over a fifth of participants (range: 21–34%) were not at all willing to use seven of the 15 proposed alternative methods of care. Between 21% and 36% of participants were not at all willing to share de-identified health information tracked in apps/devices with various not-for-profit organisations compared to 47% with private/for-profit health businesses. Higher proportions of participants selected negative response to the questions in the lower educational attainment groups than those with bachelor's degree or above. No difference was observed between area of remoteness. Conclusions: Improving the digital health literacy of people, especially those with lower educational attainment, will be required for virtual care to become an equitable part of normal healthcare delivery in Australia.



International Journal of Medical Informatics



Article number

ARTN 104803









Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal