Technology was the topic for the May 17 plenary session discussion between Ivor Horn, M.D., director of health equity and social determinants of health at Google, and Joy A. Lewis, AHA senior vice president for health equity strategies and executive director of IFDHE. Horn discussed the current technology landscape in health care, from its promising possibilities to its potential perils — and how health care and equity leaders could understand and challenge technology to support historically marginalized patients, employees, and communities.
“The possibilities are just so endless,” Horn said about what the equitable deployment of technology could look like long term. “One thing we know and are grappling with is that much more with health care will happen outside of the ‘four walls.’ A huge part of equity is how we make sure people — regardless of social economic status and where they live — can afford that.” Additional sessions on day 2 included:
- A discussion about the limited services available to older adults due to staffing shortages, a lack of residential care environments and the disproportionate impact on rural areas.
- A session about supporting the mental health of health care workers, patients and communities, which included a presentation focusing on how hospitals and other organizations could act and support diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
- A panel discussion about strategies for equitable community engagement, which highlighted creative place making and messaging campaigns; successes from a playbook for engaging diverse populations and hosting outreach and education events; and use of community-based participatory research to answer critical questions, drive action and address community needs.