Background: Telehealth use has had widespread expansion and adoption over the past two years. This study aims to evaluate access to telehealth essentials (TE) using a novel metric. Methods: This single institute study surveyed outpatient surgical patients to determine their access to TE. Generalized linear mixed models were used to determine the relationship of demographic and county-level variables on access to four TE. Results: 138 patients were surveyed. Sixty-six (47.8%) were from Appalachian Kentucky. In the survey cohort, 122 (88.4%) had smart phones, 109 (80.7%) had devices with video messaging capabilities, 106 (80.9%) had cellular reception, and 112 (82.4%) had access to WiFi. Increasing age and Medicare insurance were the most consistent predictors of lack of access to TE. Conclusion: Rural Appalachian Kentucky has access to TE. Telehealth has the potential to decrease the healthcare inequity in rural populations, but incompletely address this inequity for the aging population.
|State||Accepted/In press - 2022|
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