Digital Health Story Collection
What is this?

The Community Broadband Networks initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance advocates for universal access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet service. We are collecting stories about real people who have used and benefited from telehealth OR who are negatively impacted by an inability to access telehealth. Telehealth is the use of the Internet to visit a healthcare provider, talk with a specialist, or manage a health condition without having to physically travel to a hospital, clinic, or healthcare provider’s office.

Why are you collecting these stories?

The pandemic triggered a massive expansion of telehealth, but it’s not available to everyone equally. This is partly because not everyone has fast, affordable, and reliable Internet access nor does everyone have the devices, skills, or level of comfort they need to take advantage of Internet access, even if they have it. This digital divide disproportionately impacts rural, low-income, Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities who also face significant health disparities. As such, telehealth is the least available where it is most needed and could have the greatest impact. We want this to change.

What will you do with my story?

Your story may be used for research and advocacy purposes. For example, we are creating an advocacy toolkit that aims to show policymakers and key decision makers the importance of Internet access for promoting health and health equity. We may use common themes from collected stories and quotes from individual stories to demonstrate this relationship. Our toolkit will be publicly available on our website. We will not include any identifying information in our publicly available research or advocacy tools. You may choose to contribute your story anonymously. We will not alter your story in any way and you may withdraw your story at any time if you no longer want to share it. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact us.

Contact person: Tessa Eidelman
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