Digital divide in electronic/ digital tools of communication: Experience from grass root level.
Background The need do a situation analysis of the availability of the electronic mode of communications in the community is required for information generation, derive policy inputs, imparting knowledge/ education, and increase the outreach of health programs, ensuring connectivity with community and Health for All. Such communication channel between health care providers and the users is being explored under ICMR Task force study of Health Account Scheme to generate authentic, utilizable, real time consumer generated health information. During the study baseline situation of availability of electronic tools among study population was evaluated and presented in this paper along with review of other electronic medium-based health programs and factors affecting their acceptability/utilization.Materials and methods To explore what mode of e-communication is available at households so that feasibility check of community generated health information using digital tools can be initiated, this cross-sectional survey documents availability of modes of e-communication i.e. internet, television, phone and computer at household level. After ethical approvals and informed consent, in depth interviews were conducted during 2013-16 by door to door visits in all the houses of study blocks and a total of 2479 heads of houses of the north and northeast India were covered. Results: A population of 7484 was covered among 2479 houses at 3 sites -528 Tribal, 1011 slum and 940 rural houses. Among modes of e-communication, internet was found available in 8.5% houses in rural, 13.4% slum in metropolitan, 7.8% in tribal houses while Television was more available at rural, slum, and tribal site 44.8%, 88.2%, 86.6% respectively. Mobile phones were highest available mode in Rural n-563,60.1%, Urban slum n-897, 88.2%, Tribal n-292,55.3%. Community knowledge of information technology-IT based health program in the study area was abysmal. Literature Reviews show low acceptability (6%) of IT-based health programs like Mother and Child Tracking. Factors like infrastructure, affordability, family income, education and occupation were found affecting availability of e-mediums. Conclusions: Digital tools of communication with community as partner in health programs is required however there is heterogeneity in distribution of electronic mediums and ground situation of IT tools indicate need of strengthening of logistics where it is beyond reach of masses. Hyid solutions for setting channel of communication and continuous situation analysis to assess IT based programs impact, acceptability and availability in community is recommended.
Keywords :electronic tools in health care e-communication in health programs
Cite This Article:
DIGITAL DIVIDE IN ELECTRONIC/ DIGITAL TOOLS OF COMMUNICATION: EXPERIENCE FROM GRASS ROOT LEVEL., Dr. Neeta Kumar, Dr. Neeru Gupta, Dr. Tulsi Adhikari, Jiten KH, Dr. Nidhi Tiwari, Dr. Shweta, Dr Vishnu V Rao, Dr V M Katoch, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED MEDICINE : Volume-2 | Issue-5 | September-2018
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