United Health Foundation funnels $1.1M into expanding access to digital health tech

The United Health Foundation announced on Oct. 17 a partnership with Atlanta-based Morehouse School of Medicine to research ways to improve accessibility and usability of digital health tools in underserved communities in the southeastern U.S.

UnitedHealth Group's philanthropic arm will fund the partnership with a three-year, $1.1 million grant. Researchers within the medical school's National Center for Primary Care will first conduct focus groups, interviews, surveys and data reviews to determine whether digital solutions such as EHRs, telehealth and wearables will actually address health disparities facing underserved communities in urban and rural Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee.

If digital technology is found to be an effective solution to healthcare challenges in the region, researchers will develop an action plan to improve those communities' access to the technology.

Morehouse has previously received funding from the United Health Foundation to help build IT systems and technology for a local clinic. The medical school is also part of UnitedHealth Group's recently launched initiative to encourage students at historically black colleges and universities to pursue careers in healthcare data analytics.

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