Over the past decade, a rapidly expanding body of literature has demonstrated the existence of disparities in health and health care. While consensus has not emerged regarding the causes of disparities, they are generally thought to be related to sociocultural, behavioral, economic, environmental, biologic, or societal factors. To effectively address disparities, several authorities have suggested the need for greater information technology research and investments. eHealth researchers may be able to make significant contributions in this area through research and its applications. This paper begins with a historical overview of health disparities in the United States and Europe. It then discusses the role that the Internet, and access to the Internet, may play in the genesis of health disparities. Finally, this paper closes with a discussion of the potential benefits of eHealth applications and the possible contributions of the field to overcoming disparities in health and health care.
Gibbons MC. A historical overview of health disparities and the potential of eHealth solutions. J. Med. Internet Res. 2005 Apr 10;7(5):e50.