Date of Graduation

Summer 8-12-2022

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Laura Chyu


INTRODUCTION: To achieve greater health equity, we should look to the ways in which digital technology can positively impact healthcare service and delivery. While there is an incredible opportunity to improve healthcare with digital technology, the potential to exacerbate existing health inequities also must be considered. One important and influential player in the healthcare ecosystem is the digital health innovator. These are companies looking to improve how healthcare is performed and delivered. It is imperative that while they respond to the market forces driving change, they also work to deliver products that can benefit everyone.

METHODS: A literature review was conducted to understand the scope and impact of digital health tools on health equity. Novel quantitative and qualitative data were used to describe current efforts by digital health companies to design and deliver products in an equitable way. Recommendations are provided to help digital health companies incorporate important elements in the design and delivery of their products. First, companies ought to prioritize diverse teams and utilize community-based participatory research principles to yield greater equity. By ensuring consideration for people in oppressed groups as well as those with disabilities, companies can further widen the range of possible users. An increasing number of digital health technologies incorporates machine learning technologies. As such, it is important to test and de-bias datasets and algorithms. The accessibility of these digital health tools can be increased by offering them in multiple languages, complying with the American with Disability Act (ADA) guidelines, offering them in multiple platforms and interfaces, prioritizing text messaging features, and providing support for low health and low digital literacy users.

OBJECTIVES: Digital health companies have an opportunity, incentive, and moral imperative to help close the health inequity gap. This research paper will heighten awareness about the importance of digital health innovation that utilizes a framework of principles to work toward health equity.