The COVID-19 pandemic hit communities of color hard. The City of Detroit was particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to racial, socioeconomic, and environmental health factors. To analyze the exacerbating role of technology and connectivity challenges on older Detroiters' health in a pandemic, we first examined Detroit’s demographics. This analysis involved looking at the continued evolution of the City's population toward older adults, as well as the impact of COVID-19 and the healthcare services on Detroit’s elder population. Next, we examined Detroit’s internet access challenges, including the presence of digital exclusion among older adults in Detroit, the impact of COVID-19 on digital inclusivity, the requirements for telehealth services and how they limit access to older adults, COVID-19 funding for telehealth services and internet connectivity, and finally the impact of access to devices and digital literacy in Detroit.
Finally, we address how Detroit, the State of Michigan, and the Federal government can bridge the digital gap. This recommendation included examining the current steps taken by The Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES), and what programs are needed next, including follow-up, connecting with community partners, the potential benefits of funding announcements by federal and state programs aimed at addressing connectivity gaps, and community-based connectivity solutions and their real-world impact.
Schroeck, Nicholas and Leach, Carrie
"The Exacerbating Role of Technological and Connectivity Challenges on Older Detroiters’ Health in a Pandemic,"
Seattle Journal of Technology, Environmental & Innovation Law: Vol. 13:
2, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/sjteil/vol13/iss2/1
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