The ongoing pandemic has proven how critical technology is to healthcare delivery. But as these new technologies become a permanent part of our healthcare ecosystem, a new challenge arises for solution providers: providing digital health equity.
A key element of Zipnosis’ mission is to provide quality, accessible care to all patients, everywhere. We’re constantly innovating and exploring new ways in which our platform can better serve patients. And so far, we’ve made significant strides.
Here’s how we’re actively improving accessibility on our platform:
INCREASING ACCESS FOR RURAL AND UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS
Virtual care is often praised for its ability to improve access to care. It’s affordable, efficient, and saves patients the hassle of scheduling an appointment, traveling to the clinic, and waiting for their visit. But what’s less talked about is the populations who still lack access to these digital services.
Today, more than 30 million Americans are without access to broadband internet speeds. Which impacts their ability to access certain modes of virtual care. For example, video visits require patients to maintain internet speeds that are fast enough, and last long enough, to have a meaningful connection with their provider. Without that connection, modalities like video are sometimes inaccessible.
That’s where tools like our asynchronous adaptive interview help. With asynchronous care, patients can complete a visit without broadband access. Giving patients access to care whenever and wherever they need it.
One of our health system partners was able to treat patients in more than 40 counties across Alabama during the 2019 flu season, all thanks to asynchronous care.
SUPPORT FOR NON-ENGLISH SPEAKERS
In 2021, studies found that non-English proficiency was associated with a more than 50 percent decrease in the use of virtual visits conducted via video or phone. Making virtual care accessible for all patient populations requires breaking down language barriers, and while this work is not easy, we’re making monumental strides—starting with Spanish.
Soon all of Zipnosis’ asynchronous protocols will be translated into Spanish, making affordable, convenient virtual care accessible to more than 41 million native Spanish speakers in the United States. The best part? The building blocks we’ve laid will allow us to adapt to meet new languages in the future.
A FOCUS ON ADA COMPLIANCE
Many of us witness the ways in which our physical spaces are made accessible on a daily basis (like wheelchair ramps or accessible parking). But digital accessibility isn’t as apparent to those without disabilities, and oftentimes forgotten. That’s why we partnered with Accessible360, a Minneapolis-based accessibility auditor, to help us understand where our platform could improve. Their audit exposed issues we wouldn’t have recognized otherwise, and gave us the opportunity to do better. Today, our platform meets a number of accessibility standards:
- WCAG 2.1 AA certified. Web Content & Accessibility Guidelines 2.11 AA is the highest benchmark for federal guidelines related to accessibility. In fact, we’re one of the only telemedicine providers that’s WCAG 2.1 AA certified.
- Section 508 Rehab Act. Federal policy which requires agencies to maintain and use web properties that are accessible for everyone.
- ADA Compliant. We partnered with Accessible 360 to ensure our platform meets accessibility regulations to the highest degree.
Virtual care is here to stay, and as solution providers, it is our responsibility to make sure it’s accessible for everyone. I’m proud of the work underway at Zipnosis, and the industry shifts we’re seeing towards accessibility.
Let’s keep the conversation on accessibility going. Join me Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. CT for eHI’s Digital Health Equity Summit.