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CILIP Conference 2020: Supporting digital health literacy and combating digital health inequalities: what libraries can do

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Supporting digital health literacy and
combating digital health inequality: what
libraries can do
Bob Gann
Digital Inclusi...

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Health information is ubiquitous –
and increasingly digital
• Over 80% of internet users have searched for health informat...

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Digital exclusion in the UK
9m people (16% of population
of the UK) cannot use the
internet or a digital device by
themsel...

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CILIP Conference 2020: Supporting digital health literacy and combating digital health inequalities: what libraries can do

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Bob Gann, Digital inclusion Specialist, National Health Service

Health information and services are increasingly delivered digitally, a trend which has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Digital health literacy skills have become essential for people to participate actively in their own health. Library and knowledge services are taking the lead in supporting people to access digital technologies, engage with services online, and use high quality health information.

#CILIPConf20
#empowereddigitalcitizens

Bob Gann, Digital inclusion Specialist, National Health Service

Health information and services are increasingly delivered digitally, a trend which has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Digital health literacy skills have become essential for people to participate actively in their own health. Library and knowledge services are taking the lead in supporting people to access digital technologies, engage with services online, and use high quality health information.

#CILIPConf20
#empowereddigitalcitizens

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CILIP Conference 2020: Supporting digital health literacy and combating digital health inequalities: what libraries can do

  1. 1. Supporting digital health literacy and combating digital health inequality: what libraries can do Bob Gann Digital Inclusion Specialist @Bob_Gann
  2. 2. Health information is ubiquitous – and increasingly digital • Over 80% of internet users have searched for health information (Amante, 2015) • One in twenty Google searches are for health information (Gibbs, 2015) • There are over 300,000 health related apps (Pohl, 2017) • Over a million people a day visit the NHS website (NHS.uk analytics)
  3. 3. Digital exclusion in the UK 9m people (16% of population of the UK) cannot use the internet or a digital device by themselves 3.6m people (7% of the population) are not online at all Those who are digitally excluded are more likely to be older, have a disability, earn lower income, and be less educated UK Consumer Digital Index 2020
  4. 4. Why are people digitally excluded? • Access (including broadband connectivity & affordability) • Skills (both basic digital skills and information literacy) • Communication (language, disabilities) • Lack of interest, trust & motivation UK Consumer Digital Index 2018
  5. 5. Digital health literacy “Digital health literacy: the ability to seek, find, understand and appraise health information from electronic sources and to apply the knowledge gained to addressing or solving a health problem” Digital health literacy requires a set of skills including: o traditional literacy o technology literacy o data literacy o scientific literacy o media literacy Kickbusch, I et al (2013) Health literacy: the solid facts. WHO
  6. 6. COVID-19 has exposed the digital divide
  7. 7. Supporting digital health literacy Identify and access high quality information - and challenge fake news
  8. 8. Combating digital health inequality Providing access and building digital skills
  9. 9. Learning from Widening Digital Participation Report of 3 year national programme published this week 285,000 people involved with 23 local pathfinders Digital health hubs in local community settings including libraries, high street shop, homeless centre Recommendations include: • Improve digital health literacy for safe and healthy internet use • Build the digitals skills of health and care staff, following Health Education England’s lead • Create and support network of digital health champions www.goodthingsfoundation.org/research- publications/digital-inclusion-health-and- care-lessons-learned-nhs-widening-digital
  10. 10. Libraries lead the way • COVID-19 Fund grants to voluntary organisations for digital equipment, data & connectivity • Distributing iPads from biggest tablet lending scheme in country • Reconfiguring Digital Champions training via video conferencing • Signposting to digital tools and resources including free online training • Facilitating adoption of NHS self management tools and apps • Auditing digital access across city to see where help can be provided 100% Digital Leeds is led by Leeds Libraries, with combined budget from a range of agencies www.digitalinclusionleeds.com
  11. 11. Thank you More information: Gann, B. (2019) Transforming lives: combating digital health inequality IFLA Journal 45(3): 189-97 Gann, B (2020) Combating digital health inequality in the time of coronavirus, Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 24:3: 278-284, email: bob.gann@nhs.net Twitter: Bob_Gann Practical how to guides for England & Wales

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