Teva joins Digital Health for Equitable Health Alliance [DHEH]

Tanisha Hill Sr. US Medical Director, Respiratory and Digital Health Medical Lead

Over the past two years, we have seen expedited innovation in digital health, but these innovations only help the communities that can access the digital products and services and have access to broadband connectivity. In 2017, only 55.9% of adults reported having access to broadband 01. In addition to the overall low broadband access in the U.S., disparities currently exist in broadband access that are based on race and ethnicity, age, geographic location, education, and income 02. Broadband connectivity is now recognized as a social determinant of health and increasing the proportion of adults with broadband internet access is one of the Healthy People 2030 Neighborhood and Built Environment objectives 03.

Traditionally, underserved populations including Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and low-income communities have had inequitable access to quality healthcare and life-saving health services, and these health inequities have not changed with the advent of digital health. In fact, there is a growing digital divide preventing underserved communities from experiencing the full potential of digital health due to the lack of access to digital technologies and broadband connectivity. 

A recent survey showed that the COVID-19 pandemic further compounded the issue of disparities in healthcare access 04. The survey showed that during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately one in four healthcare consumers had trouble accessing high-quality healthcare services from a physician or a nearby health facility and that BIPOC and people living in urban settings were more likely to report difficulty with healthcare access compared to their counterparts. Anecdotally, I heard directly from some physicians who said the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated their inability to see patients that previously had challenges with access through telehealth, while others reported their plan to discontinue telehealth all together once the pandemic was “over” and the reimbursement for telemedicine changed. Therein lies an example of the root causes of a digital divide.

In my view, these anecdotal examples and the data from the COVID-19 impact survey are a call to action. That’s why I’m excited to share a new coalition, the Digital Health for Equitable Health Alliance (DHEH), which was formed to advance more equitable access to digital health in a way that is affordable, sustainable and approachable.

With the goal of reducing health care disparities in underserved populations, we seek to increase and improve access to care through digital health technologies. We chose to focus the coalition on digital health because digital health brings the promise of quality care, improved healthcare management, and the promise to address health disparities across the United States. Studies have provided evidence of benefits as well as patient satisfaction with digital health technology 05 and a real-world study has shown that policy can eliminate disparities in access to digital health technology 06

DHEH is unique in its focus on digital health for improved access to healthcare in underserved populations. but also in its multi-sector, cross-disciplinary membership that is inclusive of representation of the voices of the people the coalition aims to serve. Our current partners in the coalition include the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Howard University College of Medicine, the African American Wellness Project, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Allergy and Asthma Network, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Meharry Medical College, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Patientory Foundation., Health Aims for Little Ones (HALO) and for Families, the National Medical Association, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, and the membership continues to grow.

To expand access for people in underserved urban and rural areas, we are championing policies that advance public health and well-being by building upon innovations in digital health in collaboration with Congress, the Administration, and other stakeholders. Greater access to telemedicine, wearables, artificial intelligence, machine learning, sensors, facial and voice recognition, natural language processing, virtual, mixed, and augmented reality will help to bridge the gap in communities impacted by inequities in our healthcare system.

As a proud member of DHEH and its President, I will continue to foster and encourage a more equitable and digitally inclusive society. While the devastating COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the challenges and disparities that exist in our healthcare system, it has also shown us how we can come together to overcome health disparities and advocate for digital inclusion, especially for communities that will benefit from access to digital health. I hope that DHEH serves as a template for the world to see how unique partnerships can create social change.

To learn more about DHEH, visit

View our full press release here


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    Zanaboni P, Ngangue P, Mbemba G, Schopf T, Bergmo T, Gagnon M. Methods to Evaluate the Effects of Internet-Based Digital Health Interventions for Citizens: Systematic Review of Reviews.J Med Internet Res 2018;20(6):e10202.

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    Ancker JS, Nosal S, Hauser D, Way C, Calman N. Access policy and the digital divide in patient access to medical records. Health Policy and Technology. 2017;6(1):3-11. DOI:

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