Tracking healthy people 2020 Internet, broadband, and mobile device access goals: An update using data from the health information national trends survey

Alexandra J. Greenberg-Worisek, Shaheen Kurani, Lila J. Finney Rutten, Kelly D. Blake, Richard P. Moser, Bradford W. Hesse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: As the year 2020 approaches, there is a need to evaluate progress toward the United States government’s Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) health information technology and communication objectives to establish baselines upon which Healthy People 2030 objectives can be based. Objective: The aim of this study was to use the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) to benchmark progress toward HP2020 goals related to increasing internet access using broadband, and to assess the state of the digital divide for various sociodemographic groups. Methods: We merged and analyzed data from 8 administrations of HINTS (2003-2017). Descriptive statistics were generated, and predicted marginals were calculated using interaction terms between survey year and selected sociodemographic variables of interest, including age, sex, race and ethnicity, income, education, and geography (rural versus urban), to test for differential change over time. Results: The number of users having access to the internet increased between 2003 and 2014 (63.15% [3982/6358] to 83.41% [2802/3629]); it remained relatively steady from 2014 to 2017 (81.15% [2533/3283]). Broadband access increased between 2003 and 2011 (from 32.83% [1031/3352] to 77.87% [3375/4405]), but has been declining since (55.93% [1364/2487] in 2017). Access via cellular network increased between 2008 and 2017 (from 6.86% [240/4405] to 65.43% [1436/2489]). Statistically significant disparities in overall internet access were noted in the predicted marginals for age, sex, race and ethnicity, income, and education; for age, sex, income, and geography for broadband access; and for age and sex for cellular network. Conclusions: The targets set forth in HP2020 were met for overall internet access and for internet access via cellular network; however, the target was not met for internet access via broadband. Furthermore, although the digital divide persisted by sociodemographic characteristics, the magnitude of many disparities in access decreased over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13300
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Keywords

  • Digital divide
  • Healthy People 2020
  • Internet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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