Digital Inclusion Strategy
What is Digital Inclusion?
Digital inclusion according to NHS Digital encompasses the following areas:
Digital skills - the ability to use digital devices such as computers or smart phones and the internet, which is one of the barriers people face.
Connectivity - access to the internet via broadband, Wifi, and mobile.
Accessibility - services must be designed to meet the needs of all users, including those who rely on assistive technology to access digital services.
To find out more about digital inclusion from NHS Digital, visit: https://digital.nhs.uk/about-nhs-digital/our-work/digital-inclusion/what-digital-inclusion-is
Why is Digital Inclusion important?
It is highly important because according to Ofcom and Office of National Statistics, there are still certain groups likely to be excluded in the UK. Hence, while using digital services to improve processes, services, outcomes, and interoperability, it is essential to cater for the digitally excluded.
The Government Digital Service has also created a digital inclusion scale, which ranks people's digital capabilities on a scale of 1 to 9, ranging from those who never use the internet to digital experts. Older people, people in lower income groups, people without a job, people in social housing, people with disabilities, people with fewer educational qualifications, people who left school before the age of 16, people living in rural areas, homeless people, and people whose first language is not English are more likely to be digitally excluded than others.
How is OVACtech addressing digital inclusion?
To cater for the digitally excluded, OVACtech is doing the following to ensure the inequalities gap is not further widened:
Consulting patients, public voices, health, and care professionals as key stakeholders.
Creating user friendly manuals, onboarding videos and trainings to empower and boost understanding of service users.
Enabling NHS login for patients, which is a simple and secure way of accessing NHS services.
Enabling ‘accessibility features’ to empower all service users.
Making the Sermegon® software a patient-centred one which improves patient experiences and outcomes.
Using user research and design thinking to add on new easy-to-use features iteratively.
Planning accessibility - as NHS hospitals have access to NHS Wifi, service users are able to access Sermegon® web and mobile app which optimises workflows.