The Aetna Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $1.2 million to twenty-three healthcare organizations, regional hospitals, and grassroots projects in thirteen states.
Awarded through the foundation's three-year, $4 million Digital Health Initiative, the new grants will help organizations promote the use of digital health technology, including mobile health solutions, for the benefit of minority and low-income populations. Recent research from the Pew Research Center found that 31 percent of cell phone owners used their phones to look for health information in 2012, up from 17 percent two years earlier, and that Latinos, African Americans and people between the ages of 18 and 49 are more likely than other groups to access health information on their mobile devices.
"Disparities in health care and limited access to preventive services are an unfortunate reality impacting the most vulnerable populations in our country today," said Aetna Foundation president Garth Graham. "However, we believe that digital health technology can serve as a powerful equalizer for improving health education and access to care among minority and low-income communities by reaching people where they are spending time — at school, at church, in their neighborhoods, and on-the-go with real-time solutions that easily fit into their daily lives. By supporting technology that can empower individuals with the convenience and control to meet their personal health and wellness goals, the Aetna Foundation is working to build healthier communities, a healthier nation, and a healthier world."