The Digital Divide and the Emerging Virtual Therapeutic System

The Digital Divide and the Emerging Virtual Therapeutic System

Christine H. Barthold (University of Delaware, USA) and John G. McNutt (University of Delaware, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-967-5.ch119
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Abstract

As the Internet becomes increasingly more and more ingrained in our society, the gap between those who have adequate Web access and those who do not will continue to widen. In the health, mental health, and disability sectors of society, technology helps provide access to previously unavailable information, communication, and services, allowing for greater independence, as well as 24/7 access to collaboration and support. The digital divide might prevent the people who will benefit the most from virtual services from accessing them. This chapter will explore systems of online health and mental healthcare, both formal and informal, the dependence on advanced networking technologies for these systems to be effective, and the impact of the digital divide on individuals’ access to online health and mental healthcare. We will discuss the implications for both policy and practice.

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