Digital Divide


The Lancet Public Health, Volume 6, September 2021

This Comment supports SDGs 3 and 10 by discussing the UK's reliance on digital technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although a digital-first policy aims to reduce health inequalities, challenges such as low usage of the internet and low uptake of digital COVID-19 technologies among older, minority ethnic groups, could mean that the strategy instead reinforces the unequal effects of COVID-19.
This paper discusses the importance of incorporating online home delivery services (OHDS) into the concept of accessibility and marginalization. The authors propose a method to quantify access to OHDS and assess levels of inequalities in access to OHDS using data from OHDS providers in the pharmaceutical and food sectors, as well as from transport operators delivering parcels. The Västra Götaland Region in the West coast of Sweden is used as a case study. The results show significant inequalities in access to OHDS.