Opportunities of Digital Health in the Medical Care of People Experiencing Homelessness - Health Newsletter Winter 2022

By Sándor Békási, MD, MSc, DocRoom Health Research Programme, Health Centre, Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta, Budapest, Hungary

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Although there is a broad consensus that the health issues of people experiencing homelessness are significant both from an individual and a public health perspective, medical research projects aiming to improve the management of chronic conditions for this group are rare. The use of digital health tools was a huge success during the COVID-19 pandemic in the general population in several countries. Yet, it can also widen the gap to access valuable medical services for people lacking devices and skills to use them. This is also known as the digital divide or the digital health paradox. Very limited knowledge and experience are available on how to utilise the benefits of telemedicine among vulnerable populations. The DocRoom Health Research Program of the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta made it possible to obtain and share first-hand results of a successful digital health initiative in homeless shelters in Budapest, Hungary. In times of permacrisis, we believe that all additional services are important that can raise the quality of health care for disadvantaged groups of society.