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The Digital Dilemma: Navigating Ehealth Literacy and Healthcare Tech

With an increased focus on digital information and technologies to improve patient outcomes in the healthcare setting, pharmacies have adopted various technology-based products and services to benefit patients. However, if resources and understanding are not in place, a digital divide can consequently exist. This creates health inequities among patient populations with low versus high utilization of these technologies. There are many factors to consider to ensure equal patient access, such as age, education level, physical availability of resources, and experience with technology. Pharmacists are highly utilized resources in the community setting, and therefore have the unique opportunity to assess patients’ ability and willingness to use technology as well as offer strategies to limit resulting health inequities. This presentation will help pharmacists understand the challenges patients face when dealing with technology in the healthcare setting and how to balance the pressure towards digital products and services with patients’ unique needs. The course will incorporate knowledge-based questions and interactive case studies to emphasize how pharmacists may come across these situations in their daily practice.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, the participant should be able to:

  • Describe the historical landscape and future goals of technology use in the healthcare setting.
  • Identify how each layer of the digital divide plays a role in the adoption of technology among patients.
  • Explain how patient-focused digital products and services offered in the healthcare and pharmacy settings can improve patient outcomes.
  • Determine factors contributing to patients' ability and willingness to use technology as part of their healthcare experience.
  • Given a patient case, recommend meaningful technology-based products and services according to patient needs.


Olivia Ruthsatz, PharmD, RPh
Olivia Ruthsatz, PharmD, RPh is a MCPHS University Post-Graduate Fellow at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, she received her PharmD degree from Purdue University in May 2019. At Novartis, she works within Clinical Sciences & Innovation where she assists in the planning and execution of clinical trials. Olivia will also be involved in various teaching and scholarship activities during her two-year fellowship program as MCPHS Adjunct Faculty. Through her rotational experiences as a student, she has professional interest in addressing challenges in healthcare access, identifying social determinants of health, and ensuring safe medication use.

Registration Fee: Free for all participants.


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Release Date: November 25, 2019
Expiration Date: November 25, 2022
Contact Hours: 1.0
Universal Activity Number: 0026-0000-19-018-H04-P