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Bridging the digital divide: The UNBIASED national study to unravel the impact of ethnicity and deprivation on diabetes technology disparities in the United Kingdom.

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Evans, Mark L 
Dlugatch, Rachel 


While diabetes technology offers significant clinical and quality-of-life benefits to people with type 1 diabetes, persistent inequalities in technology use based on ethnicity and deprivation are becoming increasingly evident. To date, there is limited research into the challenges and barriers to accessing and using diabetes technology and concerns felt by end-users from racially minoritised and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. Their views are often under-represented in the literature, and healthcare professionals’ perspectives on barriers to technology access have also been neglected. This article explores the nuanced relationship between ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and technology access. By understanding the parallels between health and technology inequalities, we can pave the way for targeted interventions to bridge the digital gap and create a more inclusive technological landscape. The UNBIASED study is currently being conducted across England, and is exploring the lived experiences of under-represented children and young people with type 1 diabetes regarding the (lack of) utilisation of life-changing diabetes technologies. The study is also consulting healthcare professionals who can act as gatekeepers to technology, with the ultimate goal of identifying and dismantling existing barriers and inequities to access. By synthesising the perspectives of both people with type 1 diabetes and healthcare providers, this research seeks to develop inclusive, practical, and implementable solutions to foster improved access to cutting-edge diabetes technologies within the National Health Service (NHS).



diabetes, health care delivery, type 1 diabetes, Humans, United Kingdom, Healthcare Disparities, Digital Divide, Ethnicity, Diabetes Mellitus, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2

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Diabet Med

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Diabetes UK for funding the study. The University of Cambridge has received salary support for ME through the National Health Service in the East of England through the Clinical Academic Reserve.