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The Effects of Telemedicine on Health Disparities in Patients with Urologic Malignancies

January 17, 2022

Several urology experts, including UPMC Department of Urology physicians Benjamin Davies, MD, Bruce L. Jacobs MD, MPH, and urologic oncology fellow Zeynep Gul, MD, are collaborating to study how the increase in telemedicine use brought out by the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted access to care and care disparities for patients with urologic malignancies. Dr. Gul acted as the primary investigator.

Early studies have found that while telemedicine use has increased, older patients, minorities, patients with a lower socioeconomic status, and those living in rural areas have experienced slower rates of growth.

The lower rates of telemedicine use by these populations is particularly concerning for patients with urologic malignancies, who are often older and whose treatment and outcomes have also been associated with race, socioeconomic status, and rurality. 

This will be the first study to critically examine the use of telemedicine among patients with urologic malignancies with the goal of developing strategies to improve its use among this population. 

This work is being supported by the Urology Care Foundation, the Shadyside Hospital Foundation, and the Tippins Foundation.