Research Blog 4

Racial Differences in Attitudes Toward Innovative Medical Technology


Describe the key claims:

  • Racial divide in the acceptance and attitudes towards new medical technology, new prescription drugs, implantable devices.
  • Caucasian individuals had higher medical technology innovativeness
  • African American individuals less likely to try or be open to the idea of medical implantation devices *can be attributed to amount of information given
  • Reasons for the divide: African American population were not given enough information in the following factors: trialability, observability, complexibility (perceiving a new idea as straightforward and comprehensible)

Select examples to illustrate:

  • For example, survey was given asking questions about new medical machinery (CT machines, full body scanning machines, etc, medical devices that may become present in coming years such as implantable devices that administer medications, and new prescription drug medications)
    • Some stated in the survey that they have heard of these things before (mostly caucasian, this can be attributed to openness and “innovativeness” measurements.)

Present the Gist: Health disparities are alive in well, not only in access to care but in access to information

Contextualize: This topic relates to the connection between technological advancement in medicine and how it affects different populations. Is technology being evenly distributed throughout the population?

 Write a summary of the article

The article “Racial Differences in Attitudes Toward Innovative Medical Technology” from the Journal of General Internal Medicine was a research experiment which concluded that there is a racial divide between caucasians and african americans in the acceptance and attitudes towards new medical technology such as implantable devices and newly developed prescription drugs. The ultimate finding was that individuals who were white had a higher innovativeness when it came to medical technology. Innovativeness in this context is referring to acceptance, knowledge, and willingness to try new things. One specific example of data collection to come to this conclusion was the use of surveys which asked questions about medical technology such as newly enhanced CT machines and implantable devices that could administer doses of medicine into the body regularly. The survey data showed that individuals who were geographically closer to more accessible and quality health care were more knowledgeable about these topics. In the data analysis process, the factors stated that caused the divide in “innovativeness” were trialability, observability and complexibility. Health disparities, especially based on geographic locations have an increased prevalence in the United States. Statistically, low-income areas have a higher need for increased medical technology as disease incidence is higher in these areas. Therefore, technological advancement in medicine is definitely booming, however, there is an extremely unequal distribution of the resources throughout the nation.


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