Reaching regional with digital health education
Digital IQ delivered digital health skills when - and where - needed most.
When it seemed like everywhere was closing down during the pandemic, Digital IQ made it their mission to provide their community with vital digital health skills support.
“In the middle of COVID, many organisations were required to close their doors to the community,” said Derek Tink, Community Advisor at Digital IQ.
“There was genuine fear and concern within the community we serve. We were determined to erode fears by connecting the community through technology. People needed digital health skills support amid COVID more than ever before.”
Servicing regional and remote regions with lower rates of digital skills literacy, Digital IQ’s Health My Way program has supported people to receive essential digital health skills training and help close the digital divide across the Northern Inland area of NSW.
This was especially needed during COVID-19 restrictions, which put a renewed emphasis on the importance of being connected to online health services like My Health Record and MyGov. With consideration for safety guidelines, Digital Health Mentors from Digital IQ travelled to regional community locations to raise awareness around the benefits of reliable online health.
“My Health Record is important to understand, but some community members were reluctant to engage,” said Derek. “We taught the community about why using technology is important and what it can bring to them.”
Digital IQ are continuing to integrate their Health My Way learnings into their regional digital health skills workshops being delivered across the Northern Inland area. In April 2021 alone, Digital IQ connected with over 200 people in the bushfire-affected Tenterfield LGA through workshops and meet-ups.
Derek says the social outcomes of the program have also inspired learners to pass on the digital health knowledge they have gained to others in the community.
“There is one senior Australian [a war veteran] who was in the program who was quite isolated and lonely, and now through the program is using technology to connect with others. With the work we have done through Health My Way, he is thinking how he can help other war veterans, particularly thinking about the mental wellness of others,” said Derek.
“I’m very proud of our team and it has been a privilege to be part of Health My Way. It has given us and learners a platform to spin-off from and further develop digital health resources to fit the needs of regional communities.”