The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light that no matter what resources you could afford we all faced the same reality of being stuck at home for various lockdowns. The demand for change in accessible healthcare, patient rights, healthcare directives and health equity began before the pandemic and was only brought to the forefront since. We sit down with CEO of Virtual Emerging Technology Solutions (V-ETS) and Founder of 360HEALTH Network, JaLisa Johnson to discuss healthcare technology in today’s environment and leveling the playing field in health equity.
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Munoz: And I think it could go without saying, but when you mentioned the benefits and the lack thereof, what happens to those people that don't have the same access, the same care, the same treatment really, when it comes to healthcare?
Johnson: I think that healthcare overall is failing in America. I mean, it's across the board. So whether you have millions of dollars, one of the things that COVID showed us is it did not matter what resources you had afforded to you in this catastrophe, in this pandemic that we came across, everyone was locked away in their homes. It didn't matter. I mean, if you look at Ellen was in her house complaining that she was locked in a 30-bedroom house with servants and pools and hot tubs, where if you look at people from underserved communities, they're always locked in their homes and not having access to things is normal for them. So, the pandemic showed that there's a problem in the healthcare system and how we respond to healthcare in general. So, the system is broken. So, if it's broken for the rich and the wealthy, there is non-existence to people in marginalized communities and who do not have the resources. So, across the board, that's a bigger problem when you talk about equity.
Johnson: So, there's just a lack of that accountability in healthcare today, and everyone's out to get rich, or they just don't have the resources to even help their patients. So, I don't say that every doctor doesn't want to help their patients in that way.
Munoz: Sure, right. No, but you make some great points and it really is one of those things that people might say, how's your healthcare system? Great. Have you ever used it? No. So they have no idea--
Johnson: No idea.
Munoz: And that's why, and when you do need it, unfortunately, it's probably an emergency situation, paperwork, decisions, there's a timing issue here and so you're so right about communicating this information before you need it because once you need it, it could be too later, it could be a bad situation and all those kinds of things. So, you've done a great job of kind of laying the groundwork for the issue, the problem. So, when it comes to the solution and the action, tell us about Virtual Emerging Technology Solutions and what you're trying to do.
Johnson: Well, what we do today is we support existing healthcare agencies. So one of our clients is the Department of Health. And what we do every day is to support their data centers, support their applications that are tracking health disparities, diseases, helping them to move into the cloud, building sustainability, helping them with cybersecurity requirements. But most of all, we have also developed a commercial line outside of the government space to help protect the people and also to be an advocate for the people, no different than we are helping to build these systems in the government, we would like to help the people access these systems and have of equity across the board for things that they are aware of and things that they're not aware of.
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