Bridging the Healthcare Accessibility Divide: Section 508 Compliance for HealthTech Digital Properties

  • 10.05.2023

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    Healthcare accessibility

    One of the most important sectors that affects the entire world’s population and is vital to the growth of any community is the healthcare sector. Additionally, the sector has a significant impact on how towns are seen in terms of preserving economic stability. Because of this, healthcare systems play a crucial role in government initiatives all over the world, and the costs associated with them are always rising.

    Healthcare professionals must keep up with this practical approach to healthcare by keeping an eye on the many variables that affect health, including accessibility, employment, housing, education, and public safety, among others.

    The majority of these elements are taken into account during the design and implementation of Health Tech digital properties, which assist in removing obstacles to obtaining health services that would otherwise result in unmet medical needs, delays in receiving proper care, difficulty receiving preventive services like immunizations, financial burden, and avoidable hospitalizations.

    What are HealthTech digital properties?

    HealthTech is a significant development in the field of medicine that, when combined with technology, streamlines a wide range of processes and can result in inclusive healthcare systems with the potential to save lives.

    The term “HealthTech” mainly refers to the application of technology through cutting-edge medical instruments. To put it simply, it is the fusion of technology and health.

    HealthTech digital properties are, thus, digital representations of healthcare data or information, including images, text, multimedia content, or private information kept online, on a computer, or on another electronic device.

    The prevention, treatment, and management of many health issues are undergoing transformation as a result of HealthTech digital properties. These properties provide an excellent way for patients and medical professionals to communicate with one another, thereby improving treatment outcomes promptly and effectively.

    HealthTech digital solutions have the potential to benefit many people and are convenient for both patients and healthcare providers. The solutions make use of sensors, connectivity, software, and computer platforms to support the monitoring of health parameters as well as other relevant uses.

    These solutions offer an effective adjunct to medical products, including drugs, devices, and biologics commonly used for the management of patients with acute or chronic health issues such as diabetes. They are also used to develop or study medical products.

    HealthTech digital platforms can greatly assist patients in getting swifter access to healthcare services, which will improve the general level of care they receive as well as the prognosis of their health conditions. They also help to reduce the burden on healthcare professionals as well as facilities like clinics and hospitals by pioneering the concept of self-care by patients themselves.

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      HealthTech digital properties in the context of Section 508

      “Section 508” is a term that is used in reference to the 1998 revision of Section 508 of the United States Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The revision resulted in a law that requires federal agencies to ensure that their information and communication technology (ICT) is accessible to people with disabilities, unless certain exceptions apply.

      All federal agencies and contractors must comply with Section 508 accessibility requirements when developing, purchasing, maintaining, or using ICT. Therefore, if you are a vendor of Health Tech digital properties or a healthcare provider using Health Tech digital properties and fall into this category of organizations for which Section 508 compliance is required, then you are a crucial pillar in the efforts aimed at closing the accessibility gap in healthcare.

      Ensuring that the Health Tech digital properties you develop or use are Section 508 compliant will be an invaluable contribution toward having healthcare systems that equitably cater to the needs of people with and without disabilities. This guarantees that individuals with disabilities are not subjected to discrimination when taking advantage of the numerous advantages of using HealthTech solutions for their wellbeing, which include the following:

      • Avoiding pointless consultations, which can occasionally cause medical facilities to become overcrowded.

      • Significant reduction in the length of time that patients typically wait in hospitals.

      • Fostering a sense of self-care and accountability in both patients’ and healthcare professionals’ use of treatment.

      • Promotion of less invasive techniques for specific medical conditions.

      • Use of mobile applications to promote preventive programs that emphasize healthy lifestyle choices.

      • Allowing the more reliable detection of various disease-causing pathogens.

      • Effective patient monitoring and follow-up for those with chronic illnesses.

      How to ensure your Health Tech digital property is Section 508 compliant

      By following the following guidelines, you may make sure that your HealthTech digital property is always Section 508 compliant:

      1. Maintaining vigilance in the ever-changing digital accessibility space

      As new categories of healthcare technologies are developed, the idea of Section 508 compliance in HealthTech keeps evolving. To ensure that your Health Tech digital properties are always Section 508 compliant, you should remain vigilant about any emerging technologies and the changes they orchestrate in the Section 508 compliance space. This will ensure that you keep remediating any accessibility barriers that are detected on the property as the emerging changes take effect.

      For example, if your Health Tech digital property is web-based, you should be vigilant about the changes to the Section 508 accessibility standards based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. These guidelines require all digital properties to be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

      1. Conducting regular Section 508 compliance testing

      Regular Section 508 compliance testing not only enables you to make sure that your Health Tech digital properties are accessible to everyone, but also provides you with a number of other advantages, such as assisting you in enhancing the performance and search engine optimization (SEO) of the properties, assisting code writers in producing higher-quality code, and expanding your audience, among others.

      1. Working with an experienced HealthTech accessibility expert

      By partnering with an experienced Health Tech Section 508 compliance expert agency like ADACP, you can take advantage of the agency’s expertise in applying a combination of automated, manual, and functional testing to your Health Tech digital property in order to ensure that it doesn’t have any undiscovered accessibility issues that could subject your property and business to needless litigation.

      Some of the reasons why you should work with a professional in HealthTech Section 508 compliance include:

      • They have a wider knowledge of online and HealthTech accessibility due to their consistent work in these areas.

      • They have lots of first-hand experience handling accessibility cases in the area, in addition to the fair judgments required for making informed decisions.

      • They have the inherent capacity to perform functional testing on the property.

      • Because they frequently interact with issues and actors in the accessibility domain, they are always up to date on the most recent accessibility challenges.

      • In addition to detecting the accessibility obstacles in the digital property, they give you a whole Section 508 accessibility package by collaborating with you in a methodical and organized way to make sure the remediation process toward delivering Section 508 compliance is thorough.

      Need assistance with the accessibility of your HealthTech property?

      For HealthTech digital properties, ADACP has created a thorough accessibility plan that will assist you in methodically adhering to the relevant WCAG and achieving or maintaining Section 508 compliance.

      Call (626) 486-2201 today to learn more about how we can creatively collaborate with you to make sure that your HealthTech digital properties are inclusive. A Section 508 Health Tech consultant will be assigned to you to guide you through the procedures required to achieve Section 508-compliant Health Tech properties.