Digital medicine allows patients in rural and remote locations to receive much higher levels of medical attention
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread into rural parts of America, it is highlighting the urgent need for healthcare professionals to have access to a variety of patient management options when in person appointments are not feasible. Despite more than a century of urbanization, there is still a significant rural population that needs medical attention as much as their urban counterparts. But for them, a full-service hospital or clinic may be many hours away. Their choices for care are rather limited. For patients living in rural parts of the country, digital medicine would be an ideal solution.
It’s a complicated issue because what might work well in one rural area might not work at all in others. For example, not everyone has access to the internet or the equipment required to connect with it. One of the biggest challenges rural healthcare organizations face is patients having access to affordable broadband required to support telehealth programs which is vital to helping increase access to and the quality of healthcare in these areas. Many rural communities do not currently have access to internet connection speeds which support the effective and efficient transmission of data to provide telehealth services. This is an issue that will need to be addressed by healthcare organizations and governments alike. According to the FCC, there are approximately 19 million Americans who still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds. That is a huge number of people losing out on having access to their healthcare providers, especially during these challenging times.