Rural communities helped by telehealth, but broadband internet still an issue for 1 in 5 rural households

NPR produced an interesting segment on the state of telehealth services and how they’ve helped people in rural communities. The article spotlights one woman in rural CA who needed therapy but lives in a town with only two therapists and could only get one appointment per month. Instead she visited a local clinic twice a week to connect via video call with a therapist 200 miles away. She was skeptical at first, but quickly adapted and became comfortable and grateful that this service was available to her.

The article illustrates the rapid growth of telehealth as a way to serve rural communities, however their survey shows that 1 in 5 rural households don’t have the broadband internet access available to reliably connect for telehealth calls from their home.

Survey results also indicate convenience is the leading factor for choosing telehealth services.  In many cases, it was the only option. However even when respondents had in-person services available, many chose telehealth because of the convenience. Screen Shot 2019-07-10 at 2.51.03 PM

Click here to read the article or listen to the NPR segment.

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