Innovations in technology have made the healthcare experience easier for people living in rural communities.
Instant communication and interoperability between applications have empowered urban healthcare facilities.
Despite new technology, quality care has been a great challenge in rural areas. High insurance premiums, the availability of in-network specialists, and lengthy travel times are still strong barriers to care. A well designed suite of the latest technology solutions can increase the standards of care within these communities.
Technology that fades geographic boundaries
Due to limited healthcare professionals and infrastructure in rural centers, patients often have to travel long distances to receive specialized treatment. This results in lost treatment time, money, and resources for patients who are chronically ill.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) play a crucial role in enabling healthcare professionals to view patient medical records and implement treatment plans irrespective of their location. Sharing information electronically means patients can receive more timely and accurate care without traveling for miles to get it.
To improve specialist providers in rural areas, telehealth solutions can play a significant role. It makes remote consultations and diagnosis easier and more convenient where specialists can take telemedicine consultations so that patients can receive care close to home.
Technologies with limited resources and lack of infrastructure
Because of a lack of infrastructure and often limited equipment in rural areas, technology focused on diagnosis and medicine are highly needed.
Artificial intelligence improves diagnosis and treatment in rural areas by analyzing and identifying best practices as it relates to treatment.
Remote prescription and dispensing devices can be used by patients to access medications. Similar to an ATM machine, patients are delivered clinically safe medication they need without reliance on pharmacists, doctors, or other hard to find professionals in remote areas.
In the future, with the help of artificial intelligence these devices could have their capabilities enhanced to effectively become an information kiosk and a patient portal that could support diagnosis, testing, and medication prescriptions, eliminating pressure on community health centers and hospitals.
There are endless possibilities for technology to make a massive improvement to the current model of rural healthcare. The purpose is not to replace clinicians, but to enhance healthcare delivery and allow for a much more efficient and accurate diagnosis where specialist knowledge is not always available at the time of care.