For Americans living outside of cities and in rural and sometimes remote areas of the country, the concept of readily accessible health care just isn’t a reality.
However, the idea of expanding broadband internet into rural communities to improve access is one that shares support from all sides of the political spectrum. Just last week, an expert from Augusta University was called up to speak before lawmakers in Congress on the need for this technology and who it could best serve.
"Broadband is the gateway to rural schools, businesses and health care providers," said Rep. Angie Craig, a Democrat from Minnesota.
Lawmakers raised concerns about the dwindling number of hospitals in rural areas and the need to be competitive when recruiting corporations to do business.
"Just the ability in rural America for a physician to pull up an X-ray at their home instead of having to drive to the hospital to look at a patient to know if that is something that’s an emergency," said Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican from Georgia.
"One of the biggest needs is tele-psychiatry and tele-mental health," said Dr. David Hess of the Medical College of Georgia. - Spectrum News 1 - July 11
It’s an interesting topic and one that is gaining a lot of attention.
- How many rural Americans are without access to a doctor or hospital in the country?
- How much money could be saved by expanding online health care?
- Online is a viable solution, but are there drawbacks or concerns for patients?
- And how could expanding broadband and digital health care support issues like mental and maternal health across rural America?
If you are a reporter covering this topic – that’s where our experts can help.
Dr. David Hess is dean of the Medical College of Georgia and executive vice president for Medical Affairs and Integration at Augusta University. He also helped develop the REACH telestroke network in rural Georgia that now includes about 30 hospitals. Dr. Hess is available to speak with media regarding this topic – simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.
David Hess, MD Dean
Dr. David C. Hess, a stroke specialist, educator, and entrepreneur, is dean of the Medical College of Georgia.