With the ubiquitous high-speed broadband environment that will be implemented as a component of the Tech-YOU-Topia plan, remote medicine capabilities will bring a new level of medical care, including home care, never before possible. Real time telemetry of cardiac and respiratory functioning (pulse, blood pressure and oxygen saturation, will be automatically relayed to medical centers with the expertise needed to recognize an acute problem or trends indicative of a potential critical condition. There currently exists technology to monitor patients’ compliance with respect to taking prescribed medication and the ability to alert care providers
With these technological breakthroughs, rural Americans will have access to high quality care unlike any prior time in the history of the Heartland.
The decline in the overall health of rural populations and the erosion of health care services is, in part, a result of other community factors, with economic decline and loss of jobs as primary factors. While there are significant opportunities to provide better health care with advanced technology, the reversal of the rural economic decline that lead to a general decline in overall health and wellness must occur simultaneously.
Rural redevelopment at the grassroots level is essential to reverse the conditions that have contributed to despair. Ultimately, with economic resurgence, there is a much greater opportunity to attract and retain physicians in small towns environments.