Can Telemedicine Help You Gain Access To Cutting-Edge Treatments In Rural Areas?

Posted on: 13 July 2015

There are number of lifestyle advantages to living in a rural area -- the ability to enjoy your freedom without neighbors whose homes are nearly within touching distance is one of the biggest. However, for some residents of rural areas, receiving emergency treatment or ongoing care for a chronic medical condition can be difficult to accomplish without traveling a long distance. Fortunately, advances in technology now allow residents of rural areas the same level of comprehensive medical care available to those who live in urban areas. Read on to learn more about telemedicine and how it may change the way you receive treatment.

What is telemedicine?

The term telemedicine can encompass a variety of healthcare services, from remote diagnostics to emergency treatment. When serving patients in rural areas, doctors and healthcare providers in cities are able to perform tests and analyze results in real time, using the benefit of their expensive and specialized equipment to diagnose and monitor illnesses or medical conditions. For example, if you have a high-risk pregnancy and require regular non-stress tests, ultrasounds, or other fetal monitoring, you can have these tests performed by a nurse or physician's assistant in your town and then have results immediately analyzed by a remote obstetrician. 

Telemedicine can also be used to provide psychiatric care to patients by using a webcam or internet messaging service. Not only can this allow you to seek mental health care when this level of care isn't offered nearby, but it can allow you to maintain a relationship with a trusted psychiatrist or psychologist even after moving across the country, or while on an extended trip. 

When might you seek telemedicine treatment?

If you have any condition that requires frequent visits to your local doctor (like blood sugar monitoring) or regular visits to a medical facility inconveniently far away, you could be able to benefit from remote wireless monitoring. This allows both you and your doctor to keep constant tabs on your health without requiring you to take time from work or your family to seek treatment. If your local doctor doesn't offer these services, you may want to contact the hospital or medical facility in the nearest large city to find out whether you can benefit from their technological offerings. 

You may also want to investigate this option if you would like to seek out psychiatric services but don't know where to begin. Rather than traveling to the city to test out a new psychiatrist, you'll be able to receive treatment and counseling in the privacy of your own home.