3 reasons why rural patients are embracing telehealth

In the wake of hospital closures and healthcare provider shortages in remote communities, rural Americans are turning to telehealth for services from behavioral health to cardiology, according to NPR.

For its "Life in Rural America – Part II" survey, NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health asked 1,405 adults living in rural America about their reasons for using telehealth services.

Of the survey respondents, 24 percent said they had used telehealth for healthcare within the past few years. When asked why they used telehealth, the participants said the following reasons:

· Most convenient way to get diagnosed or treated: 69 percent.
· Unable to see physician in person: 30 percent.
· Too difficult to travel to physician or hospital: 26 percent.

While 14 percent of participants said they have received a diagnosis or treatment from a healthcare professional by email, text message, live text chat, a mobile app or live video such as FaceTime or Skype, some respondents still consider high-speed internet access a barrier to healthcare. Ten percent of respondents said internet access is a major problem for themselves and their family, and 11 percent consider it a minor issue, according to the report.

More articles on telehealth:
Montana hospital launches telemedicine services for neurology, stroke care
MetroHealth to extend telemedicine services to college students
American Well, Doctor on Demand, Teladoc used mostly by women

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