According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services, “approximately 60% of Primary Medical Health Professional Shortage Areas in the United States are in nonmetropolitan areas.”
These workforce shortages not only result in greater challenges for primary care providers in rural areas to offer high-quality care but also significantly limit overall access to needed healthcare services for rural residents.
In addition to that, the FCC’s decision to exclude end-user devices from its $100 million Connected Care Program grant fund presents significant challenges to medical providers who want to deliver care to patients in remote or rural communities, or patients who have mobility or transportation challenges, but still need to maintain regular appointments with their doctor.
Some providers are getting around these limitations by turning to IoT partners who can provide hotspots for WiFi broadband internet as well as end-user devices and health management software. These providers are bridging the digital divide and making e-visits possible through telehealth connectivity.
Getting to Patients in Rural or Hard-to-Reach Communities
Providers looking to offer telehealth or telemedicine to their patients can find greater success by partnering with a telecommunications provider who will offer the remote broadband connectivity and mobile tablets as well as a mobile device management platform for making sure that patients are accessing telehealth applications only.
Why Cloud-Based Management is Optimal for Telehealth
A cloud-based management platform like Kajeet’s Sentinel® ensures that healthcare providers can easily monitor the location of their devices, track data consumption, and allow the devices to be on only during patient appointment hours. This kind of monitoring capability can prevent providers from paying for wireless data on devices that are no longer in use by patients who have either completed their treatment or moved on to other providers without returning the equipment. Providers can also see the status of hundreds of devices out in the field at a glance.