Rural healthcare lagging without telemedicine (US)

A recent report from UnitedHealthGroup, Modernizing Rural Health Care, confirms the obvious–that there are fewer doctors, especially specialist, per capita in rural areas of the US versus urban–and the gap is expected to increase due to growing shifting of patients into Medicaid and other government subsidized plans. Also not surprising is that 19.5% of rural residents report being in ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ health compared with 15.6% of urban residents. Telehealth and telemedicine could help, but fewer than 10% of rural hospitals use remote monitoring of patients, 25% participate in video teleconferencing for consultations, and only 10 % use tele-emergency services. See chapters 6 and 7 on ‘new models of technology’.