Benefits of Telemedicine in Remote Communities & Use of Mobile and Wireless Platforms in Healthcare

One of the greatest challenges facing the U.S. healthcare system is to provide quality care to the large segment of the population, which does not have access to specialty physicians because of factors such as geographic limitations or socioeconomic conditions. The use of technology to deliver health care from a distance, or telemedicine, has been demonstrated as an effective way of overcoming certain barriers to care, particularly for communities located in rural and remote areas. In addition, telemedicine can ease the gaps in providing crucial care for those who are underserved, principally because of a shortage of sub-specialty providers. At the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health), the use of telecommunications technology for the purpose of improving health care delivery to rural and underserved populations of Texas has been part of one of its core programs since the mid 1990s. Since 1995, clinicians and researchers at UTMB have been testing, refining and utilizing telemedicine and telehealth technologies to improve and develop telemedicine – solving the problems of access to quality medical care.

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