As time goes by, technology is gradually infiltrating many aspects of our lives. One of the areas where technology is making a huge impact is in the healthcare sector. Healthcare service providers, governments, and other stakeholders have been working towards developing tech advancements capable of eradicating one of healthcare’s major nightmares, the disparities in access to healthcare services.
In this regard, for a long time, rural areas have been alienated from consistent care, leaving residents having poor and limited access to quality healthcare services. Thanks to technology, this is gradually changing as access to healthcare services in rural areas is getting a significant boost in various ways.
Utilization of telemedicine
Thanks to technology-mediated communication, healthcare service providers and other stakeholders are able to work with residents of rural areas via telecommunication. The increased penetration in ownership of mobile cell phones, internet, and related services increases the ability of rural residents to gain access to healthcare services.
For example, with internet technology penetrating deep within rural areas – and healthcare facilities adopting the concept of patient portals – communication between patients and physicians has been greatly enhanced. This allows medical facilities and patients to achieve seamless communication, especially on issues such as clinical follow-ups and securing appointments, which in the past may have required patients to come in to access these services.
Portable medical equipment
The medical equipment sector is also contributing positively towards increasing medical services to persons living in alienated and rural areas. Advances in the portability of medical equipment used for diagnostics, testing, and scanning has allowed these devices to be easily transported to rural areas as the need arises. Equipment such as kidney dialysis machines, x-ray machines, and ultrasound devices are now being developed to have compact features. Making these machines highly portable ensures that those living in rural areas can receive quality medical services without having to travel. In addition, these tools have suitable power ratings such that they can utilize readily available sources of electric power like solar energy, or work within the home.
Implementation of artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence technology also has much to offer to help rural populations to access quality healthcare services, especially when it comes to preventive, diagnostic, and curative healthcare. AI-powered systems that take into consideration the patient’s medical history can help with the prognosis of diseases such as cancer and other blood-related conditions of genetic nature. Such systems can also be trained to predict the occurrence of epidemics by taking into consideration the community’s history and the environmental conditions in rural areas. This helps medical service providers to be on high alert to respond with immediacy.