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Side by side view of a health care provider visible on a tablet screen and a home in a rural location.

Telehealth for rural areas

Introduction to rural telehealth

Learn strategies for developing a rural telehealth program.

Rural frontier living can be a haven for the 60 million Americans that live in a rural part of the United States. It often means less traffic congestion, less pollution, and more open spaces.

Rural living may also mean less access to critical healthcare infrastructure and technology. That, in turn, often leads to more health complications for rural residents and challenges for rural providers.

Telehealth can help bridge the gap by providing more access to quality healthcare through video chats, and also other communication that doesn’t rely on a broadband internet connection. Telehealth in rural and frontier communities could also include phone calls, secure messaging, and asynchronous care.

Providers from larger healthcare systems can also collaborate with rural providers to reduce strain on the rural healthcare infrastructure.

Rural is defined as non-urban or suburban populations. While this includes a wide variety of people, geographic location, and socioeconomics, many of the health challenges are the same. Frontier areas are defined as the most remote and and sparsely populated rural areas. It is even more challenging to provide health and human services than in rural communities. This makes telehealth even more necessary for these populations.