Connecting for a healthier Tennessee

Rural Tennessee is a great place to live, work and raise a family. For so many, the benefits of country living far surpass the hustle and bustle of city life.

Of course, there is the scenic beauty of the rural countryside, access to nature and the quiet small-town lifestyle that so many crave. But there are disadvantages to rural living as well.

Rural residents are part of the most underserved health care population in the state. Rural areas often experience a shortage of physicians and health care facilities that make access to care difficult. There is also a disproportionate number of elderly, poor and underinsured residents, and many are faced with high rates of chronic disease.

That’s why the Tennessee Broadband Association is working to improve access to care and the overall health of our rural population. Nov. 22 is National Rural Health Day and a perfect time to push our Rural Telehealth Initiative to promote awareness for how broadband can be leveraged to improve health care in Tennessee.

By allowing patients to access health care providers remotely, broadband improves many of the transportation and access roadblocks that impact patient care. It also allows physicians and caregivers to follow up with patients to ensure they understand their medicine and treatment direction to improve patient outcomes. Broadband also allows physicians to monitor their patients through innovative home-health devices in real time, avoids expensive, time-consuming house calls, and provides patients with beneficial feedback on their treatment and recovery.