With Covid-19 cases growing across the country, it’s more important now than ever that households have access to telehealth services.
For the seventh episode of the “Why NC Broadband Matters” podcast series, we spoke with Dave Kirby, president of the North Carolina Telehealth Network Association, about the role of telehealth in the healthcare system, both during the pandemic and after it ends. “Why NC Broadband Matters” is created in partnership with NC Broadband Matters, a nonprofit organization working to connect communities across North Carolina to high-quality broadband access.
In his conversation with Christopher, Dave explains the important functions broadband serves in modern healthcare systems, and he describes different telehealth applications, including video visits and connected care devices.
The pair discuss how hospital closures and limited access to healthcare impacts rural North Carolina communities. Dave touches on some of the research into how broadband can connect underserved areas to remote healthcare providers. Unfortunately, many rural communities don’t have adequate Internet access and the lack of connectivity is a barrier to telehealth. Christopher and Dave talk about the challenges to expanding broadband for telehealth in rural areas but also about the potential cost savings of better healthcare access in the state.
Before wrapping up the interview, Dave predicts that the current Covid-19 crisis will push more healthcare providers to adopt telehealth, even after the pandemic ends. They also consider how the move to telehealth services could actually improve outcomes for many people in North Carolina.
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This show is 32 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or with the tool of your choice using this feed, at the Community Broadband Bits page, or at the NC Broadband Matters page. We encourage you to check out other “Why NC Broadband Matters” content at the podcast feed so you don’t miss future bonus content that may not appear in the Community Broadband Bits Podcast feed.
Read the transcript for this episode.