The Future of Rural Health Care

March 20 2008 / by juldrich / In association with Future
Category: Business & Work   Year: 2008   Rating: 14 Hot

Cross-posted from

Earlier this month I gave a presentation to the Kansas Hospital Association on the topic of “the future of rural health care.” In my presentation, I discussed how the cellphone will become an increasingly important tool in helping patients diagnose certain diseases quicker and more accurately. (I briefly touch on this theme in this old post.)

What I did not discuss was how the cellphone might also help health care workers in remote, rural areas take high-resolution images of a patient’s blood cells using a cellphone camera and then transmit those photos to experts at medical centers.

As this informative article from today’s Technology Review discusses, however, this vision is now on the verge of being achieved thanks to the innovative work of researchers at the University of California.


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When TV Switches to Digital, it May Alienate Rural Communities

October 22 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Communication   Year: 2009   Rating: 3 Hot

It has been estimated that about three million TV viewers will let their sets go black when the digital conversion takes place next February. “Approximately three million viewers could stop watching their local channels, which would have a serious impact on local TV ratings and their advertising rates.” About nine million people today have yet to make the conversion to digital broadcasting.

So what about rural areas of America?

Internet is already hard to get in places “out in the boonies.” Some use the words Digital Divide to describe third world countries and their lack of technology. What people fail to realize is that there are places in America that are likewise impoverished.

In an article about the town of Grove, New York, reporter Stephen Watson explains how small towns like these are lacking high-speed internet, cable, and even cellphone service. “They are part of a growing digital divide between those with access to cutting-edge technology and those without, a gap that cuts along demographic, economic and geographic lines.” When you consider how much work is done on the internet these days, it really has become a lifeline for many people in remote locations.

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