Living in a rural community has many lifestyle benefits, but with it comes a lack of available technology and medical equipment. Now a team of community strategists from the southwest Missouri region is working to bring greater technology abilities to help these communities
According to David Faucett, Missouri State University community planner, Governor Jay Nixon has set a goal to increase broadband accessibility from 79 percent in 2009 to 95 percent by the end of 2014 through a program called MoBroadbandNow. This will to help expand and enhance broadband accessibility and adoption to all areas in the state of Missouri.
“The first phase of planning was strategic planning; now it’s more focused,” said Faucett. “Of all the regions, telemedicine in healthcare was one of the priority sectors that needed to go out because there are aging populations in rural areas and much more can be done for people.”
Faucett recently received a grant from the State of Missouri office of administration for $15,000 which will help to develop a healthcare specific broadband plan.
Telemedicine is used to provide healthcare at a distance by the use of information technologies. This type of healthcare uses technological devices that enable medical professionals to monitor a patient’s vital signs from a distance. The device then transmits the results via telephone to the healthcare provider so the best course of treatment for the patient can be determined.
Work began in 2011 when a broadband summit convened to provide information on the current state of broadband accessibility in Missouri. After this meeting, a long-term planning effort was put into effect to ensure continued enhancement of broadband access. As of April 2013, a second round of regional planning process began.
For more information on MoBroadbandNow visit www.mo broadbandnow.com.