This poster, created by Rebecca Afford and Neil Kitson, was featured at the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation Conference (September 2017) in Nelson, BC.
What is telehealth/telemedicine?
• Health care provided by means of telecommunications
• Virtual consultations between healthcare professionals separated geographically
What is the role of telemedicine in rural and remote communities?
• The Canada Health Act: "the primary objective of Canadian health care policy is to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers".
• Amelioration of the burden of cost, geography, personal physical ability, weather, safety concerns, and availability of physicians.
• Rural communities are especially affected by aging as working-age adults often migrate to urban centers and adults of retirement age often settle in more rural settings.
• 21.1% of Canadian live in rural areas, but only 9.4% of all physicians practice in rural areas.
What are the barriers to telemedicine?
• Privacy and confidentiality
• Patient comfort
• Healthcare providers not being aware of telehealth services
What are the benefits to telemedicine?
• Prevents the feeling of isolation by connecting people with public services
• Economic savings
• Decreased wait-times