Teledermatology: Connecting Specialists to Rural BC

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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

• User-friendliness

• Infrastructures

• 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

• Safety

• Ecological

• Decreased wait-times

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