• Rural Telemedicine in Alaska: A Look at Healthcare Through Telecommunications

      Stephens, Ethan (2012)
      •An average town in the United States will have a basic medical facility capable of treating its patients. If not, there is roadway access to a capable facility. •In Rural Alaska however, there is no way to drive to the nearest hospital. These communities are not connected to the major road system and the only way to reach a hospital is by air transport. •Although many villages have access to hub communities that maintain a clinic, the clinic may not have the capabilities to treat certain ailments and many villages have no access to a medical facility. •Providing adequate medical care for Rural Alaskans is difficult due particularly to the size of Alaska, the geographic isolation of many villages, and to the cost of transportation to these rural areas. •The most serious healthcare issues that have been seen in Rural Alaska are “too few physicians or services and [health] care is too expensive,” (Hagopian et al, 2000). •In hopes of overcoming these obstacles in rural medicine, many organizations initiated telemedicine and telehealth programs.