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Rural Health Information Hub

Broadband Access Limitations

Some community paramedicine programs use telehealth to connect patients with local providers and pharmacists during the community paramedic’s in-home visit. Telehealth services often require access to broadband internet.

Unfortunately, rural areas may have limited or unreliable access to broadband internet services, making it difficult or impossible for program participants to participate in telehealth consultations or remote monitoring.

To address these issues, some programs have equipped vehicles with Wi-Fi capabilities to ensure patients will be able to participate in telehealth during their community paramedicine in-home visit. Other programs have installed Wi-Fi hotspots in patients' homes to allow health screening technology, such as blood pressure and pulse oxygen monitors, digital scales, and activity trackers, to send necessary data. This technology allows community paramedics and primary care providers to remotely monitor their patients' health status through regular data updates.