The Society for Behavioral Medicine (SBM) recommends expanding access to high-speed, high-definition internet and increasing broadband width for rural communities in the USA to increase telehealth opportunities for populations facing geographic barriers to accessing quality healthcare. High-speed telehealth will allow healthcare providers to care for patients in "real time" and will expand access to specialty providers thereby increasing timely follow-up, improving health outcomes, and reducing rural health disparities. Moreover, SBM recommends that the current National Broadband Plan legislation be protected and enhanced to ensure high-quality, but also affordable, internet services in rural areas. Several legislative bills have been put forth but are not fully funded or enacted by individual states. In addition, further mechanisms and supplemental funding are needed to address the continued lack of resources to enhance rural broadband including infrastructure, research, and regulatory reform.
- Barriers to healthcare
- Rural health