Utilizing Telemedicine Techniques to Confront Rural Mental Health Care Challenges: The Progression Towards a Technological Health Ecosystem
- *Corresponding Author:
- John Cantiello
Department of Health Administration and Policy
George Mason University, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: February 25, 2012; Accepted date: March 08, 2012; Published date: March 14, 2012
Citation: Noblin A, Ward CK, Cantiello J (2012) Utilizing Telemedicine Techniques to Confront Rural Mental Health Care Challenges: The Progressions towards a Technological Health Ecosystem. J Health Med Informat S7:001. doi: 10.4172/2157-7420.S7-001
Copyright: © 2012 Noblin A, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Due to the unique population characteristics of Rural America, the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions is a challenge. This is especially true when specialists are needed, in particular for mental health care including psychiatry. Provision of care often falls to primary care providers, who may fail to recognize symptoms or misdiagnose a condition. In addition, a stigma is often attached to mental health issues and precludes many people from seeking treatment, particularly due to embarrassment and perceived confidentiality issues. This paper will describe the rural population and mental health issues faced by patients and providers. Challenges will be explored from a systems theory viewpoint, as well as from community development perspectives. Solutions will be offered ranging from the broad theoretical perspective including policy options, and specific solutions for practitioners in various settings. Of particular focus is telemedicine in the form of telepsychiatry. This option is mentioned throughout this paper in terms of current usage in specific settings as well as provider and patient acceptance of the technology.