How the 5G Era Will Bring Opportunity to Rural America
According to the National Rural Health Association, rural areas have about 13 doctors per 10,000 residents compared with 31 doctors in urban areas.
And that gap could widen because of regulatory and market pressures, says Dr. Gautam Sivakumar, a physician and founder of hospital information systems company Medisas. The high cost of keeping up with administrative and medical tech, plus competition for talent from urban centers, puts added stress on rural hospitals.
“These already understaffed hospitals are having to fight even harder to recruit the talent they need,” Sivakumar says. “Doctors want to provide the best care to their patients, and the technology and tools you have access to have a massive impact on the kind of care you can provide.”
But next-gen opportunities may help. 5G-connected cloud computing could facilitate tech upgrades in rural hospitals, for instance. “Suddenly developers in San Francisco can build technology that will help these hospitals operate more effectively and then deploy them over the internet without the need for a team to come out to all these little towns,” says Sivakumar. “You can’t have telemedicine without strong, reliable internet.”