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Bridging the Healthcare Gap: The Role of Fiber Internet in Telehealth Equity

The Role of Fiber Internet in Telehealth Access and Equity

By Megan Ward, Talent Acquisition Specialist

Imagine living miles away from the nearest doctor, with a commute that can consume hours of precious time and resources. For many United customers, that’s the reality when it comes to healthcare. Thankfully, the rise of telehealth has ushered in a new era. Real-time communication with doctors, remote monitoring of health conditions, and faster medical record transfers are just a few ways telehealth is transforming healthcare. What many people don’t realize is that reliable fiber internet makes these innovations possible.

Everyone deserves access to quality healthcare regardless of location. As a local company, we’re passionate about fiber internet and its power to bridge the healthcare gap for our customers, neighbors, family members, and friends. That’s why Project UNITE, our initiative to bring fiber internet to underserved communities across Middle Tennessee, is at the very heart of our mission.

From Personal Experience to Community Impact

I live in a suburban area, and telehealth has made a concrete difference in my life. Dealing with minor illnesses or seeking therapy no longer requires a long drive and waiting room woes.  I’ve been able to utilize telehealth on Sundays or in the evenings when my doctor’s office is closed. Platforms like Teladoc offer convenience and save me valuable time and money.

However, the impact of telehealth is even more profound for residents in rural areas. Imagine driving an hour or more just for a routine checkup. Telehealth eliminates barriers to comprehensive medical care by virtually connecting patients with healthcare providers stress-free.

At United Communications, we’ve listened to numerous customer stories echoing the positive impact of telehealth. Hearing how our customers can now access care from the comfort of their own homes is one of the biggest motivators for continuing our efforts to bridge the digital divide.

The Role of Fiber Internet in Telehealth Equity

So, how exactly does fiber internet bridge the healthcare gap? Let’s break it down:

1. More Robust Care and Easier Management

Fiber internet ensures high-speed and reliable connections, allowing rural residents to access telehealth services without interruptions. This creates a new opportunity for patients to connect with specialists virtually, reducing the need for long trips to distant facilities.

2. Real-time Consultations and Monitoring

High-speed connections facilitate clear video consultations and real-time data transmission, enhancing the quality of care for both patients and providers. Whether an individual is dealing with an emergency or monitoring a chronic health condition, fiber allows for real-time data transmission that enhances accessibility.

3. Access to Educational Resources and Support

Living in a rural area shouldn’t mean missing out on valuable health information. Because of fiber internet, our customers can access online disease management tools to track their health, discover local health information from trusted sources, join virtual support groups for shared experiences, learn through interactive modules on healthy habits and preventive care, and even participate in live Q&A sessions with healthcare professionals—all without leaving their homes.

4. Increased Efficiency and Enhanced Diagnostics for Healthcare Providers

Beyond patient appointments, fiber makes a big difference for rural providers. Doctors can seamlessly access and update electronic health records (EHRs) for more efficient and coordinated care. Remote specialists can collaborate with local providers for accurate diagnoses and treatment plans, reducing the need for patient travel.

5. Attracting an Retaining Healthcare Professionals

Improved telehealth infrastructure makes rural areas more attractive to healthcare professionals, knowing they can provide and receive quality care through advanced technology. This not only bridges the healthcare gap but also contributes to overall socio-economic development in these areas.

Still Hesitant About Telehealth? We’ve Got Your Back!

While the benefits are clear, some might have concerns about telehealth. At United, we understand these concerns and are committed to providing a secure and accessible experience:

Connecting You to the Good Life

At United, we’re passionate about our community. We believe everyone deserves access to quality healthcare, no matter where they live. Fiber internet is a powerful tool, and we’re using it to bridge the healthcare gap and connect our neighbors to the good life. 

We are hopeful as we continue to improve healthcare outcomes and make strides toward a healthier, happier Middle Tennessee.

About the Author:

Megan Ward, Talent Acquisition Specialist

Megan Ward, a Talent Acquisition Specialist at United Communications, leverages her passion for people and process optimization to fuel the growth of our dynamic team. She plays a pivotal role in attracting, onboarding, and nurturing talent across diverse departments, ensuring a seamless pipeline of skilled individuals. Equipped with a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Troy University and a PHR certification, Megan brings her valuable knowledge and experience to United Communications, helping make us one of the best places to work in Middle Tennessee.