The possibilities are endless. A child with autism who attends a rural school sees his behavioral therapist, without having to miss school. Children without access to a local dentist receive dental assessments without having to travel to another county. Chronically ill children see specialists for routine follow-up care in between math and science class without ever leaving the school building. For the parents, that means not taking off work using vacation time or missing pay. And for the schools, higher attendance numbers.
Increasing access to care for school-aged children without increasing the time spent outside of school is one of the many benefits of school telehealth projects. One of the greatest barriers to providing this type of service is the lack of high-speed Internet access in rural schools. In Arkansas, this may be about to change. Governor Mike Beebe of Arkansas wants to grant public schools access to the state’s broadband network. A recent article in Education Week discusses the Governor’s plan.
Interested in building a school telehealth project? According to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), Georgia, Nebraska, Ohio, and Virginia have school telemedicine programs. Click here to learn more.