Many veterans live in remote areas of the U.S., often hundreds of miles from a VA hospital that could provide many of them with much-needed medical services. NPR's latest story on veterans, however, reveals that the VA hopes to use the latest technology to provide medical care to rural veterans. This program has already taken root in Alaska. "Telemedicine," as they call it, occurs over a secure computer connection between a large VA hospital and several small clinics scattered across the state. Each clinic has a computer system with tools that record all the necessary data that a doctor would otherwise jot down during a hospital visit. Stethoscopes, heart monitors, ultrasounds, and high-resolution cameras are all encased in these clinic computers.
Vets can have medical examinations taken at many local clinics. Those who suffer from PTSD can also attend group video therapy sessions at the clinics. By providing local access to VA services, “telemedicine” helps many ailing veterans take advantage of the healthcare that once seemed inaccessible.