Technology may help eliminate health inequities for people in rural communities

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An interdisciplinary team of UBC Okanagan researchers has teamed with rural residents to identify how to better connect them to health care.

As the new year arrives, many people resolve to take better care of their health.

But, as UBCO researchers have determined, the road to improved health isn’t always smooth for people who live in small and rural communities.

“Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, poor mental health and obesity are higher in rural and remote areas than in urban communities in Canada,” explains Dr. Kathy Rush, Professor in UBCO’s School of Nursing. “Such health inequities are exacerbated by geography.”

Hazardous mountain passes, snowstorms, ferry schedules, travel time and fuel costs all are challenges people in rural places face when trying to meet their health-care needs.

Knowing these challenges so well, Dr. Rush and other UBC Okanagan faculty across multiple disciplines teamed up to create the Rural Health Equity Cluster. Their goal is to improve the lives of rural residents through conducting community-based rural health research.

The cluster’s latest research examines how technology can better connect rural residents to health-care services.

Read the full story here: UBC Okanagan News