Telehealth and ubiquitous computing for bandwidth-constrained rural and remote areas
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Steele, R. & Lo, A. Pers Ubiquit Comput (2013) 17: 533. doi:10.1007/s00779-012-0506-5
- 833 Downloads
The information and communication technology infrastructure available in rural and remote areas may often not have the bandwidth to support all types of telehealth applications; therefore, for example, some traditionally envisaged videoconferencing-based telehealth applications may not be able to be used or not used in their anticipated form at this time. While the level of broadband services available may impose limitations on these types of telehealth applications, in this review article, we identify applications that allow the maximizing of telehealth benefits in the presence of low-bandwidth connectivity and have potential benefits well-matched to rural and remote area healthcare challenges. In particular, we include consideration of how ubiquitous computing might potentially bring non-traditional approaches to telehealth that can also come into usage more immediately in bandwidth-constrained rural and regional areas. In this article, we review the benefits of ubiquitous computing for rural and remote telehealth including social media-based preventative, peer support and public health communication, mobile phone platforms for the detection and notification of emergencies, wearable and ambient biosensors, the utilization of personal health records including in conjunction with mobile and sensor platforms, chronic condition care and management information systems, and mobile device–enabled video consultation.