As part of a state-wide initiative, the rural county has installed videoconferencing equipment at all 10 of its schools to give its 5,782 students one-on-one access to physicians. Telemedicine sites for adults have also sprung in the area. Instead of taking a full day off from work or school, residents can now regularly see their specialist online.
The program places Georgia among a half-dozen U.S. states turning to telemedicine to address a shortage of doctors in rural areas, a gap the Obama administration has said is a serious health-care shortcoming. At the same time, it is allowing companies such as medical provider Sentara Healthcare and MDLive, a remote technology developer, to get a toehold in a new and growing market.
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