Keeping our rural residents healthy

Many Americans living in urban or fast-growing suburban areas don’t even think about access to health care. It is just around the corner, figuratively and sometimes literally speaking. West Virginia is different.

In most of our rural state, help from a doctor or nurse can mean driving for an hour or more, often in an emergency situation. West Virginia University researchers are working on a way to help through technology.

WVU has announced a “telehealth” pilot program through which people who have left long-term care facilities will be outfitted with devices to monitor certain physical indicators. Nurses will be notified if there is reason for concern. That can avoid problems deteriorating into emergencies.

How well the project works will be evaluated. Then, presumably, it can be refined.

Good for WVU officials and researchers for continuing to tailor health care initiatives to West Virginians’ needs.