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Rural and Extreme Rural Settings: Reducing Distances and Managing Extreme Scenarios

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Abstract

A number of children live today both in high- and low-income settings, in rural areas that still do not guarantee a prompt, affordable, and appropriate access to a health system. It means that medical conditions ranging from very mild ones up to major emergencies cannot be dealt with locally and require the transportation of the child to a far hospital, losing time and wasting resources. The application of telemedicine systems able to reduce or annihilate the distances among the user and the provider of the health service is affordable and sustainable over time. The same models applicable for rural and extreme rural settings can be applied for an emergency scenario, humanitarian crisis, and natural catastrophes – where children often are the most exposed – helping to optimize the resource and to control the intervention, also providing real-time support from experts that do not need to reach the place of the event anymore. This is supposed to reduce the wastes and to improve the logistic of the action. Future scenarios that would involve the delivery of health also for children in very inaccessible settings become paradigms of a model already implementable today, aimed to give children and families better care, in spite of the geographical locations they live in.

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