Rural communities face challenges that city dwellers never have to consider. These challenges are mostly due to the isolation and lower population numbers of rural communities. In terms of health, rural communities often struggle to recruit enough medical staff, and don’t usually have the same array of specialist care available locally, as cities do. Add to this the time taken for people to travel to an appointment, and good health care becomes a significant economic burden.
This study explores the potential role of online health services in rural communities, which may help overcome some of these difficulties. By employing local research assistants to run focus groups in their communities we aim to discover what rural people themselves have to say about the kind of solutions they think might fit. After considering all the information we gather from the groups, we plan to develop an online product which may go some way towards improving health and wellness experiences in rural communities.