Some History

According to a recent article from National Public Radio, before the 1950s, most Native Americans lived in reservations or near them. Then, with support from the federal government, many started moving to large cities, looking for employment opportunities and better education. Today, more than half of Native Americans live in urban areas.

The federal government is obligated by law to provide medical care to American Indians and Alaska Natives, and it does so through the Indian Health Service, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. There are also tribal-run health centers set up on reservations. And 20 states have Urban Indian Health Programs, which receive IHS funding to provide medical services and support to American Indians who don’t live on reservations.

Native American communities are historically underserved by the American health care system.  According to another article :

The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency funded by the U.S. government, is the main health care provider for the estimated 1.9 million enrolled members of federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes. The IHS maintains a network of hospitals and health care centers throughout the United States; some facilities are located on tribal lands while others are in urban areas. Sixty percent of tribes manage their own health care facilities through contracts with the IHS, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services manages the rest. American Indians and Alaska Natives who are not enrolled members of the 566 federally recognized tribes or who live far away from IHS facilities are unable to obtain care. A 2004 study in the American Journal of Public Health found that less than half of low-income, uninsured American Indians/Native Alaskans had access to IHS care.

How Telemedicine Can Help

GoMd is working with Native American Communities to implement Telemedicine in three areas:

  • Direct Care
  • Continuous Care
  • Home Care