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Input needed on improving wellness

IRON MOUNTAIN — Connect Michigan, in partnership with the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and AARP Michigan, is seeking input from area residents on how they use or would like to use technology in relation to their health care services.

Connect Michigan will conduct telephone surveys in five Michigan communities, including Dickinson County, over the next two months. This research ultimately will provide information on how rural residents access telehealth, barriers to that access, and ways to improve telehealth applications for patients and caregivers.

In addition, these surveys should provide important data that can provide guidance on opportunities for lowering health care costs and how providers can more effectively reach rural communities.

“I encourage everyone who is contacted to participate in this important survey. It is an opportunity for us to provide input on how we can increase our use of technology to make health care more accessible,” said Barbara Kramer, a Dickinson County commissioner.

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund, which is providing support for the research, works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care, with a special focus on children and seniors.

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans age 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. AARP has 38 million members nationwide, including 1.4 million in Michigan.

Connect Michigan is a local subsidiary of Connected Nation, a national nonprofit. Connected Nation’s mission is to find innovative solutions that expand the access, adoption, and use of high-speed internet and its related technologies to all people so they may enjoy the opportunities and resources access affords.

The Michigan telehealth study will survey residents who are at least 60 years old and could most directly benefit from the use of telehealth, and younger adults who are most likely to be caregivers. Telehealth applications can range from visiting or talking with a doctor via a computer or texting to implants that can send information directly to a doctor or insurance providers.

The final report on the research is expected to be completed by August of this year.

For more information about the Health Fund, go to mhealthfund.com. For more about Connect Michigan, go to connectednation.org/Michigan.

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