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Health literacy is an integral aspect in patients’ ability to make appropriate health decisions and manage chronic pain. A patient’s level of health literacy can greatly affect their personal choices when making medical decisions and aid them in understanding complex medical procedures.

Creating health equity is important, especially when speaking of those living in rural settings and their ability to make judgments about their own healthcare. Virtual medical programs such as telehealth are more accessible than hospitals. Virtual health services can make patients feel heard and taken care of.

“Virtual care can either serve to stretch the capabilities of understaffed rural clinics – for example, by pre-screening or triaging patients before sending them to a crowded facility – or to route excess clinical capacity from large academic medical centers to rural clinics, such as by facilitating telehealth appointments between city-based providers and patients in rural areas.”  Via: Health Care It News

A start-up such as GistMD and its engagement modules increase the health literacy of patients and are customizable to the patient’s language needs aiding in patient-doctor relations when there is a language gap. Gist’s modules entail a patient simply filling out a survey about their own specific criteria like sex, age, and prior health conditions. The program then creates a video animation explaining the procedure they are about to undergo. The GistMD modules can significantly cut down on hospital time for patients living far from hospitals, saving them time and travel costs.