NACR, NIWHRC, and UK PRC have been collaborating over the last several years developing a strategic plan to develop and assess the effectiveness of a flexible intervention designed to address Native American QOL issues.
Using the internet, audio, and video
We are interesting in using web sites and audiovideo to reach members of the Native community who are otherwise underserved. In a manner of speaking, our plans will help lay the foundations for the "virtual doctor" envisioned by science fiction writers for more than a century. In certain ways, such as prognoses (artificial intelligence), and health education (interactive video), technology is now beginning to offer real benefits to patients. Despite great medical advances on our society, the Native American population has become increasingly ill, and has received an ever-decreasing slice of the government funds. Considering the unpredictable nature of Federal funding, we feel it imperative that researchers explore ways of caring for these and other under-served communities that reduce the marginal costs. While there is no substitute for the personal care of an attentive doctor, the multimedia and interactive capabilities offered by modern technology offer dramatic potential to improve the information given to patients.