In 2014, industry analyst and consultant Craig Settles experienced a stroke which lead him down a period of recovery which he discussed last year when we interviewed him about telehealth for our podcast. The experience inspired Craig to consider how broadband could help others avoid the same situation with preventative telehealth applications. Now, Craig is attacking hypertension in several of Cleveland, Ohio's local barbershops and hair salons.
You can also help save lives with broadband when you contribute to the GoFundMe campaign to finance the pilot program.
Hypertension is A Silent Killer
As the American Heart Association reports, more than 40 percent of African Americans have high blood pressure. Often it develops earlier in life for this group, increasing the chance of heart disease and stroke. Urban Kutz, whose clientele includes many African Americans, has provided periodic blood pressure screening for some time, but Craig and owner Waverly Willis want to take it to the next level.
"I find at least 90% of my customers have high blood pressure, and many don’t know about the dangers of hypertension," says Willis.
These are the new community anchor institutions to drive both telehealth and broadband adoption. Willis explains, "Barbers and hairdressers are part-time marriage counselors, psychiatrists, spiritual advisers, and expert listeners. So many customers listen to our medical advice.”
Craig plans on launching pilot programs in barbershops and hair salons in five communities. He'll work with participants on:
[H]ow to use telehealth and community owned broadband in a pilot project to attack hypertension (high blood pressure), the leading cause of strokes. These shops will connect USB-blood pressure monitors to telehealth platforms via community networks to screen, educate, and motivate their customers.
The pilot program will last six weeks and will include:
- Recruiting and training initial five barber shops and salons
- Providing free telehealth software for customers and doctors
- PR assistance to locally publicize the pilots
- Summary report on the pilots' results
- Conducting a PR campaign to launch national recruiting drive
- Writing and producing a How-To guide to support national effort
After the pilot concludes, Craig envisions the barbershops and salons as examples that will stimulate broadband expansion in the neighborhoods to allow locals the opportunity to take telehealth even farther.
You can contribute to the campaign to help prevent more heart attacks and stroke in Cleveland and launch this community based proactive telehealth initiative when you contribute to Craig's GoFundMe campaign, "Help Me Hunt For the Silent Killer - Hypertension!"
Read more about the campaign and donate to the project here.