Rural Iowans are gaining greater access to the quality health care and spec¬≠ialists they need without having to travel long distances to big-city hospitals through telemedicine technology.

The largest telemedicine system in Iowa, the Midwest Rural Telemedicine Consortium (MRTC), operates out of hub sites Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines and Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa out of Mason City. It includes 30 Iowa hospitals and two hospitals in Nebraska. UnityPoint Health-Des Moines, which includes Methodist, Lutheran, Blank Children’s Hospital and the John Stoddard Cancer Center, also has a telemedicine system, the Rural Iowa Telehealth Initiatives, working with four Iowa hospitals. The...