Impact of Technology on Society on Rural China

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As technologies evolve, humans have the opportunity to make any digital transition a step forward for all citizens. It has become common to have some sort of technology in the home, whether that is a television, cellphone, computer, or all of the above. Technology is connecting citizens and providing information faster than ever before. Consequently, experts are starting to have conversations about the implications of innovation and the impact it can have on rural communities. More than half of the world population lacks any form of telecommunication service (Wamuyu). In spite of the low-cost services afforded by new technologies, the planning of industrialized countries often hampers the introduction of telecommunication services into rural areas. More specifically, slow technological integration has had wide-sweeping impacts on local society, culture, and medical access in rural Asian communities.

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According to the World Bank, 651,364,560 of the 1.3 billion people living in the People’s Republic of China reside in “rural areas”. Conversely, over eighty percent of Chinese medical facilities are concentrated in cities, and the majority of qualified health care providers reside in urban areas. In addition, Chinese health insurance has traditionally been employer-based, which favors employed urban residents. Chinese residents living in rural areas tend to be self-employed and have no access to medical insurance. Although the Chinese government has extended medical insurance to rural residents in the past decade, the insurance coverage is limited compared to that of urban residents.

Travel time and distance are major restrictive forces in rural Chinese healthcare. To reach a health care provider many people from rural areas must take long bus trips to urban areas to find qualified providers, limiting rural residents’ access to quality medical care. One proposed solution is to use mobile health technologies as tools to increase access to care and care delivery for those living in rural China. Easier access to cellphones allows people living with health issues to feel more connected to their communities. It can give them hope and a way to communicate with others living with a disability, as well as potentially life-saving information about their conditions and needs.

Cellphones have the potential to unlock unprecedented new possibilities in communication, navigation, and independence. Cellular connection can give those living with disabilities the ability to feel more connected and better understand their conditions. Mobile health is the use of portable electronic devices with software applications to provide health services and manage patient information. Telemonitoring is one of the greatest functions of mobile health. According to Ni Zhao, mobile health “… entails the use of an electronic device to generate remote, real-time monitoring of medical conditions, facilitate disease management, and provide patient education.” Many chronic diseases require long-term, frequent monitoring and care. In China, portable health monitoring devices that have the ability to continuously and accurately report physical activity and other important health data (including temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, weight and glucose levels) are necessary tools for clinicians and researchers to overcome physical boundaries between patients and clinicians.

Technology has the potential to provide unbiased patient data that can be used to monitor recovery. Mobile health applications and tools can identify patients most in need of intervention and modify their treatment course. This technology can assist disabled patients or patients recovering from surgery who live far away from hospitals by allowing clinicians to monitor them from afar. This may improve access to quality care and prevent frequent and costly trips to an urban health care facility. In rural China, mobile health technology is really useful in connecting patients with disabilities to a health care provider and is giving a lot of those living with a disability hope.

Minorities, women, and those living with disabilities in rural communities tend to see the effects of technology last though they stand the most to gain. In the last century, women have made huge strides towards equality, especially in rural communities, in part as a result of technological innovation. Technical developments have a huge influence on women in developing society. Economists from the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Chicago reported direct and compelling evidence from Indian villages that TV empowers women. They carried out detailed interviews in rural India as commercial cable and satellite TV were replacing the mostly dull and uninspired government programming (Pearce, Fred). These findings demonstrated that as more women and families gained access to television, family sizes began to shrink and women became more likely to pursue higher education and marry later in life. This widespread income will trickle down into other areas of life.

Technology is a powerful tool that can support and transform rural society, making it easier for those living with disabilities to get medical care and influencing women’s positive choices. Technology enables people to learn and work together. With the worldwide reach of the Internet and the ubiquity of smart devices that can connect to the web, a new age of technological development is emerging. Through technological advancements, societies can bring traditionally marginalized groups a modicum of equality and an increase in opportunity. According to the World Bank, one billion people (15% of the world’s population) experience some form of disability. Technology in rural communities’ is giving a voice to those who may have never had a platform or the ability to connect with the world. It will be up to world leaders to make the most of the opportunities provided by technology. The effects of technology on society, culture, family, or any other institution causes a ripple effect. The effects of having a television, telephone and or other type of technology in a particular region or country that previously did not have this technology is giving voices to marginalized communities. 

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Impact Of Technology On Society On Rural China. (2022, Jan 29). Retrieved January 31, 2023 , from
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