The annual Missouri Telehealth Summit is scheduled Thursday at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City.
The event is held so health care providers, policy makers and others may gather to share ideas to expand telehealth services.
This year's summit will be preceded by a one-day workshop today to get new participants up to speed on the financial, legal and regulatory issues the industry faces, as well as new research, practices and technology, said Rachel Mutrux, senior program director for the Missouri Telehealth Network.
"We're highlighting all the good work telehealth systems are doing," Mutrux said. "Every year, we invite folks from the Capitol to come in and talk about different teleheath topics they are thinking about as they go through the legislative sessions."
Thursday's summit will feature keynote speaker Sarah Hill, a former Mid-Missouri television reporter and the CEO of StoryUP, which creates virtual reality escapes for areas of acute stress, according to the company's website. The technology is used to help people "shift their emotions into quieter states."
An afternoon question-and-answer panel will feature current and former lawmakers, including former Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives Todd Richardson, who is now director of MoHealthNet. Former state Sen. Kurt Schaefer is also on the panel.
Hospital closings have left some rural communities far from some health specialists, Mutrux said.
"We can help bridge the gaps that we have," she added.