Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Corey E. Baker


Rural residents are often faced with many disparities when compared to their urban counterparts. Two key areas where these disparities are apparent are access to health and Internet services. Improved access to healthcare services has the potential to increase residents' quality of life and life expectancy. Additionally, improved access to Internet services can create significant social returns in increasing job and educational opportunities, and improving access to healthcare. Therefore, this dissertation focuses on the intersection between access to Internet and healthcare services in rural areas. More specifically, it attempts to analyze systems that can be used to improve Internet access in rural areas for the sake of remote patient monitoring.

The lingering rural connectivity problem is such that rural residents are often faced with the problem of expensive yet unreliable Internet connectivity. This coupled with the sparse population/business density, poses a detriment to the general development of such communities. As urbanization poaches more rural residents and further reduces the population density, rural residents are left behind from the developmental benefits of the Internet. In mitigating this disparity, some rural areas have adopted alternate Internet models to improve access to Internet services within their communities. Such alternate models include communal access points, delay tolerant networks, and resource sharing networks. Such Internet sharing models may be useful for facilitating remote patient monitoring. However, it will take a careful analysis of the social behaviors of rural residents and the inherent characteristics of the network sharing models to properly harness both for rural remote patient monitoring. Consequently, this work evaluates Internet sharing architectures that leverage minimal Internet infrastructure along with stochastic node mobility for the dispersal of non-emergent personal health information for remote patient monitoring within a rural community; investigates methods of routing opportunistically in quasi-deterministic delay tolerant networks and its effects on the delivery of time-sensitive data in challenged rural environments; and designs and evaluates a mobile API that facilitates the opportunistic transmission of patient-reported outcomes via the Internet sharing model without violating privacy constraints.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This work was supported by the Lexington Herald Leader Fellowship in 2020 and the Halcomb Fellowship in Medicine and Engineering in 2021 and 2022