FCC hopes broadband can improve ‘health and care’
The chance to tell the Federal Communications Commission how it should encourage the use of connected healthcare technology is drawing to a close. The comment period for advising the agency on broadband-enabled healthcare ends on June 8.
The FCC’s Connect2Health task force is leading the project, which has an overarching goal of bringing broadband and other advanced technologies to healthcare. The FCC is particularly focused on extending access to such underserved populations as people with disabilities, those who live in poverty and those in rural communities. For instance, the agency hopes to build on its Mapping Broadband Health in America platform, which shows the interplay between connectivity and health. In the future, that platform might be used to forge partnerships between broadband service providers and healthcare providers.
This and other endeavors will affect not just healthcare, according to the agency, but “health and care,” a distinction meant to highlight the variety of people and organizations involved, including providers, public health workers, business leaders, academics, researchers and others. Indeed, it will take a broad collection of players to change the role of broadband technologies in healthcare, which stand to improve the quality of care through population health and patient engagement and by ameliorating the physician shortage.