Broadband is helping to offer health care access by extending the reach and training of health care professionals. Broadband is necessary for these transformations in four ways. First, it enables efficient exchange of patient and treatment information by allowing providers to access patients’ electronic health records (EHRs) from on-site or hosted locations. Second, it removes geography and time by enabling video consultation and remote patient monitoring. Third, broadband provides the foundation for the next generation of health innovation and connected-care solutions. Finally, it enables Virginians access to educational opportunities that can lead them into a career in health care.
Cable operators have been working with the Virginia health care industry to develop ways rural Virginians can have access to the leading health experts in urban areas by providing telemedicine facilities across the state. With the access of broadband provided by cable operators, rural Virginians with geographic challenges will no longer need to travel to Northern Virginia, Richmond or Charlottesville to receive expert care. Although this collaboration and technology is in its infancy, deployment is stifled by barriers that are routinely found in rural areas.