On Thursday, August 2, the Federal Communications Commission unanimously approved a plan to establish a $100 million program to help establish telehealth efforts for low-income Americans, focusing particularly on rural communities and veterans.
The “Connected Care Pilot Program” will support deployment of remote patient monitoring—targeting projects over a three-year period to study costs and benefits. FCC Commission Brendan Carr cited studies showing chronic diseases can account for 85 percent of healthcare spending. Telehealth initiatives could reduce costs by remotely monitoring patients in rural areas.
“I am glad my colleagues on the commission voted to approve my proposal to begin establishing the Connected Care Pilot Program,” said Carr in a prepared statement. “The FCC has long supported broadband deployments to brick-and-mortar healthcare facilities, but advancements in technology mean we can now bring connected care everywhere. So, we should explore how the FCC can support this new trend in telehealth, which can lower costs and improve health outcomes. Low-income Americans, particularly in rural areas, face obstacles to healthcare, and I’m glad the FCC is doing its part to help bridge this doctor divide.”