FCC Paving the Way for Advancement of Telehealth

The Federal Communications Commission recently solicited public comment on how it can better facilitate broadband-enabled health care solutions by adopting new policies or removing existing regulatory barriers. Initial comments are due on May 24, while reply comments are due June 8 of this year.

The FCC recognizes that it plays an important role in advancing innovation in health care through its Rural Health Care Program, spectrum licensing, and various broadband infrastructure programs. The FCC also noted that by some estimates, “broadband-enabled health information technology can help to improve the quality of health care and significantly lower health care costs by hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming decades.” 

Why Should You Care?

To that end, the FCC seeks input from the communications and health care industries, as well as from non-traditional stakeholders, regarding the following topics: 

  • Strengthening the nation’s telehealth infrastructure through the FCC’s Rural Health Care Program and other initiatives;
  • Highlighting effective telehealth projects, broadband-enabled health technologies, and mHealth applications across the country and abroad—to identify lessons learned, best practices, and regulatory challenges;
  • Promoting effective policy and regulatory solutions that encourage broadband adoption and promote better information technology in the health care sector;
  • Identifying regulatory barriers (and incentives) to the deployment of radio frequency-enabled health care tools;
  • Assessing the spectrum and wireless infrastructure needs for the future of health care in the United States;
  • Raising consumer awareness about the value proposition of broadband in the health care sector and its potential for addressing health care disparities; and
  • Fostering the development of broadband-enabled health technologies that are designed to be fully accessible to people with disabilities.

The FCC intends to use this information so that its Connect2Health Task Force can identify actions the FCC should take to promote increased adoption of broadband-enabled health care solutions. A complete copy of the FCC’s public notice is available here.

What's the Takeaway?

Whether your organization is a telehealth provider, health tech start-up, communications company, or other stakeholder, this is a valuable opportunity to provide the FCC with your ideas and comments regarding current and future broadband-enabled health care technologies in the United States and overseas.


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