Telemedicine and community broadband, disease and health

Telemedicine and community broadband are symbiotic technologies.

Telemedicine is not just a video chat, but also uses the intranet and the Internet to observe, diagnose, initiate or otherwise conduct medical interventions, manage, monitor, record and/or report people when they are sick, injured or want to stay. The continuous care received is good. If we make full use of telemedicine and telemedicine tools, we can save a lot of money and time for medical care. Especially for public health, telemedicine can be fully utilized.

At the same time, community broadband refers to networks owned by towns, cities and counties, local telephone and power cooperatives, wireless Internet service providers (or WISPs), and other local ISPs, as well as public-private partnerships usually initiated by cities or counties. .

But large companies often have High prices, sub-optimal services and weak infrastructure, So communities across the country are building their own communities. These networks benefit the people they serve.

The combination of telemedicine and community broadband has huge economic and quality of life benefits. These technologies have also opened the way for digital equity and health equity among underserved communities in towns, cities, and counties.

And don’t forget that it is difficult to conduct telemedicine without broadband.

Strategically

Let us divide telemedicine into three categories, and take the public library that decides to use telemedicine as an example Provide telemedicine in its various branches.

Real-time telemedicine is an activity that takes place “here and now,” usually involving medical or healthcare professionals. Perhaps the larger branch of the library will designate a reading room or purchase a telemedicine kiosk so that customers can schedule a time or conduct private, secure telemedicine meetings with their doctors in “real time” at any time.

Store-and-forward telemedicine is collecting medical data, digital images, etc., and electronically sending them to another site for later evaluation. Telemedicine companies can arrange time to do laboratory work at your home, they collect and bring to the laboratory on Tuesday. On Thursday, you go to the library telemedicine kiosk to make an appointment for a doctor, because the doctor wants to check the large files in the laboratory with you, and your home Internet connection is too slow.

“Passive” telemedicine refers to the storage and access of digital knowledge bases, health and healthcare Web content, and interactive software applications to help us understand, prevent, treat, or recover from threats to our physical and mental health. After your telemedicine appointment, you ask the librarian to help organize medical video clips related to your diagnosis.

Libraries and their healthcare partners need to ensure that sufficient bandwidth is provided for multiple audio and video streams. This requires enterprise-level Internet access, not consumer-level bandwidth. Whether it is wireless or fiber optic, bandwidth needs to be synchronized, which means that download and upload speeds are the same, and there is enough capacity to support multiple video streams.

Tactical Action Framework

Here are six tactical ways to use telemedicine to take advantage or maximize community public health and the consequent broadband use.

1. Redesign visits for various healthcare practices including observation, screening, data collection, data exchange, and medical consultation.

The position that public health and other healthcare professionals should take is that as long as there is extremely fast broadband and at least 10′ x 10′ of available space, it is a potential place to develop patient/doctor relationships. For example, take a barber shop or hair salon, a laptop, a good broadband, a healthcare partner, and money, and there is a potential telemedicine site.

2. Combine telemedicine chronic disease care and home care, which can reduce the interference of continuous appointments and treatments at home or possibly in the office

In July, the The White House recruited 1,000 barbershops and hair salons Become a COVID vaccination center. Consider designating some of them as telemedicine zero grounds, funding 1) the expansion of fixed wireless broadband on the top of several nearby buildings, and 2) the distribution of wireless routers to households in nearby areas. Let the community WISP sell and support permanent broadband solutions, and hire stores and salons to introduce telemedicine to customers. Perhaps the health department can supervise chronic disease care.

3. Strengthen emergency response to save more lives

An independent high-power Internet station is established along the rural route leading to the hospital, and emergency vehicles can be connected to prevent the patient’s condition from getting worse, or designate schools, libraries and other buildings as the vehicle’s telemedicine transfer station. Please use these sites when people may not be able to get any medical help for days or weeks in a natural disaster.

4. Improve the efficiency of mental health services

Approximately 20,000 out of every 100,000 people have some kind of mental illness, but according to US data, there are only 268 mental health providers per 100,000 people United Health Foundation. Telemedicine can improve provider efficiency and reduce downtime. Dr. Carly McCord is the Director of Clinical Services at the Texas A&M Telemedicine Counseling Clinic. “We are talking about intensive treatment, such as treatment of PTSD, which you cannot achieve with a bad internet connection. When your patient reveals trauma and your connection fails, or you miss a word and have to say,” Sorry, can you say it again? “,this is a big problem

5. Improve elderly care services and promote local aging

There are several aspects of telemedicine that specifically target the elderly, but the main goal is to ensure that the elderly continue to receive medical care and live safely at home for longer periods of time. A key broadband element of this telemedicine equation is smart home technology that includes wireless control sensors. Some sensors can now determine whether a person is sitting on a bed or actually fell on the floor, whether they are eating regularly and whether they are taking medication on time.

6. Reimagine what hospital care can be. This is one of the few good things learned from the pandemic

Have different views on hospitals. “Modifying dormitory facilities to handle remote monitoring of patients who have recovered from surgery is one of the easiest and lowest-cost facilities to set up,” said Peter Caplan, a management consultant at eHealth Systems & Solutions in New York.

Lori Lightfoot Reuse of 2,000 rooms in five hotels Acquire asymptomatic patients who need to be isolated due to COVID-19 to reduce the burden on hospitals and provide financial support for hotels whose occupancy rate has been hit hard.

Work after dreams come

These telemedicine strategies and tactics can provide some structured thinking on how to deploy telemedicine and broadband at the same time. But as they said, the devil is in the details. A lot of errands and community needs analysis are required, as well as many community stakeholder plans to make these visions a reality. Is your community ready for you to get the job done?

Earlier this month, I was a guest expert Ask me anything! There I answered questions about more powerful broadband and telemedicine recommendations from federal funding.Read the Q&A archive here.

Craig Settles avoided stroke through telemedicine and brought community broadband teams and healthcare stakeholders together through the Telemedicine Broadband Integration Program to move forward.Follow him on twitter @cjsettles101.





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