Broadband Benefits for Health Care

Health care. Broadband can help improve the quality and lower the cost of health care through health IT and improved data capture and use, which will enable clearer understanding of the most effective treatments and processes. To achieve these objectives, the plan has recommendations that will:
  • Help ensure health care providers have access to affordable broadband by transforming the FCC’s Rural Health Care Program.
  • Create incentives for adoption by expanding reimbursement for e-care.
  • Remove barriers to e-care by modernizing regulations like device approval, credentialing, privileging and licensing.
  • Drive innovative applications and advanced analytics by ensuring patients have control over their health data and ensuring interoperability of data.

- Executive Summary, National Broadband Plan - Last Accessed 1/18/11


  • 61% of American adults go online to access health information and 42% say they or someone they know has been helped by health information found online.
    • The Social Life of Health Information, PEW Internet and American Life Project, 6/11/2009.
  • A big driver for broadband connectivity in the healthcare industry is homebased care, or tele-homecare. Tele-homecare delivers numerous benefits including:

    • Improving patient outcomes by providing daily monitoring

    • Reducing home care costs by reducing the number of unnecessary in-home visits

    • Reducing number of unnecessary emergency room visits and rehospitalizations

    • Reducing hospital length of stay (LOS) by providing daily patient monitoring and education

    • Providing a sense of security, particularly for rural patients and caregivers

    • Providing staffing relief

    • Providing primary care physicians and patients direct access to patient information