Electronic Health Records
The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the skyrocketing adoption of information technologies, especially in the health care system. The digital transformation of the health care industry is not merely restricted to increased use of telemedicine and telehealth, but also the creation of new care-delivery systems unexpectedly driven by agents external to the health care system, including new medical technology startups and retail companies.
All over the country people in the over 65-year-old age group are having issues registering to receive the vaccine. As states and municipalities launch rollouts through shiny portals on their websites, it appears that the seemingly mundane issue of basic internet use and access threatens to bring vaccine distribution to a halt in many communities. This goes beyond technical bugs, or even the ‘usability’ of the websites. It’s about access — to the hardware, to the software, to the knowledge of how to interact with technology, to a robust internet connection and to Wi-Fi.
Google has struck partnerships with some of the country’s largest hospital systems and most-renowned health-care providers, many of them vast in scope and few of their details previously reported. In just a few years, the company has achieved the ability to view or analyze tens of millions of patient health records in at least three-quarters of US states. In certain instances, the deals allow Google to access personally identifiable health information without the knowledge of patients or doctors.
The Connected Health Initiative is closing out the year with an exciting event focused on the future of health technology.
Broadband access today is as varied as communities across Minnesota. Some enjoy a gig, others are working hard for any service, and the rest are somewhere in between. This conference is for all communities, regardless of where they are on the spectrum – because we’ve learned that having broadband isn’t enough. It takes inspiration, encouragement and guidance to reap the full benefits. We’ll be talking about how to make the most of what you’ve got and/or get more.
This year’s conference will shine a light on local broadband heroes as well as look at several aspects of broadband:
Facebook was in discussions with major medical institutions about sharing user and patient data for a research project.
The gap between haves and have-nots in American health care isn't just driven by insurance and access to doctors. It’s exacerbated by a deep structural problem: Many poor people suffer from long-term ailments that the system has little financial incentive to treat. But now a New York City start-up thinks it can use Google-level tech savvy to help make progress on that challenge—and save the government money.
[Commentary] Reverting back to a voluntary approach to network neutrality potentially threatens the well-being of many people, particularly those at risk for health disparities due to low income or rural residency. Not only does this voluntary approach shift winners and losers to favor large telecommunication giants, we are specifically concerned with several areas of health care being negatively impacted, including innovative solutions for telemedicine, health enhancement, and cost effective scalable sharing of health care data.
In summary, the new FCC may be proceeding in directions that may make it harder to use telehealth, cloud-based EHRs, and remote sensing technologies that improve access to care and potentially lower costs for all. A thoughtless move toward free enterprise on the Internet could have a negative impact on the health of the most medically underserved Americans. We urge the FCC to investigate the unintended consequences of policy changes to insure that they do not amplify issues of health disparities in lower income and rural populations.