Health and Media

Communications technology-enabled solutions that can play an important role in the transformation of healthcare. Media coverage of health issues. And the impact of various media on health.

White House Requests Input on Developing Digital, Community-Oriented Health Care Services

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) requests input from community health stakeholders, technology developers, and other interested parties about how digital health technologies are used, or could be used in the future, to transform community health, individual wellness, and health equity.

Medicare Beneficiaries’ Use of Telehealth in 2020: Trends by Beneficiary Characteristics and Location

This research report examines changes in Medicare fee-for-service Part B visits and use of telehealth in 2020 during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) by beneficiary characteristics, provider specialty, and location. The analysis found that Medicare in-person visits dropped while telehealth visits increased significantly at the start of the pandemic. Subsequently, telehealth visits declined before plateauing by the end of 2020.  Visits to behavioral health specialists showed the largest increase in telehealth. Most telehealth visits were from the beneficiary's home.

House Commerce Committee Passes Telecommunications Bills

The House Commerce Committee passed 12 bipartisan bills on November 17, 2021. The Committee passed the following telecommunications bills:

Telemedicine Startups Face Uncertain Regulatory Terrain

Telemedicine startups are confronting a hodgepodge of state regulations, complicating their efforts to expand their services nationwide. Companies that provide care over the web or through mobile devices scaled up rapidly during the pandemic, as overcrowding at hospitals led to more patients meeting doctors virtually. Aiding startups’ growth were temporary waivers of restrictions on telemedicine that many states enacted, including a requirement that doctors be licensed in their state to provide virtual care.

Broadband Key to Expanding Telehealth's Pandemic Gains, Say Experts

Telehealth can't succeed without expanding access to affordable broadband internet, witnesses told the Senate Commerce Committee on Oct 7. But extending the regulatory flexibilities around this access granted under the public health emergency, which are slated to expire when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, is also critical, they said, stressing that the benefits of telemedicine can't be understated.

The Facebook Files and the Future of Social Media

We might be tempted to remember this as Mark and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. A series of damaging articles in the Wall Street Journal, a whistleblower testifying before Congress, and a massive outage of the platform. But Facebook's problems date back much farther than this week. The ramifications could last long into the future—and impact much more than the social media giant.

Waiting for Godot

As you might imagine, we thought there would be exciting news to share today about broadband. Not so much. As we wait for a vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (could it come today?

How Americans Have Used — and Struggled With — the Internet During the Pandemic

Pew Research Center released a sweeping report looking at how Americans have used the internet in the pandemic, how reliant they were on digital tools, and some of the struggles they have had as they tried to conduct many of the work-related, educational, social and community activities of their lives online. The headlines from the survey included:

Sen Klobuchar introduces bill to strip social media of health misinformation protections

Sen Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced a bill that would strip online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter of liability protections if their technology spreads misinformation about coronavirus vaccines or other public-health emergencies. Sen Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) joins Klobuchar as a co-sponsor.

White House Dispute Exposes Facebook Blind Spot on Misinformation

At the start of the pandemic, a group of data scientists at Facebook held a meeting with executives to ask for resources to help measure the prevalence of misinformation about Covid-19 on the social network. The data scientists said figuring out how many Facebook users saw false or misleading information would be complex, perhaps taking a year a more, according to two people who participated in the meeting.