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What’s the Trend? The U.S. Government Is Focused on Telemedicine

telemedicineAcross the board, the U.S. federal government is intensifying its focus on funding and otherwise expanding telemedicine and telehealth as the future of healthcare. Consider these developments:

  • During the President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address, he mentioned telemedicine as a key player in the broader mobile revolution: “It’s about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor.” And with the healthcare reform bill requiring all Americans to have medical coverage, telemedicine will grow, as it can facilitate this quickly.
  • The FCC National Broadband Plan has pinpointed telemedicine as a central cost-cutting measure: “Electronic Health Records and Remote Monitoring technology could alone create over $700 billion in net savings over 15-25 years.”
  • In January of 2011, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded grants to 44 healthcare organizations for telemedicine to develop or deliver health care to rural areas.
  • In March of 2011, the Federation of State Medical Boards held a symposium in Washington to address telemedicine’s future role in healthcare.

What other developments have you seen recently? Help us all keep informed and post your news here.

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