Across 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.
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