Bridging the digital divide and ensuring all Americans have access to broadband connectivity is about more than just the convenience of streaming entertainment or a requirement for business, government and education – connectivity is quickly becoming an essential way of providing high quality medical care.
According to the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), one out of every five Americans live in a rural area*. Isolation and lower population density can often make access to sustainable and adequate local health care in rural areas a challenge. Often times, patients may have to travel long distances to access adequate health care.
Telehealth services can connect rural and remote patients with general physicians and medical specialists located in urban centers via broadband internet connectivity, but many are in areas far beyond the reach of terrestrial mobile broadband coverage cannot access this connectivity.
Because satellite broadband has a unique ability to offer service in unserved and underserved regions, it can help bridge the telehealth digital divide between the connected and unconnected. It is especially suited to serve those populations in rural areas by providing connectivity for medical video conferencing, the transfer of medical records and medical images, digital messaging and emails as well as the digital processing of prescriptions.
* From the FCC Fact Sheet “Promoting Telehealth in Rural America”