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Providing High-speed Internet is like providing water and electricity in the classroom.
Lynn D. Smith, Superintendent
Brewton City Schools, AL
Two digital transformation developments within the healthcare industry are the convergence of telemedicine and telehealth. While the two are often grouped together under the same umbrella, they are actually two different ideas based on the same concept. Telehealth is different from telemedicine because it refers to a broader scope of remote healthcare services than telemedicine. While telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services, telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services, such as provider training, administrative meetings, and continuing medical education, in addition to clinical services.
The focus on creating digital transparency within healthcare has been in the works for years, with the United States creating a conversion bill in 2009 to help healthcare move to electronic medical and health records. The infographic below, done by the global field organization experts at Pristine, showcases the growth of telemedicine, with the section below showing the quality outcomes:
The full infographic represents the use of technology to provide services to patients in other locations, like video consultations, remote blood pressure monitoring, ECG, staff and doctor training and medical education, administration meetings, and more. As seen in the infographic, 91% of health outcomes were good or even better using telehealth, while 64% of Americans would be willing to visit with their doctor via video. Related technologies also include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.
Other points of telehealth growth include:
78.4% of healthcare offices were using EMR/EHR systems in 2013
89% of healthcare executives expect telemedicine to transform the US healthcare system within a decade
The global market for telemedicine is expected to grow from $11.6 billion (in 2011) to $27.3 billion (in 2016)
Why healthcare facilities need more bandwidth
Healthcare facilities and hospitals are increasingly looking to adopt these new technologies available to them. This requires IT administrators to both examine and take their current network into consideration. Electronic medical records, especially those used alongside ePrescriptions and online medical registries, rely heavily on a fast, reliable and secure broadband connection. Depending on the number of staff, hospitals could need up to 100 Mbps just to support their EMR/HER equipment. This does not take into account other equipment, such as X-ray machines, MRIs, and ultrasounds, all relying upon high quality digital video.
An additional factor that comes into play is mobile connectivity. From smartphones to laptops to tablets, the rise in mobility and mobile devices has increased the ability for doctors and patients to communicate, participate, and diagnose at the drop of a dime. Healthcare facilities today must ensure that their bandwidth is capable of handling all of these elements on a daily, if not hourly basis.
Solutions like Mediacom Business' Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions have the ability to handle any and everything thrown at it, from large files, record transference, videos, and more, all at increased speeds. The advancements in healthcare technology are fascinating but without a robust high-capacity broadband connection, they are useless. Gigabit+ internet delivers speeds between 1 billion and 10 billion bits of data, covering both downstream and upstream, and using light wave technology through fiber optic cabling. Other added benefits include reliable and secure dedicated private networks, which helps to ensure information is kept private and in the hands of those who need it, especially needed in the healthcare industry
An example of a healthcare facility using our bandwidth services is Southern Illinois Healthcare. SIH is a major healthcare provider in the city of Carbondale and surrounding rural areas. Healthcare providers in rural areas, like SIH, benefit the most from our flexible and robust bandwidth services. Our service supports their use of telemedicine and enables their medical staff to connect with patients, who might not be able to make the 4 to 5-hour drive to the closest major city outside of Carbondale, IL. SIH is one of the thousands of customers that Mediacom Business serves, ensuring they can utilize the latest technologies to match their large city counterparts via our powerful fiber network to better serve patients.
How Broadband Connectivity Impacts Healthcare
Fast Stats – Electronic Medical Records/Electronic Health Records
HITECH and Meaningful Use – How is the US Implementing Electronic Medical Records?
What is the Recommended Bandwidth for Different Types of Health Care Providers?
Southern Illinois Healthcare Advances into Telemedicine