CIO - The Federal Communications Commission is planning to launch a variety of initiatives to spur the development and adoption of broadband-enabled healthcare devices and applications, with the overriding goal of establishing mobile health technology as an industry best practice by 2017.
Top Challenges Facing Healthcare CIOs
Speaking at an event marking the release of a new report outlining recommendations for advancing mobile healthcare applications, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski touted the potential for intelligent, broadband-enabled devices to expand the range of services available to patients and ultimately improve the quality of care.
"You can look at virtually every vertical in the United States and the fact is that wired and wireless broadband is transforming that vertical," Genachowski said, citing innovative applications of broadband technology in fields such as education, energy and public safety. "And then of course there's healthcare. And we've seen over the last several years a steady stream of new examples of the ways that broadband technology, particularly wireless technology, can transform medicine."
Drawing on the recommendations of the mHealth report (available in PDF format here), Genachowski said he intends to circulate an order at the FCC to ease the rules for the experimental licenses the agency grants to companies to set up test beds for mobile health technologies before the year-end, a move aimed at expediting the development and commercialization of new devices and applications.
Mobile Health Apps and Gadgets for Better (and Longer) Living
Additionally, Genachowski outlined another order he intends to bring forward to make it easier for hospitals and other healthcare facilities to apply for FCC funding to boost their broadband capacity and transition to electronic medical records through a comprehensive overhaul of the agency's Rural healthcare Program.
The new mHealth report traces back to a summit that the FCC convened in June, bringing together experts from industry, academia and the government to sift through the challenges and opportunities of the nascent mobile health sector. Out of that effort emerged the mHealth Task Force, which drafted the report outlining recommendations to the FCC that was released on Monday at the headquarters of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
Genachowski explained that since his confirmation to chair the FCC in 2009, he has positioned broadband as the central issue on the agency's agenda.
The commission has initiated a number of policies in the area of healthcare, including deepening its collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration and allocating spectrum for medical body area networks (MBANs), systems of sensors worn on the body that relay information about the patient to a medical facility.
"Basically, they untether patient at hospitals from the cords that connect them to various monitoring devices," Genachowski said.
Apple has assembled an all-star team featuring some of the world's most proficient and well-connected biosensor engineers. Is this extensive investment entirely dedicated to an iPhone app called Healthbook and an accessory called an iWatch?
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Patient Portals: A Platform for Connecting Communities of Care
- Connecting patient health data across the care continuum is essential to achieve improved care, increased access to personal health records and lowered costs.
- 3 Ways Clinicians Can Leverage a Patient Portal to Craft a Healthcare Community
- With a bevy of vendors offering patient portal solutions, it can be challenging for a hospital to know where to start. Fortunately, YourCareCommunity...
- Healthcare Firm Ramps Up for Claims Processing Spikes
- Huge increases in claims processing loads and stringent SLAs for Medicaid patients prompted Molina Healthcare to enhance their IT infrastructure with VCE.
- Why Projects Fail
- CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings
- This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find... All Healthcare IT White Papers
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the...
- Endpoint Data Management: Protecting the Perimeter of the Internet of Things Not surprisingly, "Internet of Things" (IoT) and Big Data present new challenges AND opportunities for enterprise IT. Teams need to harness, secure and...
- How to Protect Enterprise Data Yet Enable Secure Access for End Users Learn how BYOD, Big Data and the use of rogue applications and devices is putting corporate data at risk, best practices from IT...
- All Healthcare IT Webcasts