Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf knows the benefits telemedicine can bring to thousands of Pennsylvanians living in rural communities. He recently announced he would provide $35 million to providers to expand high-speed internet access to communities in the state with little or no service at all.
Telemedicine is the the exchange of medical information from one site to another via electronic communications, and it also:
- Has been backed by decades of research
- Provides quick access for monitoring conditions
- Offers efficient access to care
And it’s safe!
However, health care professionals need access to the internet to be able to effectively communicate with their patients.
In a recent whyy.org article, Dr. Robert Gillio, the medical director for population health and clinical innovations at J.C. Blair Hospital in Huntingdon County, explains how internet access would allow him to reach his telemedicine patients.
Dr. Gillio lives two miles from the hospital, but cannot access internet at home. He’s one of 800,000 Pennsylvanians living in rural areas around the state without access to high-speed broadband internet.
Increasing internet access opens the door for more hospitals and health systems to provide telemedicine services.
Pennsylvania is working to advance telemedicine services with the proposed Senate Bill 780 so doctors, such as Dr. Gillio, will have the ability provide their patients with quick access to care.