Testifying at a Senate hearing on Aug. 16 on Federal Communications Commission policies and oversight, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai highlighted the agency's recent actions to expand access to broadband and telehealth. These include increasing the annual funding cap for the Rural Health Care Program and proposing a $100 million pilot program to expand telehealth. "These steps will enable more rural patients, specifically low-income Americans, to access telemedicine through high-speed broadband," Pai told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
Also testifying at the hearing, Commissioner Brendan Carr said, "With remote patient monitoring and mobile health applications that can be accessed on a smartphone or tablet, we now have the technology to deliver high-quality care directly to patients, regardless of where they are located," noting that "the relatively limited trials to date are showing significant cost savings."
FCC is accepting input on the design of the proposed pilot program through Sept. 10.