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Telehealth for California

David Silver
University of Colorado - Boulder
Date Published: 
Mon, 2009-10-05

This proposal has been expanded from its original 10 Ideas brief and includes data specific to the state of California.  To view the original brief, click here.

The Idea

Develop the bandwidth left unused after the switch to digital television to provide fast internet access for telehealth programs in rural areas.

Key Facts
  • Broadband delivery reaches only 3% of the rural population, compared to 50% in urban and suburban areas - but virtually all Americans have access to on-the-air television.
  • Rural wireless networks transmitting in the TV bandwidth can cover four (4) times the areas of a network transmitting in current, unlicensed bandwidth, with a higher quality of service.
  • A 2009 VA study found a 25% reduction in the average number of days hospitalized and a 19% reduction in hospitalizations for patients using home telehealth.