As I’ve mentioned already this week, I was on the road last week with the Blandin team visiting MIRC communities. We got an update on broadband expansion in Cook County – we also got an update on broadband adoption from Sawtooth Mountain Clinic. The situation at the clinic mirrors the situation in the county in an interesting way. The clinic had hoped to bring a full-fledged patient portal but that didn’t work out so they did the next best thing, they created an innovative portal that encourages patients to use the tools at hand and whets the appetite for something bigger when it’s available. You can see the fun demo we saw of their healthy portal below:
To some degree Cook County has used a similar strategy. Cook County is one of the most challenged areas in terms of access to broadband. That could have been a hindrance for their MIRC project – where the goal was to get local residents and businesses to use broadband. What they have done is create solutions that encourage greater use of broadband for those who have access and create a market for others to sign up once broadband becomes available. One example is the fast growing Videos from the Edge – a great site of local videos from professionals and resident volunteers. Not everyone in the area can access the site – but it goes a long way to promoting the area to potential tourists and provides resources to locals with access.