Telemedicine is only as strong as the available broadband

Duluth was host to Minnesota Rural Health Conference last week. The Duluth News Tribune wrote about the event. The meeting was attended by many elected officials…

Monday’s public health forum included Hargan and Stephen Censky, a deputy secretary in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In a second panel, state Rep. Jennifer Schultz, DFL-Duluth, was seated next to state Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River, along with Lindsay McLaughlin, health care and aging specialist in U.S. Sen. Tina Smith’s office. Schultz mentioned at one point that things might improve in 2020, and she and McLaughlin were more prone than the rest to talk of funding needs. But it was a largely bipartisan affair, with Zerwas and Schultz often nodding in agreement with each other.

Interesting to see that broadband took such a prominent part of the article and presumably the conference…

On another of many topics, Censky said the telemedicine that makes it possible to connect medical specialists with patients in remote places is only as strong as the available broadband network.

“One of the things that we are working on very hard is to close that digital divide that exists between the 53 million Americans who are living in areas without access to broadband,” said Censky, who grew up on a farm near Jackson, Minn.

“Much like we saw in the 1930s, where rural electrification was simply transformative for all of rural America, we also think that broadband and having access to broadband can be transformative for … rural residents (today) as well.”

This entry was posted in Conferences, Healthcare, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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