Categories
Telehealth Telemedicine

Telehealth

Info from MedlinePlus.gov

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of communications technologies to provide health care from a distance. These technologies may include computers, cameras, videoconferencing, the Internet (ideally high-speed internet or broadband), and satellite and wireless communications.

Some examples of telehealth include

  • A “virtual visit” with a health care provider, through a phone call or video chat
  • Remote patient monitoring, which lets your provider check on you while you are at home. For example, you might wear a device that measures your heart rate and sends that information to your provider.
  • A surgeon using robotic technology to do surgery from a different location
  • Sensors that can alert caregivers if a person with dementia leaves the house
  • Sending your provider a message through your electronic health record (EHR)
  • Watching an online video that your provider sent you about how to use an inhaler
  • Getting an email, phone, or text reminder that it’s time for a cancer screening

What is the difference between telemedicine and telehealth?

Sometimes people use the term telemedicine to mean the same thing as telehealth. Telehealth is a broader term. It includes telemedicine. But it also includes things like training for health care providers, health care administrative meetings, and services provided by pharmacists and social workers.

What are the benefits of telehealth?

Some of the benefits of telehealth include

  • Getting care at home, especially for people who can’t easily get to their providers’ offices
  • Getting care from a specialist who is not close by
  • Getting care after office hours
  • More communication with your providers
  • Better communication and coordination between health care providers
  • More support for people who are managing their health conditions, especially chronic conditions such as diabetes
  • Lower cost, since virtual visits may be cheaper than in-person visits

What are the problems with telehealth?

Some of the problems with telehealth include:

  • If your virtual visit is with someone who is not your regular provider, he or she may not have all of your medical history
  • After a virtual visit, it may be up to you to coordinate your care with your regular provider
  • In some cases, the provider may not be able to make the right diagnosis without examining you in person. Or your provider may need you to come in for a lab test.
  • There may be problems with the technology, for example, if you lose the connection, there is a problem with the software, etc.
  • Some insurance companies may not cover telehealth visits


What types of care can I get using telehealth?

The types of care that you can get using telehealth may include

  • General health care, like wellness visits
  • Prescriptions for medicine
  • Dermatology (skin care)
  • Eye exams
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Mental health counseling
  • Urgent care conditions, such as sinusitis, urinary tract infections, common rashes, etc.

For telehealth visits, just like with an in-person visit, it is important to be prepared and have good communication with the provider.


See More

Telehealth. Medlineplus.gov. Published 2021. Accessed May 30, 2021. https://medlineplus.gov/telehealth.html

Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding House Bill North Carolina

$750M in NC broadband expansion Passed by House

The North Carolina House unanimously approved legislation on Wednesday that aims to spend $750 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to install high-speed internet in rural and remote areas lacking it.

Broadband Legislation

  • $350 million in discretionary American Rescue Plan funds earmarked for North Carolina to expand a relatively new state broadband installation matching funds program with internet providers and electric cooperatives.
  • $400 million in the funds from Congress on a new program that gives counties the ability to put out bids for broadband expansion in underserved areas. Federal aid going to counties also would pay for those projects.

The measure, which now goes to the Senate, meets goals of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper in his proposal last week to spend $1.2 billion of America Rescue Plan money on improving internet access.

“This is a huge step forward. The flexibility given the counties is a major step in helping fill in unserved parts of all parts of the state. It should help our WNC counties considerably.”

William Sederburg, Chair of the WNC Broadband Project
The G.R.E.A.T. Broadband Expansion Act

Here is the link to the language of the bill as reported by the committee. The WNC Broadband Project Team is not aware of any floor amendments as reported out of committee, not what we are aware of or not.

https://www.ncleg.gov/Sessions/2021/Bills/House/PDF/H947v2.pdf


Also See

NC - Closing the Digital Divide
NC – Closing the Digital Divide

American Rescue Plan – Recommendation Investing $1.2 billion –
Closing the Digital Divide

$750M in virus aid for NC broadband expansion OK’d by House. (2021, May 26). AP NEWS; Associated Press. https://apnews.com/article/nc-state-wire-business-technology-health-coronavirus-pandemic-e757ca933053b92918480a039e53d44d

Categories
Broadband in WNC Broadband Playbook Economic Development Education Infrastructure Maps NC BIO

Broadband Community Playbook

NC Broadband Infrastructure Office

A community leadership playbook is here from the North Carolina Information Technology Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO).

Playbook Outline

  • Planning Committees – recruit a dedicated group like the WNC Broadband Project and your Council of Governments (COG) to achieve your community’s broadband goals.
  • Assets & Needs – Identify broadband assets to meet our community needs. In Buncombe, Madison, Transylvania, and Henderson County, the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of Governments here here to help.
  • Building the Network – Form partnerships and roles to build you community’s broadband network. Who are your internet service providers (ISPs). What Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP) do you have available? Are cellular and satellite viable options?
  • Connecting with Partner Providers – Make long-term relationships with broadband provides and your community. Shoot to implement a fiber optic solution, if possible.
  • Policy & Broadband – Create strategie and incentives to make you community attractive to broadband providers.

Review of the Playbook by Marc

Marc narrates the NC BIO Community Broadband Planning Playbook

Contact any member of our WNC Broadband project team today.


Community Broadband Planning Playbook | Broadband Infrastructure Office. (2021). Ncbroadband.gov. https://www.ncbroadband.gov/technical-assistance/playbook

Categories
American Rescue Plan Digital Divide North Carolina

Closing the Digital Divide in NC

American Rescue Plan – Recommendation Investing $1.2 billion

Closing the Digital Divide

The recommendation invests $1.2 billion in broadband access and affordability to close the digital divide in North Carolina. While North Carolina’s economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the gap between residents enjoying economic growth and those struggling to secure jobs, find housing, and pursue educational resources is widening. The funds will provide access to affordable, high-speed internet in every corner of the state and will ensure high-speed internet is equitably adopted and residents are able to access education, healthcare, and business opportunities.

NC Governor Roy Cooper

NC Gov. Cooper: Governor Cooper Releases American Rescue Plan Investment Recommendations. (2021, May 19). Nc.gov. https://governor.nc.gov/news/governor-cooper-releases-american-rescue-plan-investment-recommendations

Broadband, education atop Gov. Cooper’s $5.7B virus aid proposals

Broadband, education atop Gov. Cooper’s $5.7B virus aid proposals – Asheville Citizen-Times. (2021). Newsmemory.com. https://ashevillecitizentimes-nc-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=286829201_1345d7d


‌Also See – Digital Divide WNC Broadband Blog Posts

Categories
Broadband in WNC Digitally Disconnect Work Remotely

the Great Smoky Mountains

7th of the top 10 National Parks with the Fastest Mobile Download Speeds

A Park to Work Remotely or Digitally Disconnect?

Why are the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky National Park some of the most visited national destinations in America? Climate, scenery, outdoor activities, family-friendly and other attributes are likely at the top of the list.

Did you know the Great Smoky Mountains National Park of North Carolina is listed as having one of the fastest mobile download speeds in? In fact is it listed as 7th.

Visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park

When you travel or vacation in Western North Carolina, are you here to work remotely or digitally disconnect? Likely there is a flavor of both.

Camping with Water, Electricity, Cellular Data and WiFi

A feature of some national campgrounds is public WiFi. With the availability of WiFi or cellular data, connecting to work is likely to happen. Premium camping sites likely have cellular data connectivity. How does available broadband affect your camping location decision?

Broadband for Emergency and Operations

Emergency personnel also depend on broadband to provide services with the volumes. If the law enforcement, medical, or fire personnel need the use of video, broadband speeds are needed. Broadband is considered high-speed internet of at least 25Mbs down and 5Mbs up. Good broadband also means low latency. Not having sufficient broadband can affect park operations negatively with associated services include fuel, food, and logistical topics.

Plan Your Summer Trip

During the spring many folks plan their summer trip. If you trip is to a national park, ask yourself and family; how important is it to be internet connected? Likely if you are sharing photos and videos during your trip, you will need available broadband.


Isla McKetta. (2021, May 19). Fastest Internet Speeds at US and Canadian National Parks. Speedtest Stories & Analysis: Data-Driven Articles on Internet Speeds; Speedtest Stories & Analysis: Data-driven articles on internet speeds. https://www.speedtest.net/insights/blog/mobile-performance-national-parks-us-canada-2021/

Yellowstone Proposes Fiber Optic Network To Improve Telecommunications. (2021). Nationalparkstraveler.org. https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2021/03/yellowstone-proposes-fiber-optic-network-improve-telecommunications

Categories
4G 5g 5G Basics Broadband in WNC Cable DSL EFF-Electronic Frontier Foundation Enresto Falcon Fiber Fiber Broadband Association

Fiber Optic Superior Speed

Fiber is a Superior Medium for 21st Century Broadband

How does fiber speed compare to other broadband mediums?

Thanks for the fiber advocacy of:

  • Ernesto Falcon, Senior Legislative Counsel at Electronic Frontier Foundation, Sacramento, California
  • Gary Bolton, President and CEO at Fiber Broadband Association

We have a graphic that compares the transmission speeds of each mediums from the past to the future:

  • 4G
  • DSL
  • Cable
  • 5G
  • Fiber Optics

Fiber is the superior medium for our future as it will also provide low latency.


The Case for Fiber to the Home, Today: Why Fiber is a Superior Medium for 21st Century Broadband. (2019, October 16). The Case for Fiber to the Home, Today: Why Fiber is a Superior Medium for 21st Century Broadband. Electronic Frontier Foundation. https://www.eff.org/wp/case-fiber-home-today-why-fiber-superior-medium-21st-century-broadband

Broadband 101 – https://wncbroadband.org/broadband101.php

Categories
Broadband in WNC Robust Act Spectrum

Robust Act

11th District Congressman Madison Cawthorn

11th District Congressman Madison Cawthorn will introduce the Robust Act on Monday, May 17, in Washington.

Cawthorn said the bill will ask the Federal Communications Commission to show which part of the broadband spectrum is not being used.

So, the problem is, it’s being ruled by a lot of bean counters and major corporations and corporate America, when it should be being utilized and leased out to small businesses and local areas that care about people more than profits

Madison Cawthorn

Hodge R. Rep. Cawthorn to introduce bipartisan Robust Act to expand mountain broadband access. WLOS. Published May 14, 2021. Accessed May 16, 2021. https://wlos.com/news/local/rep-cawthorn-to-introduce-robust-act-for-mountain-broadband

Categories
Broadband access Broadband in WNC Community Development Digital Divide Digital Inequality Fiber NTCA

#FIBERDelivers

WNC Needs To Build Big and Bold Broadband Infrastructure

Why does Western North Carolina need to build big and bold broadband infrastructure?

#FIBERDelivers

  • Fastest internet
  • Best investment
  • More connected education
  • Essential healthcare
  • 5G access
  • More jobs
  • Better gaming
  • Faster streaming
  • Robust teleworking

With a once-in-a-generation infrastructure opportunity ahead of us, now is the time to aim higher, do better and invest in technology built to last. For broadband, in many cases that means fiber. Fiber delivers not just what we need today but also holds promise for what will be needed in the future, as more Americans engage in teleworking, remote learning and telehealth, and as our country pursues 5G superiority.

Shirley Bloomfield, CEO, TCA

#WeAgree at the WNC Broadband Project.

Thanks to the @NTCAconnect – the Rural Broadband Association and their Chief Executive Officer @sbloomfield15 Shirley Bloomfield for advocating for #rural #broadband!

We can remove the #digitaldivide.

Categories
Broadband access Broadband in WNC Education Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)

A Broadband Benefit is Available

Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary FCC program to help households struggling to afford internet service during the pandemic. The FCC is mobilizing people and organizations to help raise awareness about the Emergency Broadband Benefit. The materials below are available for public use. You can download and customize the materials to meet your needs, including by adding your logo to co-brand.

Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting sort by GetEmergencyBroadband.org.

To learn more about the program or to become a partner visit www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.

If you have questions about any of the materials below please contact broadbandbenefit@fcc.gov.

Categories
Broadband access Broadband in WNC Digital Divide Education Homework Gap

Broadband – Learnings from our Schools

Federal, state monies are flowing to fix our digital divide. Where will these fund be applied? Distance learning with our schools has recognized the homework gap and the needed data to effectively support who and when should receive the priority for broadband.

Reardon, M. (2021, May 10). How the homework gap may actually be the key to solving our digital divide. CNET; CNET. https://www.cnet.com/home/internet/how-the-homework-gap-may-actually-be-the-key-to-solving-the-digital-divide/


‌Also See

the ‘Homework Gap’ Video Will Shock You