Appalachia Project to Study Relationship Between Increased Broadband Access, Improved Cancer Care | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Appalachia Project to Study Relationship Between Increased Broadband Access, Improved Cancer Care

December 13, 2017
by David Raths
| Reprints
FCC, National Cancer Institute convene collaboration to help bridge broadband health connectivity gap

The Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Health Task Force (C2HFCC) has announced that the FCC and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have joined forces to focus on how increasing broadband access and adoption in rural areas can improve the lives of rural cancer patients. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans living in rural areas are still more likely to die of cancer than their counterparts in urban settings.  Initial analysis of broadband data and cancer data shows that these rural “cancer hotspots” also face major gaps in broadband access and adoption, often putting promising connected care solutions far out of reach. 

As an inaugural project under a memorandum of understanding, the agencies have convened a public-private collaboration to help bridge the broadband health connectivity gap in Appalachia. In Appalachia, the cancer picture is bleaker than in other rural parts of the country.  Research from University of Virginia School of Medicine has shown that between 1969 and 2011, cancer incidence declined in every region of the country except rural Appalachia, and mortality rates soared. 

The project — titled L.A.U.N.C.H. (Linking & Amplifying User-Centered Networks through Connected Health): A Demonstration of Broadband-Enabled Health for Rural Populations in Appalachia — will target areas that face the dual challenge of higher cancer mortality rates and lower levels of broadband access. The initial geographic focus is planned for rural Kentucky.  Project stakeholders include cancer experts, researchers, technologists and industry representatives from the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center (an NCI-designated cancer center), the University of California, San Diego’s Design Lab and Amgen. 

The multi-year, cross-sector L.A.U.N.C.H. project will focus on how broadband connectivity can be leveraged to improve symptom management for rural cancer patients, presenting a compelling case for greater deployment and adoption of broadband in rural areas. 

“Research suggests that when patients report symptoms electronically to their care providers they are almost twice as likely to report improvements to health-related quality of life than those in a disconnected control group,” said Bradford Hesse, Ph.D., Chief, Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, in a prepared statement. “Electronically connected patients were also less likely to be admitted to the emergency room and had greater survival rates than patients in the control group.  Collaborating with the FCC is a vital step for improving cancer outcomes for all Americans, regardless of where they live.”

Additional information about the FCC-NCI memorandum and the broadband health demonstration project will be available online at https://www.fcc.gov/health/cancer

 

 

2018 Nashville Health IT Summit

Renowned leaders in U.S. and North American healthcare gather throughout the year to present important information and share insights at the Healthcare Informatics Health IT Summits.

June 28 - 29, 2018 | Nashville

Topics

News

Intermountain Healthcare Launches Study to Unlock Genomic Data

Researchers from the Salt Lake City, Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare have announced a long-term prospective study that they think has the potential to help physicians and others unlock genomic data.

UNC Health Care Receives HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Designation

UNC Health Care, an integrated health care system based in Chapel Hill, N.C., has achieved Stage 7 designation on the HIMSS Analytics’ Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM).

FDA Announces Plan to Advance Medical Device Safety and Cybersecurity

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced new proposals aimed at advancing medical device cybersecurity, including placing new responsibilities on manufacturers, both before and after their devices hit the market.

Black Book: 9 in 10 Small Practices Not Optimizing Advanced EHR Functionalities

Eighty-eight percent of small practices of six or less practitioners still aren't optimizing advanced EHR (electronic health record) tools such as patient engagement, secure messaging, decision support and electronic data sharing, according to the latest Black Book survey

Penn., N.J. Health Systems Form Clinical Research Consortium

Six health systems in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have announced the founding of a nonprofit clinical research consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research (PIER Consortium) to streamline clinical trials.

Report: Global Digital Health VC Funding Hits Record $2.5B in Q1 2018

Venture capital funding into digital health companies in the first quarter of 2018 surged to a record $2.5 billion raised in 187 deals from $1.7 billion in 192 deals in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to a report from Mercom Capital Group