Telehealth at a Glance and other Resources

Partnership for a Connected Illinois strives to recognize our goal of all Illinoisans having access to broadband and being able to use it at its highest capacity. 

In order to acheive that goal, the state of Illinois needs to embrace telehealth and telemedicine and PCI is excited to assist. 

Telehealth at a Glance

Stay Heart Healthy with Broadband Technologies and Apps

Broadband and heart health go together like peas and carrots. And just like how vegetables are important for a healthy diet, broadband can play a valuable role in heart health. Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States? Fortunately, though, heart disease is often preventable. Knowing which digital tools are available can help you take steps toward preventing heart disease today.

PearYour phone can help you eat a healthy diet: The food you eat goes a long way in preventing heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, a heart-healthy diet should be high in fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish, nuts, and legumes and low in saturated fat and sugar. There are many recipe apps for your mobile device that can help you plan and cook heart-healthy meals. If you don’t have time for a home-cooked meal, there are also apps that let you quickly look up nutritional information about prepared foods by scanning barcodes with your phone.

scaleCalorie counting apps can help you avoid packing on the pounds:Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease. The best way to maintain a healthy weight is to balance the amount of energy you take in (calories) with the amount of energy you release (exercise). Keeping track of calories can be tricky, but there are apps to make this easier. Calorie-counter apps help you log the food you’ve eaten and then automatically total and compare to your recommended daily calorie count.

swimWearable fitness trackers motivate you to exercise regularly: As we all know, physical activity has many heart-related benefits. These include lowering blood pressure, reducing bad cholesterol, and helping to maintain a healthy weight. Wearable, watch-like devices that monitor activity and heart rate are becoming increasingly popular for fitness. Many users report that these trackers motivate them to be active, displaying activity data on their mobile phones. Some people even share the information through social media and compare with their friends as another accountability tool for reaching their personal fitness goals.

heartmonitorWireless devices can monitor your blood pressure at home: High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease, and it can often go unnoticed. Small, wireless blood pressure monitors let you easily and quickly check your blood pressure at home. These devices measure blood pressure from the arm or wrist and send the information to a mobile phone or computer. From there, you can keep track of the results over time and even share with your doctor. This makes it easier to detect a new blood pressure problem or monitor whether a blood pressure medication is working.

Want to Know More? The Connect2HealthFCC Task Force is working to raise consumer awareness about the value of broadband in the health and care sectors. Learn about the FCC’s Connect2Health Task Force and its work on consumer health issues For information about other communications issues, visit the FCC’s Consumer website at

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"Stay Heart Healthy with Broadband Technologies and Apps" originally published on 

37 Steps for a Successful Telemedicine Grant Application

By David Lipten, GrantWorks

The Distance Learning and Telemedecine Grant Program (DLT) is administered under the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the USDA. It is designed “to assist rural communities in acquiring distance learning and telemedical technologies so that local teachers and medical service providers who serve rural residents can link to…others needing such expertise who are located at distances too far to access otherwise.” The DLT program has provided 100% grant funding in the past. To be eligible you must:

  • Be either a legally incorporated organization, partnership consortium or other legal entity, including a private corporation organized on a for-profit or non-profit basis that has the legal capacity to contract with the U.S. government, and
  • You must also operate a rural community facility directly or deliver distance learning or telemedicine services to another organization that operates a rural community facility, and
  • You must currently deliver, or propose to deliver, distance learning or telemedicine services for the term of the grant

Competitive proposals must also demonstrate an ability to sustain a project beyond the term of the grant.

Scoring is based on both objective and subjective criteria. The objective criteria include:

  • Rurality and the benefit to these rural areas
  • Economic need as measured by the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  • The extent to which there are matching funds available at a minimum of 15%

You must also make a case using subjective criteria regarding:

  • The exceptional need found among those in your area
  • The benefits to the community served
  • Who specifically will benefit from the improved services and how
  • The uniqueness of your project
  • How cost effective your efforts will be

The guidelines go on to state that, “for a project to receive a competitive score…the applicant must successfully demonstrate that it exceeds the norm for rural projects in a particular category.” They also state that applicants should “…document the specific needs of the community and how the proposed project will address those needs; also document evidence of support from the community.” The specific needs and benefits information required to do so includes:


  • Define the Community
  • What are the economic, geographic, educational or health care challenges facing the community(ies) served
  • Document challenges
  • Demonstrate how the project will help resolve these challenges and why the applicant cannot afford the project without the grant
  • Do not provide a long discussion of the overall economic health of the area since that is captured by NSLP data
  • Provide documentation of specific support for the project by professionals
  • Substantiate the underserved educational or health care nature of the project’s proposed service area
  • Justify, explain and document the specific educational or medical services that will provide direct benefits to rural residents
  • Demonstrate demand by rural residents and other beneficiaries for the services provided; show that the project is designed to meet local community needs
  • Indicate community support by showing willingness of end-users or community organizations to contribute to the cost of the project
  • Support the previous through letter of commitment
  • Address participation by residents and organizations in the planning and development of the project through evidence of community meetings, public forums and surveys


  • Describe how the project will assist the community in solving challenges
  • Document specific benefits of your project and quantify them in terms of expected outcomes
  • Tie benefits directly to stated needs
  • Measure targets or goals, such as estimates of the number of people that will benefit from the project
  • Document any ancillary benefits or multiple uses that would create added value (training, information resources, library assets, adult education, lifelong learning, job creation and reduction in population loss)

Also, if any of the sites or service territory in your project are part of another application or were part of a project funded, you are required to explain any relationship between or among this project and any others, especially how match and grant funding would complement previous efforts.

Applicants are also required to outline how their project is innovative. To do so, explain how new methods, ideas or products have positively changed something that was previously established (i.e., innovation). Also explain how your project will use distance learning or telemedicine in a unique way to improve how services are delivered. This may include the extent to which:

  • The project uses technology to introduce something new to the way services are delivered
  • The project incorporates new teaching methods (distance learning) or medical treatments (telemed) in their project area
  • The project reflects a unique adaptation of tech based on the special needs of circumstances of the proposed area to be served

Applicants are also called upon to demonstrate the efficiency with which the project will deliver its benefits. The emphasis here is on value and not simply the lowest cost. For example, one might demonstrate the extent to which an organization and/or the project:

  • Considered alternative technological options for delivery of proposed services by providing documentation reflecting the analytical and financial methods used in the choice of technology as being the most cost effective option, including cost information like quotations from multiple vendors
  • Leveraged available transmission facilities or any other measures taken to lower the project’s costs for using such facilities
  • Substantially leveraged distance learning or telemedicine resources from regional, statewide and national networks
  • Demonstrated whether buying or leasing equipment is more cost-effective
  • Demonstrated how the facilities funded could benefit the community in multiple ways
  • Explained the assumptions and sources for cost information through a spreadsheet showing initial and annual costs of all considered alternative technologies and implementations with an explanation for the assumptions and sources used

View the full article HERE. 

Partnership for a Connected Illinois 1337 Wabash Ave. Springfield, IL 62704 Phone: (217) 886-4228 Fax: (217) 718-4546