Inaugural Broadband Telemedicine Summit Convenes Top Healthcare Technology Authorities

Broadband Illinois convened the inaugural Broadband Telemedicine Summit on Monday, May 20, bringing together healthcare leaders, government officials and broadband enthusiasts from three states to discuss how high-speed internet is revolutionizing the medical industry.

The event attracted about 200 people and concluded with an action planning session led by the Telehealth Resource Centers serving Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas. This session identified potential telehealth solutions for targeted needs and developed specific action steps for each segment, including inpatient, outpatient, mental health and home telehealth.

Telemedicine equipment and software also was demonstrated, as Matt Wenzel, CEO of Hedrick Medical Center (left, standing), and Tim Hulen, sales director of InTouch Health (center), showed how doctors can examine patients and interact with other medical staff in real-time through high-speed internet technology.

The event not only impacted the telehealth community by connecting top professionals with stakeholders and broadband experts, but attendees left the event with set goals and action plans to further the quality and availability of telemedicine in their perspective fields. 

“Access to high-capacity broadband is quickly reshaping the medical industry,” said Drew Clark, executive director of Broadband Illinois. “New, innovative applications are allowing doctors and nurses to serve their patients like never before. In bringing together leaders to discuss emerging technologies, needs, solutions and changes, the Broadband Telemedicine Summit helped enhance and stimulate Broadband Illinois’ effort to bring Better Broadband, Better Lives to all citizens of the state.”

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon attended the event, and said that telemedicine is the future of providing high quality, affordable care to people of all demographics.

“Technology uptick is a demand in our society that I don’t know we’ll ever be able to keep up with,” Nixon said. “That’s why we’ve attempted to focus on the areas that would have the most impact in the quickest amount of time… Expanding broadband accessibility to healthcare providers will mean access to more and quicker specialized care that is often life-saving to patients."

Laura Zaremba, director of the Illinois Office of Health Information Technology, addressed the crowd on behalf of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who she said has been a leading supporter of broadband adoption.

“Gov. Quinn is an ardent supporter of efforts to expand broadband service to rural and underserved areas,” Zaremba said. “Because of its tremendous potential to create and expand jobs, spur innovation and really transform healthcare. The expanded access to high quality healthcare that broadband-powered telemedicine can deliver really does align perfectly with the ideal of everybody in and nobody out.  The best quality healthcare can be delivered regardless of where you are as a patient.”

More than 20 speakers addressed the summit, including keynote speaker Curtis Lowery, MD, of the ANGELS Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Other speakers included Pat Schou, executive director of the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network and Dr. Christopher Veremakis, medical director of Mercy Safewatch, the largest single-hub remote electronic intensive care unit in the country.

Telehealth leaders and physicians at the summit echoed that patients are better served when they can receive medical examination and consultation in the comfort of their own homes. With continued Broadband Illinois efforts like the Better Broadband, Better Lifeline program, Partnership for a Connected Illinois is helping ensure all citizens have access to the connections they need.

Click here for more information on the summit.

Video of the event will be available soon.

Tags: broadband telemedicine summit, healthcare, innovation, medicine, Telemedicine

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