California has launched the nation's largest telehealth network.
The California Telehealth Network will connect more than 800 health facilities through the use of video conferencing, telehealth medical devices and various audio tools. The network will allow physicians in rural areas to connect with doctors and resources in urban centers.
"Through a simple broadband link, this state-of-the-art system will save lives by instantly connecting people from across the state, including underserved and rural areas, with the best and brightest doctors," said California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "The California Telehealth Network marks the beginning of a new digital highway that will fundamentally change the future of how health care is provided."
The network was made possible thanks to a partnership between numerous private and government entities which acquired a total of $30 million in funding. The Federal Communications Commission also provided a $22.1-million grant for the network as a part of the Rural Health Care Pilot Program, an initiative designed to support the development of video conferencing solutions for healthcare providers serving rural communities.