New Telehealth Broadband Network Set to Connect More than 800 California Medical Facilities

Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 2:47 am

More than 800 California health clinics, hospitals and medical facilities in underserved urban and rural communities are set to be connected via a pioneering broadband network known as California Telehealth Network (CTN), announced Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, state health officials and the United States Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra at a press conference held Tuesday, Aug. 15, at UC Davis Cancer Center in Sacramento.

Described as the “the largest single-state grant award of its kind,” the California Telehealth Network is designed to allow for the safe, reliable and efficient digital transfer of patient information, medical data and other information to facilities that may currently lack the resources for such telemedicine networks, or are located in remote areas throughout the state. The CTN initiative aims to give healthcare professionals, including Sacramento medical assistants and other Bay Area medical assistants, a quicker way to access crucial patient records and other essential materials.

Governor Schwarzenegger shared his support and enthusiasm regarding the state’s innovative project at the recent program launch/press conference:

“California is always leading the way with the most innovative and new technology that is changing the future.  And, what we are launching today is a new era for health care. 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. The California Telehealth Network marks the beginning of a new digital highway that will fundamentally change the future of how health care is provided,” Gov. Schwarzenegger said.

Described as a $30 million “joint funding effort,” the CTN initiative involves a wide range of participants, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), UnitedHealthcare, the California HealthCare Foundation, the National Coalition for Healthcare Integration, and the University of California. Other public and private groups are also contributing to the extensive telemedicine project.

The newly launched CTN project will make the peer-to-peer sharing of medical information easier among the states millions of healthcare providers, from Los Angeles doctors, to San Jose medical assistants. California’s new telemedicine project is also one of 68 eMedicine programs already in place throughout the country.

The U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to President Barack Obama, Aneesh Chopra, also voiced support of the CTN initiative:

“With the $22.1 million in grant funding from the FCC, along with $3.6 million in matching funds from the CETF, the CTN will help improve access to quality healthcare in rural and medically underserved areas, over a secure, managed network enabling the delivery of emerging eHealth and telemedicine services,” Chopra said.

For additional information on the California Telehealth Network, please visit:

http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/23899

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/statewide-california-telehealth-network-launches-100896904.html