May 2021
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Satellite Internet – Your Health May Rely On It

In America the Internet has become vital in allowing individuals to have greater access to health information, products and services. Though this may seem ordinary to us, rural communities have long faced challenges in getting adequate local health care, let alone the benefits of acquiring information we take for granted. The ability to acquire high-speed broadband Internet access would almost assuredly transform small rural communities in terms of economic benefits by reducing transportation time and expenses, reducing missed time at work, increasing the effectiveness of lab and pharmacy work and provide savings to health facilities.
The funds set aside by the Government in the Broadband Stimulus plan to provide rural Internet users with options better than dial-up services, is not the first interest the Government has taken here. The USDA has administered many programs aimed at improving medical technology through the use of Broadband Internet access and the 2008 Farm Act also helped to expand these programs to rural America.
Studies have shown that Telemdicine, which can only be practiced through a high-speed Internet connection, had an immediate and dramatic cost-benefit to facilities that practiced it. Because rural hospitals are almost always at least partially funded by local sales taxes, the community in which they serve found greater economic savings due to the advancement of broadband technology and the efficiency of Telemecidine.
Telemedicine mainly benefits hospital savings by reducing the outsourcing of specific procedures, transportation costs associated with outsourcing of patients, income savings from reducing the time missed from work, and the increased abilities and proficiencies of laboratory and pharmaceutical work. All of these factors improved patient turnaround and was the greatest benefit noted by hospital staff members.

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Broadband Internet‘s value in rural areas was estimated to be nearly $400,000 annually when considering the cost savings of patients and their employers. The savings due to increased efficiencies and the increase of business the hospitals realized due to Telemedicine.

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