News Feature | March 14, 2014

FCC Announces Connect2Health Task Force

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

FCC Connect2Health

New FCC task force will examine ways to accelerate health organizations’ adoption of wireless technology

A new FCC task force, Connect2Health, will work to identify regulatory barriers and incentives to expand the use of wireless health technologies and strengthen partnerships with stakeholders in the telehealth and mobile health industries. According to iHealth Beat, the task force will be examining ways to accelerate healthcare organizations' adoption of wireless technologies.

FCC Chairman Wheeler said in a press release, “The Commission’s top priority must be to make networks work for everyone. Broadband itself is not the goal – it’s what broadband enables. We must leverage all available technologies to ensure that advanced healthcare solutions are readily accessible to all Americans, from rural and remote areas to underserved inner cities. By identifying regulatory barriers and incentives and building stronger partnerships with stakeholders in the areas of telehealth, mobile applications, and telemedicine, we can expedite this vital shift.”

Wheeler also announced Michele Ellison as the Chair of the task force, along with his intent to name her Deputy General Counsel. “Michele brings a wealth of experience to the effort. She is a gifted lawyer and dedicated public servant who has brought her keen leadership skills to bear as a forceful and effective Chief of the Enforcement Bureau. I am pleased that she now will use her formidable talents to address this critical challenge.”

According to the release, “Specifically, the CONNECT2HEALTH FCC Task Force will consider ways to accelerate the adoption of health care technologies by leveraging broadband and other next-gen communications services. To advance this broad initiative, Ms. Ellison will work hand in hand with the leadership of the Commission, in particular with the FCC’s Director of Health Care Initiatives and the Chiefs of the Wireline and Wireless Bureaus and Office of Engineering and Technology. Ms. Ellison will also collaborate with public and private stakeholders in the healthcare and technology space.”