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McDowell on Broadband Access and Spectrum for Healthcare

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Released: January 31, 2013

STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER ROBERT M. McDOWELL

REGARDING HEALTH TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATION

Many thanks to Julie, Linda, and their incredibly talented teams for their
diligence in finding ways to advance the use of health technologies.
Early in my first term as a Commissioner, I learned first-hand how important
telemedicine is to patients, especially in the most remote parts of rural America.
My first trip as a Commissioner was to Alaska. There, I was able to see how
medical images from the distant corners of our least-densely populated state were
transmitted to specialists in Anchorage. Such remarkable technologies allow
patients to avoid expensive, and sometimes treacherous, plane rides.
As such, I have always wanted to find ways to improve the universal service
rural health care program, and I commend the Chairman again for his leadership in
crafting the reform order that we adopted in December.
Also, for many years, I have maintained that the Commission should find
ways to make it easier for cutting-edge technologies to be used by the health care
profession and consumers. Being able to use the latest technology will make it
easier for doctors to monitor homebound patients' health, and will fundamentally
improve the everyday lives of those with paralyzed limbs.
I appreciate receiving this valuable update and look forward to working with
my colleagues to find additional ways that we can streamline and remove
regulatory barriers that will improve consumers' access to health care through
innovation.

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