Last June, the FCC convened a mHealth Summit with senior executives and leaders from the healthcare technology industry, academia, and government to discuss the new opportunities and challenges of mobile and wireless health products. The outcome of the Summit was the creation of a Task Force to develop recommendations to the FCC, other federal agencies, and industry on how to accelerate the adoption of mHealth technologies so that the use of mHealth will be routine medical best practice by 2017.
FCC Chairman Genachowski announced plans based on the recommendations included in the mHealth Task Force report that was unveiled on September 24th at an event hosted at the Information Technology and Innovations Foundation (ITIF).
Recommendations include actions to increase interagency collaboration and information sharing, expand on existing programs to encourage mHealth adoption, and build on government and industry efforts to increase capacity, reliability, interoperability, and safety of mHealth technologies.
Chairman Genachowksi announced that the FCC would consider the following actions based on the report.
· Work with industry and federal partners to reach the mHealth Task Force’s goal that mHealth technology become a routine medical best practice within five years
· Consider streamlining the FCC’s experimental licensing rules to promote and encourage the creation of wireless health device “test beds” to permit easier testing of mHealth technologies
· Comprehensively reform and modernize the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program to include rules to permit networks of hospital and healthcare facilities to jointly apply for RHC Program funds to boost broadband capacity and enable EHRs
· Collect richer data on broadband and telehealth applications from RHC Program participants to enable more targeted support for telemedicine
· FCC’s International Bureau will work with FCC counterparts in other countries to encourage making spectrum available for MBANs and discuss possible spectrum harmonization efforts to allow for medically safe cross-border patient travel
· Develop and execute a healthcare stakeholder outreach plan to those who many not be aware of FCC opportunities and procedures
· Renew the search for a permanent FCC Health Care Director to function as the central point of contact to external groups on all health related issues
The FCC report can be accessed at www.itif.org/events/recommendations-mhealth-task-force.