Survey Shows Broadband’s Potential Impact on Healthcare

By Phillip Brown, Director, Government Affairs & Advocacy, Connected Nation

Cisco earlier this week released the results of a survey on health sector innovation, which included findings on the telehealth applications that have the greatest “near-term potential for facilitating large-scale health sector innovation.”

Telemedicine is a broadband-enabled activity that has the potential to greatly improve healthcare delivery in the U.S., and is something Connected Nation has been studying for several years.

Cisco’s survey of healthcare providers from across the globe found that:

“Technologies that combine data exchange with people-to-people interactions help enable easy, efficient professional practices.


  • Collaborating via information and communications technology to diagnose and treat patients was high potential for 65 percent of the respondents.
  • Electronically sharing or accessing diagnostic images, video or patient biometric data was also a high-potential approach for 65 percent of the respondents.
  • Providing clinical training and references via ICT was high potential for 64 percent of the respondents.
  • In contrast, patient care provided via care-at-a-distance models was high potential for only 32 percent of the respondents.”

Connected Nation’s research has found a significant savings to the healthcare sector when broadband adoption increases. Our data show that potential healthcare cost savings in the U.S. could be as much as $662 million per year if broadband adoption increased just seven percentage points.

We’ve also found that, based on research conducted in 13 U.S. states or territories surveying 15,647 adults:

  • 67% of Internet users search for health or medical information online;
  • 36% interact with health insurance companies; and
  • 31% interact with doctors or healthcare professionals online.

Cisco’s survey research data provides great insight into the opportunities and challenges to greater penetration of telemedicine in the healthcare sector, and it’s detailed information like this that helps drive informed initiatives to expand broadband’s usage and utility to consumers and service providers.

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