The move to electronic healthcare technology is experiencing growing pains, according to Jason Llorenz and Jose Marquez-Leon, the directors, respectively, of Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA) and Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership ( HTTP).
LISTA recently launched Latino HIT (National Latino Alliance on Health Information Technology), which focuses on using IT to improve health disparities in Latino communities.
Llorenz and Marquez-Leon contend that access to healthcare technology is a lifesaver, quite literally, as it speeds up the delivery of physician’s records, test results, and medical orders. The problem, according to them, is that many communities lack sufficient access to high-capacity broadband, or spectrum technology, that essential serves as the highway upon which all that medical information travels.
With the health disparities that already exist in Latino communities, the remote health monitoring and remote medical consultations that spectrum makes possible are crucial to improving Latino and non-Latino health. But slow and dropped internet connections and hang-ups in data transfer all make the current healthcare technology impossible to implement in much of the United States.
The authors call on Congress and the FCC to speed up implementation of spectrum healthcare technology nationwide, with special attention to communities with the greatest health disparities.