The Federal Communications Commission on June 17 awarded $31 million in funding to 32 healthcare organizations, including one in Florida, as a part of its $100 million Connected Care Pilot Program, which funds telehealth projects developed by providers across the country.
The University of Florida – Department of Pediatrics in Gainesville was awarded $612,000 in Connected Care support to provide patient- based connected remote monitoring, video visits or consults, other diagnostics, and remote treatment to low-income and veteran patients suffering from chronic health conditions and mental health conditions.
This is the second of two grants the University has received from the FCC this year.
The University of Florida’s Pilot project will serve an estimated 10,000 patients, 100 percent of whom will be either low-income or veteran patients, with a focus on patients who travel long distances to receive care. The University of Florida was selected because of its focus on expanding access to care and addressing broadband access issues for low-income pediatric and veteran patients.
Earlier this year UF received a grant for a little less than a million dollars to purchase equipment to support telemedicine throughout Florida for underserved kids. The grant provided money for iPads, blood pressure cuffs, scales and other office-based telemedicine services.
The new grant provides three years of funding to support WiFi connectivity.
“The University plans to buy WiFi hotspots across the state which will provide access for low-income families with kids with chronic medical conditions as well as veterans so that when they have a need to see a generalist or sub-specialist for medical care, they can connect with our team remotely,” said Dr. Michael Haller, University of Florida Professor and Pediatric Endocrinologist.
“These two grants from the FCC represent an incredible opportunity to ensure that we can provide care to underserved kids and veterans that otherwise aren’t able to get access to specialty care,” Haller said.
This project, along with the other 31 new projects announced yesterday, join 23 other projects that received funding from the FCC earlier in 2021. The program has now awarded more than $57 million to 59 projects serving patients in 30 states and Washington, D.C.