I really believe that one of the drivers for the development of open access networks based on fiber technologies will be to offer remote medical services. Telephony Online published sometime ago an article about the present crisis and the development of open access infrastructures and in this post I will try to give the Spanish perspective.
Now that we all know that network operators will not develop FTTH massively, we need to find a good “excuse” to deploy NGNs and this justification is the social benefits of having broadband connections.
The first reaction after you enjoy true broadband (not the crappy xDSL that we have now) is a reduction of mobility. Why? You can work from home (ok, just a few days…), you can interact with other remotely in an efficient way, you can become a content provider (not just a consumer) but for me, one of the most relevant social benefits of FTTH is the ability to offer medical services remotely.
There are several medical services to be offered using broadband but in this post I will focus on services for the end-user. I will not talk about interconnection of hospitals to analyse high-definition material, but about how broadband affects the end user.
Here I list a few points:
- The patient can avoid visits to the doctor by first having a remote dianose
- Old people can interact with the doctor from home
- Quality of life of people with reduced mobility is improved
- Remote monitoring allows patients to be at home while under supervision
This is just a small list, because the possibilities are huge. In that sense, I recommend to have a look at i2Cat foundation site and check for the projects that the e-health cluster is developing. You will be surprised.
Anyway, the best of all this is that, the service to the patient is improves and simultaneously, costs are reduced. The number of beds in the hospitals can be reduced, primary services can also be smaller, mobility is reduced…
In our public health system, this is very important and saves a lot of money!
Then, we have another justification to deploy broadband in general and FTTH in particular. To offer advanced medical services and at the same time reduce the costs of our public health system.
Fiber is the future. We all know this.