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FCC Explores Ways to Expand UVA Health Care to Rural Areas

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

An FCC Commissioner made the rounds at the University of Virginia Health System on Monday as a part of a partnership aimed at helping rural patients get top notch health care.

Brendan Carr, who is a commissioner for the Federal Communications Commission, spent most of the day talking about the possibilities of medical services via video conferencing and smart phone apps. Right now, the medical center offers a variety of these services.

This is all in an effort to reduce a patient’s stay at the hospital. It’s also been proven to be a more accurate way to document side effects, since patients can record each day.

However, the issue lies in the lack of internet access in rural communities, which is where healthcare apps are needed the most.

“It doesn’t matter if you live in an urban area with high access to broadband or a rural area that struggles to get broadband,” Carr said. “We want to try to level the playing field so everyone has the same online opportunities.” Carr says he’s on board with supporting this broadband development, but funding and access remain concerns. He adds that the purpose of today’s visit was to learn more about this technology so they can get out more connections.

The two groups will continue to brainstorm solutions.