Statewide broadband conference - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Statewide broadband conference

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Mississippi Broadband Connect Coalition is holding its statewide conference in Jackson. As they look at continuing to grow the connectivity, they talk about things like telehealth.

As the broadband network grows in the magnolia state, the connection gaps begin to shrink.

"It's changing the way that we work in terms of telecommuting, it's changing the way health care's delivered, in terms of giving people access to doctors even though they might live hundreds of miles away," explained Kevin Martin, former FCC Chairman.

Broadband changes the game of access to quality health care.

"In order to do things like telemedicine you need more capacity. To deliver things like electronic medical records or medical images," said Jason Dean who serves as the Mississippi Broadband Connection Coalition Managing Director.

Now, technology allows the diagnosis to happen in real time.

If a rural hospital can get internet access, they can grow their staff virtually. The university medical center is making that a reality.

"We're looking for ways to do it more cost effective and use the resources we have in a better way," said Kristi Henderson, University of Mississippi Medical Center's Telehealth Director. "All of these technology options have the ability to do the entire in-person exam over technology except for smell and touch. That's the two things you lose with telemedicine," Henderson added.

One aspect that's not lost with telemedicine is time.

"To provide that neurological consult for a patient presenting stroke signs and be able to narrow that time from days and hours down to minutes is critical," said Harry Shaw with InTouch Health, a company that provides telemedicine equipment.

Leaders are now exploring ways to expand more industries using the expanded broadband network.

The former FCC chairman is serving as the keynote speaker.

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