Why is CTN needed?
The availability of broadband telecommunications in California’s rural areas and some urban areas has been severely limited. The cost for a commercial telecommunications company to provide broadband has often been fiscally prohibitive, leaving rural Californians with no way to access the myriad of essential services, including healthcare, that are supported by high speed data communications.
Approximately five million Californians live in rural areas and over 80% of the state’s land mass is rural. Providing access to healthcare can be challenging and often difficult and costly to patients, their families and our healthcare systems.
California also has the most diverse population of any state, with both the benefits and challenges of multiculturalism, particularly as these relate to improving access to care for medically underserved groups and communities. Addressing access and health disparities is a priority for California policymakers, government agencies and healthcare organizations.
Advances in telecommunications and new information technologies can help overcome health disparities bridging geographic distances; improving access to medical knowledge and expertise; and creating new venues for education.
The CTN brings the benefits of innovative telehealth and telemedicine services to areas where the need for those benefits is most acute.