The BTOP award will help capitalize Arkansas’ broadband infrastructure by leveraging the existing Arkansas Telehealth Network (ATN) managed by the Arkansas Telehealth Oversight & Management (ATOM) and the Arkansas Research & Education Optical Network (ARE-ON) to create more robust access for hospitals, medical/behavioral health clinics, public health units, two-year colleges, libraries and public safety entities, while also reaching underserved citizens.
To meet the increasing demands for broadband access in the field of health care, the ATN was formed in 2006. ATN is a coalition of health and information technology organizations funded by the FCC Universal Service fund to consolidate and expand telehealth services in Arkansas. Working collaboratively, groups of hospitals and clinics are positioned to implement and operate advanced telehealth systems more effectively and for a lower cost than hospitals or programs can individually.
Arkansas Community Anchor Institutions
Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) are defined as public institutions that provide a service to the public or are facilities where the public gather to be educated, gain information, or receive care. The ATN and ARE-ON currently serve the broadband needs of many education and health care CAIs in the state. The need for broadband at these institutions grows significantly every year. In addition, the applications these institutions operate require a level and type of network connectivity that is not commercially available to optimally perform.
Finally, many CAIs in rural and underserved areas of Arkansas lack the amount of bandwidth they require to serve their constituents.
National Broadband Map
The NTIA and FCC unveiled the National Broadband Map in February 2011. CLICK HERE to read an article about this comprehensive resource. You can view the National Broadband Map at http://www.broadbandmap.gov/.
Explore Training Opportunities at the South Central Telehealth Training Center.
Arkansas e-Link will serve a number of people, especially those in rural areas, in the following potential ways:
Patients will be able to…
…see specialty doctors through video without traveling to large cities.
…access health care research and educational materials through publicly available computers at certain libraries, health care facilities and higher education locations.
…get early, specialty health care from urban hospitals while in ambulances in the Little Rock metropolitan area.
Doctors, nurses and other medical employees will be able to…
…keep more local patients because doctors will be able to work with urban doctors through video in cases where referrals might not be necessary.
…stay on top of the latest research through online educational programs made especially for health care professionals.
…be a part of a network that review patient information remotely.
…continuing education opportunities.
Students and teachers will be able to…
…use broadband connectivity at computers on public college or university campuses.
…take or teach online courses and access other educational tools.
…join in research or studies with other students and teachers across the state.
Librarians at certain public libraries will be able to…
…help the surrounding communities by providing public access to computers with high-speed broadband connectivity.
…get the public involved in health care and education provided by larger hospitals or colleges through video.
Partners at the 450+ hospitals, clinics, colleges, universities, libraries, etc. receiving equipment and/or faster connections will be able to…
…work with other partners to create and participate in research and studies, allowing all involved to share in the knowledge learned from these activities.
The project described was made possible by Funding Opportunity number (Regulatory Identification Number) 0660–ZA28 and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 11.557 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration, BroadbandUSA. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of BroadbandUSA.
For a statement of network management policies, please visit our partners’ sites for the Arkansas Telehealth Oversight & Management (ATOM) Network, whose policy is currently in development, and the Arkansas Research & Education Optical Network (ARE-ON).