BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor-based New England Telehealth Consortium, working to link more than 400 health care facilities in northern New England to a telecommunications network, recently announced its 125th connection.
“Connecting the 125th healthcare site to the NETC network is a testament to years of planning, designing and building,” says Jim Rogers, the founder of NETC and president of ProInfoNet, the company managing the implementation of the NETC network, in a press release. “From satellites enabling mobile health vans to serve rural Maine to crystal clear long-distance consultations for surgery, NETC is powering a cost-savings health care revolution.”
Health care facilities linking to NETC’s network are instantly sharing potentially life saving information and stand to save millions of dollars in annual technology costs.
“In health care, quality and reliability come with a cost,” says Brian Thibeau, president of New England Telehealth Consortium. “NETC is affording rural and urban providers quality and reliability at significant savings while enabling health care facilities throughout Northern New England to provide patients access to a higher level care.”
FairPoint Communications is the largest vendor partner in NETC.
“FairPoint’s network provides flexible and expandable bandwidth and Ethernet-based solutions that NETC needs,” says Mike Reed, FairPoint’s Maine state president. “Since April 2008, FairPoint has invested more than $193 million in the communications infrastructure and technology in northern New England. This investment positions us to serve the technology needs of NETC through our extensive ‘enterprise class’ network with more than 15,000 miles of fiber offering IP/Ethernet services across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.”
NETC has increased access to the most rural regions of New England by furnishing mobile clinics with satellite technology. Vans equipped with video conferencing, prescription dispensing and electronic health records are enabling the Maine Migrant Health Program to care for workers harvesting crops in Maine’s rural Washington County.
The New England Telehealth Consortium, a regional group of rural and urban health care members, formed in response to the Federal Communications Commissions’ Rural Health Care Pilot Program of the Telecom Act of 1996. The Act dedicated funding for aiding rural hospitals, clinics, and physicians through advanced telecommunications
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