Investing in new-age technological innovations has become crucial for healthcare facilities. As medical professionals reeled under the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic, various tech advancements came to their rescue.
While rural healthcare organizations understand the importance of adopting digital technology, they lack adequate funds to take the plunge.
Between getting a broadband connection and finding a telecommunications service provider, these facilities may not have the resources for digital transformation. That’s where funding programs by the Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC)1 step into the picture.
In this blog, we’ll explore the role of USAC grants in the digital transformation of rural healthcare organizations.
Top Technology Trends in Healthcare
The use of advanced technology in healthcare isn’t a new phenomenon. But the pandemic has skyrocketed the adoption of the following tech innovations:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Predictive Analysis
The introduction of AI to medical services will be instrumental in improving diagnostics, treatments, and the quality of patient care.
Medical professionals can use AI to identify infectious disease patterns. Additionally, it’ll eliminate the chances of human error in diagnosing complex diseases and outlining treatment plans.
AI tools will also help physicians collect and analyze clinical data. Healthcare facilities across the globe have already been using predictive analysis to preempt COVID-19 spikes2 and build effective vaccination strategies.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Both AR and VR can go a long way in helping implement remote healthcare facilities. These technologies emerged as a savior when the pandemic began.
Medical professionals used gamification and other AR tools to quickly learn new skills, such as operating ventilators3 and managing intensive care units.
Apart from training physicians and surgeons, AR tools can also be used for the physical rehabilitation of patients.
The increased dependence on digital technology makes healthcare facilities vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations have already been battling ransomware4 attacks and data breaches.
The increase in volume of cyber attacks highlights the need for using cyber security tools to safeguard medical records and patient data.
The Role of USAC Funding
All these technologies can serve to transform healthcare organizations – especially rural ones – but most organizations have to focus on other aspects before they can consider how to leverage such solutions.
These include finding a reliable broadband provider and equipping your staff with proper communication tools.
The good news is that rural healthcare facilities can leverage USAC’s grants for this. The Universal Service Fund aims to provide people in the U.S. with access to the information and resources they need.
They offer two types of funding for rural healthcare organizations:
- Telecommunications Program: It provides funding for the deployment of voice and telecommunications services.
- Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program: It provides funding to address the internet connectivity needs of rural healthcare facilities.
Applying for these grants can be confusing, and you’ll need to understand whether your healthcare organization meets the eligibility. Seeking help from an experienced USAC consulting service like Proper Connections will help you better navigate the process.
Applying for USAC’s funding could help you minimize the cost of purchasing network equipment or hiring a telecommunications service provider by as much as 65%. The funds you save could instead be leveraged to implement other technologies, such as automation and cyber security.
Claim Your USAC Funding With Proper Connections
Receiving a USAC grant could be a stepping stone in the digital transformation of your healthcare organization. A trusted partner can handhold you through the process of applying for funding and choosing the right vendors.
At Proper Connections, we assist you at every step of the USAC funding application process.
Get in touch with us today to request a quote and start your digital transformation journey.