The potential benefits of wearable Health Tech devices and the data that they can produce are enticing. The idea of some intelligent device communicating valuable health and medical data to users and their healthcare professionals has a lot of appeal. The devil is in the details, however, and in order to realize the power of these systems, we will need infrastructure and systems that are in place and open to work with this impending flood of information.
That’s why a initiative by the Center for Health and Technology at the University of California Davis is so interesting. In partnership with funding sources, training and education organizations, and local communities, UC Davis put together a $13.8 million program to expand the use of broadband technology in delivering healthcare information and services. The program was based on $9.1 million in Recovery Act funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce, combined with another $4.7 million of local funding from California sources.
The goals of the program included providing low-cost access to a broadband network, using it for online and community-based training, and providing equipment for community health programs. The broadband network is the California Telehealth Network, which is described as a “statewide managed, medical grade broadband network.”
In order to deliver on the promise of wearable Health Tech devices and services, we will need infrastructure that is secure and robust. If we are depend on these systems for our health and even our lives, then they must be reliable and carefully engineered. This research project by UC Davis is an important step in that direction.