TELEMEDICINE experts hope that a multimillion-dollar federal program to boost telecommunications capabilities in rural health care settings will create new avenues of access to medical information and other services.
The $400 million program is mandated by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which enacted the first major revision of US communications laws since the 1930s. The act also included a $2.25 billion initiative to bring enhanced telecommunications to schools and libraries. The initiatives are aimed at the "universal service" system established in 1934 to ensure that all Americans had access to affordable telephone service.
Voelker R. Going Online in Rural Health. JAMA. 1998;279(3):183. doi:10.1001/jama.279.3.183