California Telehealth Network is open for business

California residents will now be able to tap into new health care capabilities as the state officially launched its California Telehealth Network (CTN) this week.   

The CTN, which was announced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, California's governor, and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra at the UC Davis Cancer Center in Sacramento, will connect more than 800 California healthcare facilities to a statewide medical-grade network of healthcare and emergency services.

CTN is a $30 million joint funding effort between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), the California HealthCare Foundation, UnitedHealthcare, the National Coalition for Healthcare Integration, the University of California and other private and public entities.

"California is always leading the way with the most innovative and new technology that is changing the future.  And, what we are launching today is a new era for health care," said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a release. "Through a simple broadband link, this state-of-the-art system will save lives by instantly connecting people from across the state, including underserved and rural areas, with the best and brightest doctors."

Through broadband links, the CTN will join 68 other health care networks, while serving as a backbone for telemedicine and eHealthcare.

As a partnership-based initiative, the CTN has contracted AT&T to provide managed network services. AT&T's (NYSE: T) presence in the CTN illustrates how health care is becoming a boom market for service providers. Other notable healthcare network developments include Qwest's (NYSE: Q) contract to provide network connectivity for Colarado's Telehealth Network and more recently Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) efforts to enhance electronic medical record keeping and provide video conferencing capabilities for the prison health care system.  

For more:
- see the release here

Related articles:
AT&T wins $27 million telehealth contract
Service providers answer the health care call
Verizon introduces cloud-based health information exchange
Optimum Lightpath enhances presence in telemedicine segment
Qwest lights up Colorado's Health Information Network

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