Fort Wayne-based Parkview Health has received a nearly $650,000 grant from the Federal Communications Commission. The funding will be used to launch a broadband telehealth-based diabetes management program.
The health system says it will use the grant to purchase a remote telehealth platform for the program. As part of the program, up to 350 people with diabetes will be loaned broadband health devices such as glucose monitors, blood pressure cuffs, or scales that will automatically share data with the platform.
“The vital signs collected in an office visit only give us a small snapshot of what’s going on. When people leave their healthcare visit, that’s when life really happens,” said Chad Shirar, director of enterprise diabetes strategy for Parkview Health. “With data collection captured outside the typical clinical setting, we’ll be able to see how diabetes impacts people throughout their day, as they participate in different activities. We’ll get a more complete picture of their condition and, together, we can create better results with their treatment plan.”
The equipment will be loaned to the participants free of charge. Because they use 4G or 5G cellular connectivity, the devices won’t need a home internet connection, which Parkview says will create better access for low-income participants, or those in rural areas.
Parkview says the program could begin as early as next year.
The funding is part of the FCC’s Connected Care Pilot Program, which is designed to help cover the costs of broadband connectivity and network equipment to provide connected care services.