Access to broadband will determine your health, according to a leading health informatics group in the US.

The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) wrote a letter in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s request to comment on broadband enabled healthcare.

Dated 24 May, the letter said that “AMIA believes that access to broadband is, or soon will become, a social determinant of health”.

AMIA is a membership organisation with more than 5,400 informatics professionals.

In the letter, written by AMIA’s president and chief executive Douglas Fridsma, he wrote that the society strongly agrees with the FCC’s assertion that: “health care is being transformed by the availability and accessibility of broadband-enabled services and technologies and the development of life-saving wireless medical devices”.

The letter says that as broadband allows mobile health technologies to work, it will be a factor in people’s health.

The AMIA issued four recommendations to the FCC:

  • Partner with federal and local agencies to create broadband-enabled health solutions
  • Ensure populations with chronic conditions have access to broadband health technologies, and better target this demographic
  • Examine other agency sources to assess broadband-enabled health solutions capacity and needs
  • Help ameliorate privacy and security concerns in accessing healthcare related information via private broadband

The FCC’s request for comment says that broadband enabled healthcare could “significantly lower health care costs by hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming decades”.

“However, the United States remains behind some advanced countries in the adoption of such technology.”

Across the pond here in the UK, broadband is featured in the party manifestos for the upcoming General Election on 8 June, but not specifically related to healthcare.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour manifesto, ‘For the many, not the few’ promises to deliver 30 megabits per second (Mbps) broadband to all households in the UK by 2022.

The same super fast broadband is promised in Tim Farron’s Liberal Democrat manifesto.

Prime Minister Theresa May said that her conservative party would deliver ultra-fast broadband to all UK premises as soon as possible.