Could the Ebola crisis in Africa provide some impetus to the telemedicine angle of the many-sided push for high-speed broadband around the world?
Yes, if the International Telecommunications Union has anything to say about it.
At its the Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Korea, the ITU, the Internet Society and mobile operators group GSMA said they are joining forces to boost communications, particularly mobile, for better early warning and response to the disease.
ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun Touré headed a special session with ITU members to come up with during the recommendations for more effective use of information and communications technologies (ICTs).
The priority, he said, is to remove regulatory barriers that facilitate deployment to preserve and protect human life while also protecting consumer privacy.
ITU says it has already deployed some supporting technology, and is developing aps, in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), to "improve awareness-raising efforts, facilitate early warning alerts, report new cases of infection, and support coordination of humanitarian action at community, country and regional levels."
Telemedicine is one of the key pubic benefits the FCC has cited in efforts to spur more high-speed broadband in this country.