The UAMS Institute for Digital Health & Innovation received a one-year grant for $982,589 to facilitate digital health services for 34 hospitals and clinics in rural communities throughout Arkansas and the greater Memphis area.
Part of its COVID-19 Telehealth Program, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) awarded the grant for the purchase of new digital health equipment for emergency departments, labor and delivery units, and clinical spaces in medically underserved healthcare facilities.
The digital health technology will connect rural providers with remote specialists through private, real-time virtual consultations for triage, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations. The remote providers will have the ability to assess conditions dealing with COVID-19, strokes, hand and burn trauma, high-risk pregnancy, and behavioral health. The 34 partner sites will also have access to UAMS HealthNow virtual urgent care.
“Using updated digital health equipment is essential in providing Arkansans with optimal quality healthcare through virtual consults,” said Joseph Sanford, MD, institute director.
The majority of the 34 partner sites are located in communities with a shortage of providers, nurses and healthcare facilities. Through the UAMS e-Link virtual platform, UAMS surpassed 100,000 digital health visits in April to reach patients from all corners of the state by expanding the network and range of healthcare, in addition to providing digital health services for rural healthcare facilities.
Similar to the grant UAMS received from the FCC in June 2020, this grant will also provide reimbursement for telecommunications services, information services, and connected devices necessary to enable digital health during the COVID-19 pandemic.