ChristianaCare gets FCC grant to expand telehealth services

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A grant from the Federal Communications Commission is helping a health system in Delaware expand telehealth services, and some of the money will be used to connect people in communities of need.

Access to health care is a problem in some communities. ChristianaCare is using a big chunk of a $700,000 FCC grant to provide internet access and mobile devices for patients to connect with health professionals. Some people in the program will receive an iPhone 8 to video chat. ChristianaCare will also pay service bills.

Chief Virtual Health Officer Sharon Anderson says televisits may seem impersonal, but the doctors and patients are truly connecting.

"That intimacy really does transmit over audio-video," she said. "I think it’s been really exciting to watch providers as well as patients engage this technology."

Anderson believes the connection becomes more personal when doctors literally see patients in their homes, via video chat.

ChristianaCare is also expanding access to COVID-19 testing by opening sites at the Latin American Community Center and Kingswood Community Center. Each person will have their vitals taken by a nurse onsite, then televisit with a doctor on an iPad before being tested.