Deloitte: Broadband for all to tackle digital divide
A new report from Deloitte called Broadband for all: charting a path to economic growth has evaluated the connection between broadband internet access and economic growth.
The report also explores what needs to be done to close the so-called digital divide – to optimise the economic and social benefits while reducing inequalities. However, after a decade of infrastructure investment that saw billions of dollars of private and public investment in broadband, the results have been disappointing.
According to the report:
Between 2010 and 2020, federal programs spent approximately US$107 billion.
In 2014, the last year of the 4 Mbps downlink benchmark, 16 million Americans (approximately 5% of the US population) did not have broadband services that met that standard.
In 2019, after five years and approximately US$54 billion, 14.4 million Americans did not have broadband that met the new FCC speed threshold (25 Mbps downlink).
“The pandemic hastened the pace of a decades-long trend in which innovative applications are increasingly essential to enhancing educational opportunities, organising our lives, connecting with colleagues and friends, improving workplace productivity and enriching the quality of lives,” said report co-author Dan Littman, principal, technology, media and telecommunications at Deloitte.
“If large segments of our population lack the necessary communications infrastructure to participate, progress will be increasingly difficult.”
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many Americans to work from home, but many simply did not have access to adequate or affordable internet connectivity or mobile devices. This highlights what the report calls a pivotal moment for the US economy. More than US$100bn of infrastructure investment has been allocated by the government to address this issue but the digital divide remains.
The impact of broadband access on US jobs<
According to the report, access to broadband can have significant impact on the US workforce:
A 10% increase in broadband penetration in 2016 would have added 806,000 additional jobs in 2019, or an average annual increase of 269,000 jobs.
More than 875,000 additional jobs and US$186 billion more in economic output would have occurred in 2019 had there been a 10% increase in broadband access in 2014.
Adding 10 Mbps to average download speeds in 2016 would have resulted in 139,400 additional jobs in 2019.
“When it comes to the public or private broadband investments to close the digital divide, the economic benefits are clear, but will require stakeholders to navigate potentially competing priorities across emerging technologies that can meet needs in the near-term, the long-term desires for faster speeds, and financial support for devices and in-home equipment,” concluded report co-author Jack Fritz.
Health Catalyst: An agile approach to healthcare data
Healthcare Catalyst is quite literally a healthcare providers’ catalyst for change when it comes to their measurable, data-informed improvement in analytics, software and services.
Founded in 2008 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Health Catalyst is dedicated to enabling health care organisations to build a healthcare-specific, open, flexible, and scalable data platform and fully integrated suite of analytics applications.
This enables health system partners, including Northwell Health in New York which serves a population of 11 million, to realise measurable value within months. “Our customers have recognised the potential to use data, to meaningfully improve their clinical, financial and operational business performance outcomes,” said Mike Doyle, Chief Customer Officer.
Formed by a group of healthcare veterans – with a quest to develop a data warehouse that could handle the complexities unique to healthcare data – they revolutionised the clinical process models and use of analytics and discovered the solution now known as Adaptive Data Architecture, which is agile, flexible and can be implemented in a matter of weeks compared to a matter of years.
Today, Health Catalyst helps clinicians in more than 250 hospitals that care for more than 100 million patients each year.
Health Catalyst offers a solution in three parts:
Data Operating System
Cloud-based DOS is a healthcare-specific, open, flexible, and scalable that provides customers a single environment to integrate and organise data.
Analytics applications build on top of the data platform and allow customers to make measurable clinical, financial and operational improvements.
World-class team of analytics and domain experts leverage technology to help customers shorten time-to-value and achieve sustainable, measurable improvements.
The fully integrated data platform and suite of analytics applications helped clients during the pandemic, in ways even Health Catalyst could never have imagined. Health Catalyst offered products and services to support customers’ agile response to the pandemic in four phases:
“By having the data operating system, our clients were able to take advantage of the integrated source of data to meet challenges that they were facing in their local geographies due to the pandemic in ways that we could never even have predicted,” said Doyle.
Doyle highlighted Health Catalyst’s Value Architecture group, which helps the company ensure that its technology and expertise are delivering measurable and meaningful value to our clients. “I think another key differentiator is our open platform that our clients are able to use to accelerate their own integration of data, but it is customisable, configurable in ways that makes it unique for them in ways other cookie cutter analytics just can’t match.
“We like to start every discussion by listening and understanding how we can help our customers avoid making mistakes and getting the most out of their investment in data.”
Speaking about their partnership with Northwell, Doyle said: “We're very grateful for this partnership and want to thank these visionary leaders who are able to envision a future using data that is light years beyond what we can think of today.”