FCC and HHS to Host Roundtable on the Connected Future of Maternity Care

Updated on November 14, 2023

The Federal Communications Commission in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today announced a joint Roundtable titledThe Connected Future of Maternity Care:  Intersecting Maternal Health and Broadband Data.  The hybrid event will be held November 17, 2023, from 10:30am—4:00pm ET at FCC Headquarters and will be streamed online at fcc.gov/live.  The FCC’s Connect2HealthFCC Task Force Task Force, Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Reproductive Health, and the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau will co-host the event.

The United States is the only developed country with increasing maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity rates, and research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that more than 80 percent of these deaths and complications are preventable.  Additional research further demonstrates that access to broadband and the connection to healthcare that Internet service enables can help address the crisis.  The FCC recently released a Notice of Inquiry to further explore these topics. 

“Every year, hundreds of women in the U.S. die from complications related to pregnancy in childbirth.  This shouldn’t be the case, but the hard truth remains that access to maternal health care remains a challenge for mothers, but especially for moms-to-be of color, those living in rural areas, or from lower-income households.  This is a crisis that demands our attention,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel.  “I’m pleased to bring our two agencies together to explore how broadband-enabled solutions, like telehealth, can play a major role in improving maternal health.”

The Roundtable will gather public and private sector thought leaders from a variety of disciplines on the front lines of the maternal health crisis, including policymakers, telecommunications, public health, clinical, research, and data analytics experts, to explore the intersection between broadband connectivity and maternal health and why broadband is critically important in maternal health.  Participants will also explore the role of broadband as a social determinant of health and the implications of this framework to improve maternal health outcomes and inform broadband and health policies.  Improving maternal health equity through increased access to broadband-enabled health technologies, tools, and solutions is a critical priority and will be an overarching theme of the event.  Finally, participants will discuss and help accelerate a cross-agency, cross-sector dialogue on more fully leveraging broadband to help address the maternal health crisis facing our nation.  

The roundtable will begin with opening remarks from senior officials at the FCC and HHS followed by critical insights from senior members of CDC and HRSA leadership.  The event will begin at 10:30 am ET, is open to the public, and will be available via live feed from the FCC’s web page at www.fcc.gov/live.  The agenda and other information will be made available on the event webpage: https://www.fcc.gov/news-events/events/2023/11/maternal-health-roundtable.

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