Kennedy Krieger Institute recently received a grant of $994,950 from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand and improve access to its telehealth services, it announces.

Kennedy Krieger will use the funds to expand and build on its prior telehealth delivery experience with military and other families to allow it to continue to deliver its patient care and remote patient monitoring services during the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond.

Specifically, the funds will allow Kennedy Krieger to address the disparities in access to telehealth services for vulnerable and high-risk children, adolescents and adults with disabilities that many of its patients face, which can be attributed to a lack of sufficient connectivity services and limited access to current technology. This expansion will allow these families access to a wide range of healthcare services and interface with their Kennedy Krieger clinical providers via secure, two-way video sessions, a media release from Kennedy Krieger explains.

“This substantial grant from the FCC will help us break down technology barriers to care by not only helping Kennedy Krieger outfit our clinical and medical providers with the technology they need to provide telehealth care, but also allow us to provide patient families the technology they need in their homes to access care, especially families who are geographically separated and members of underserved communities,” Bradley L. Schlaggar, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Kennedy Krieger, says in the release. “This grant will help us reduce health disparities and provide more children and families access to critically needed services.”

Additionally, the funds will provide Kennedy Krieger with the tools for remote administration of online assessments to document initial functioning and monitor progress. Validated online tools are required to ensure the validity of the testing outcomes in a telehealth environment.

As the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic became apparent, Kennedy Krieger’s telehealth team immediately activated to expand and customize their telehealth delivery solutions to ensure continuity of care for the Institute’s patients and students—many with unique and medically complex conditions. Since March 15, 2020, Kennedy Krieger has supported an average of more than 1,000 telehealth appointments per day, it notes.

[Source(s): Kennedy Krieger Institute, PR Newswire]