Special to WRAL Tech Wire

(Editor’s note: MCNC is nearing completion of the first stage of a $144 million expansion of the North Carolina Research and Education Network. Funded through $104 million in federal BTOP grants and another $40 million in matching funding from the Golden LEAF Foundation, private partners and MCNC’s Endowment, the project will be complete in 2013. To commemorate the launch and progress of the project, MCNC is celebrating “12 Days of Broadband” in a series of blog posts between Dec. 8-23. These will be published in WRAL Tech Wire.)

Day 7: NCTN benefits North Carolinians health and care

The North Carolina Telehealth Network, through a three-year $7.2 million contract with MCNC and the N.C. Office of Information Technology Services (ITS), provides broadband services that link health programs and sites across the state.

The sites include clinics, community health centers, public health agencies, and non-profit hospitals.

The first NCTN-Hospital, University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, came on board earlier this week and 23 others are currently subscribed. The NCTN, which received the Public Leadership Award through the North Carolina Technology Association 21 Awards in November, provides these institutions with the network infrastructure and connectivity required to utilize a diverse set of telehealth and health care information applications.

The NCTN is a dedicated network for health care organizations that uses both the NCREN infrastructure and the ITS network infrastructure to provide highly-reliable, cost-efficient services at optimal levels. As health care begins to depend more on Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Internet-enabled research for the next great cures, the NCTN will serve the high-bandwidth, low-latency network needs of health practitioners and researchers throughout North Carolina.

The NCTN project is directed by the Cabarrus Health Alliance. Read more about the NCTN on MCNC’s new Healthcare Community Webspace.

Follow MCNC’s 12 Days of Broadband socially @mcnc and on MCNC’s Facebook Page.

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