The National Library of Medicine (NLM) offers two programs to encourage the use and development of telecommunications infrastructure. The High Performance Computing and Communications Program funds Internet access for health professions engaged in education, research, clinical care, and administration. The second program supports projects that develop and demonstrate the use of the National Information Infrastructure in health care, clinical research, and public health.
In October 1996, NLM awarded 19 multi-year telemedicine projects intended to serve as models for:
- evaluating the impact of telemedicine on cost, quality, and access to health care;
- assessing approaches to ensuring confidentiality of electronically transmitted health data; and
- testing emerging health data standards.
Two additional projects were awarded in September 1997. As appropriate, projects are to review and apply recommendations from the 1996 IOM report and the National Research Council publication, For the Record: Protecting Electronic Health Information.