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ACPM Members Contribute to Development, Launch of Broadband Health Mapping Platform
Sample map

This baseline map from the FCC's Mapping Broadband Health in America tool visualizes broadband access at the county level and identifies connectivity gaps — the lighter the color, the lower the percentage of households with broadband access.

Photo of Yahya Shaikh

Yahya Shaikh, ACPM member and a senior consultant for the FCC Connect2Health Task Force

The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Connect2Health Task Force recently launched the Mapping Broadband Health in America resource, a web-based mapping tool that will inform data-driven decision making at the intersections of health, telecommunications, and emerging technologies. The resource provides critical data at the county and census block levels to help people better communicate novel concepts across disciplines and inspire each other to address complex problems with innovate new solutions.

Yahya Shaikh, ACPM member and a senior consultant for the task force, said his preventive medicine background helped him propose this platform and integrate key features that promote analytic thought in a way that is distinct for and locally relevant to each community across the United States.

"A world where challenges are complex and often interlace needs solutions from groups that are diverse and can collaborate," said Shaikh, also explaining how preventive medicine principles informed this project. "Preventive medicine teaches analysis and the examination of how risk and protective factors distribute across populations. It encourages us to think of the effect of exposures and interventions at the individual level, while considering impact and expansion to a population scale."

Photo of Yahya Shaikh

ACPM President-Elect Bob Carr

The platform is interactive and open access for public and private sectors as well as local communities looking to identify opportunities and gaps in connectivity and care. Users can generate customized maps plotting broadband access, adoption, and speed alongside various health measures in urban and rural areas.

In remarks at the launch event, ACPM President-Elect Bob Carr said, "This tool can better characterize the disease burden at the most granular of community levels. It can help align the epidemiology of the condition with the best and proven interventions and identify gaps in access that need to be addressed for active population engagement and health promotion." He added, "This tool will greatly amplify and accelerate our College’s efforts in collaboration with the CDC and other public health organizations to reduce the incidence and impact of preventable diseases.

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