The University of Houston Law Center’s Health Law & Policy Institute is hosting a conference next week exploring the future of how broadband technologies can play a role in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and behavioral health issues.

05ae724The daylong conference on May 18, “Broadband Prescriptions for Mental Health,” is a partnership between the law school institute and the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2HealthFCC Task Force, which was created in 2014 to explore the intersection of broadband advanced technology and health.

It’s one in a series of events the task force is hosting across the country in an effort to gather data on how communities are leveraging broadband technologies and communication services to improve health care access, especially in rural and underserved regions.

The University of Houston Law Center’s conference will focus on efforts by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine.

“Broadband health care technology offers opportunities to increase mental health care access and improve health outcomes, which is important in a state like Texas which has a shortage of mental health professionals as well as vast rural areas,” Professor Allison Winnike, director of research for the University of Houston Law Center Health Law & Policy Institute, said in a press release.

Topics at conference sessions will include policy and regulatory issues related to broadband-enabled mental heath care, the impact of connected environments on behavioral health, applications in telepsychiatry, and new technologies will be demonstrated.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, University of Houston Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes, and Bernard A. Harris Jr., a former astronaut and CEO of Vesalius Ventures, are among those who will speak at the conference.

“This conference is about the transformative power of broadband in connecting everyone—especially our nation’s veterans, people with disabilities and rural consumers alike—to the people, services, and information they need to get well and stay healthy,” Connect2HealthFCC Task Force Chair P. Michele Ellison said in the release. “We’re looking forward to highlighting how broadband can be leveraged to expand access to mental and behavioral health services in Texas and beyond.”

The conference is scheduled for May 18 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Room 109 of the Bates Law Building at the University of Houston Law Center, 4604 Calhoun Rd.

Go to the conference website to register.