Cisco today announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the State of Colorado to establish the Colorado Connected Communities Initiative. Part of Cisco’s global Smart+Connected Communities effort — it will consist of a series of scalable pilot programs powered by network-driven Cisco technologies in the areas of health care, energy and education.
The goal of the Connected Communities Initiative is to generate accessible education opportunities, advance the delivery and quality of health care, and improve statewide energy consumption.
One of the pilot projects within the initiative, the Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will implement distance-learning, based on Cisco TelePresence and WebEx technology. A second pilot project will focus on energy management in the city of Grand Junction, utilizing Cisco Smart Connected Building solutions to manage energy consumption across multiple buildings on the state, local and private levels.
Additional Smart+Connected Communities initiatives include the use of Cisco HealthPresence, an advanced, care-at-a-distance technology platform that provides patients with a live, face-to-face visit with physicians and specialists — regardless of distance or location.
The healthcare and education pilots are expected help accelerate the impact of collaborative initiatives the State is working on such as the K-12 statewide education network, EAGLE-net, as well as the implementation of a highly secure smart grid. The initial partnership pilots are also expected to help extend the benefits of potential stimulus funding that the State is seeking to apply to these initiatives.
Cisco will demonstrate advanced modeling and simulation tools to support pilot projects. Web-based mapping and Cisco’s Collaborative Infrastructure Modeling, for example, will help present visual explanations of the solutions being delivered to the project stakeholders.
The Colorado Telehealth Network, managed by the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) and powered by Qwest Communications, is a statewide fiber-optic network that will connect nearly 400 hospitals, clinics and other health care providers in Colorado. It’s expected to be completed soon. Some $9.8 million for the initiative was funded by an award from the FCC and the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council.