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Maine Program Increases Digital Literacy in Healthcare, Fishing, and Farming Industries

In late 2010, Axiom Technologies, LLC launched sustainable broadband adoption programs to increase the utilization of technology in the healthcare, fishing, and farming industries in Washington County, Maine. These BTOP-funded programs are establishing the groundwork for defining new and innovative ways that broadband can improve production, service, and knowledge in each of these industries.

Healthcare
In November 2010, Axiom Technologies held a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Maine Fiber Company, a BTOP infrastructure grantee which is connecting the Central Maine Medical Center College of Nursing and Health Professions to a statewide fiber-optic network and announced new telemedicine learning capabilities. At the ceremony, both grantees announced new telemedicine learning capabilities. This faster network connection from the Maine Fiber Company will enable Axiom Technologies’ to help the College host video conferences with other state hospitals and learning institutions, so students can participate in remote distance learning. For instance, Axiom Technologies set up a similar remote learning program at the College of Nursing in Lewiston, Maine, where students can use video conferencing services to connect to the University of Maine in Machias and take their nursing pre-requisite classes. The College also set up video conferencing capabilities, allowing nurses and paramedics to view a more diverse range of medical cases than those available at the local community’s Down East Hospital.

Fishing and Farming
Axiom Technologies is working to build new applications that can help improve the use of land and water resources and increase business knowledge and productivity software for economic development purposes. In January 2011, Axiom Technologies provided 10 local farmers and 10 local fishermen with wireless equipment and rugged laptops as part of a pilot project that included 62 community members. Participants followed an online curriculum and were offered training assistance over the course of 11 weeks. The courses focused on building skills in Microsoft ® Office, QuickBooks, Adobe ® Photoshop, basic computer setup and maintenance, and other computer software. The 62 community members completed more than 1,500 hours of training in the 11 week period. As the project moves forward, Axiom Technologies will increase broadband connections in locations near farmers and fishermen, and will look to build industry-relevant applications and assist local industries with utilizing broadband for small businesses and economic development purposes.

students taking a telemedicine course via video conferencing and a virtual dummy
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