HCA’s IT&S department looks to improve patient care with Google Fiber’s upcoming launch in Nashville.

Last month’s announcement that gigabit Internet is on its way to Nashville means a lot more to us than quicker video streaming.

As the region’s leading tech employer, Nashville could see a surge in web-based startups and an influx of young technology-whizzes as a result of this gigabit service launch.

With speeds nearly 100 times faster than the average American household, gigabit Internet has shown a significant boost in the economies it’s touched so far. Nashville Business Journal cites a study that found a 1.1 percent larger economy (defined by its per capita gross domestic product) in communities with gigabit access than cities without it. For Nashville, that could mean a gain of about $363 million, according to this same study. If it’s extended to the greater metro area, the region’s economy could climb as high as $1.46 billion.

Nashville is one of nine metro areas across the country where the service will be introduced in the coming years. Google Fiber General Manager Kevin Lo says Nashville’s strong commitment to technology and entrepreneurship make up “all the right ingredients to do transformative things.”

Introducing faster internet could lead to an innovation boost in one of Nashville’s signature industries: healthcare. At HCA, it could create new opportunities to provide excellent patient care through advances in telemedicine and technology growth.

Faster bandwidth and enhanced services could accelerate growth in telemedicine, create new ways to communicate, and allow HCA to focus on innovating and improving new services across the enterprise.

What about the IT&S professionals who create them?

Google Fiber’s entrance into the market means all Internet providers will be forced to reevaluate their offerings, which should equal better services for lower prices. This will allow innovators—like the many here at IT&S—to push the envelope and find better, more efficient ways to serve HCA-affiliated hospitals, facilities, and patients.

Mayor Karl Dean said that Nashville’s entrepreneurial spirit is part of what attracted Google to our city, which includes the healthcare sector. “Google Fiber’s presence here will enhance the work done in those fields by making collaboration, the exchange of good ideas, faster and easier,” Mayor Dean said. “This is the city where people make things happen, and once Google Fiber is up and running, they’ll be able to do even more.”

It’ll be at least another year before Nashville’s new Fiber network is in place. Until then, Nashville can continue to solidify its place as one of the country’s leading tech hubs and HCA can prepare for this powerful opportunity to expand its innovative influence in the healthcare IT industry.