Australian developers roll out telehealth

Several Australian towns have invested in whole-of-community telehealth services in order to make diagnosis and treatment both quicker and easier in geographically remote areas, reports.

Following an investment from natural gas company QGC. the University of Queensland’s Centre for Online Health (COH) has developed the telehealth services to serve several towns in the Darling Downs area.

It will mean that local hospitals in Toowoomba and Dalby will have access to telehealth services, alongside three nursing homes. The result could mean instant and immersive interactions between people across an area of over 3,000 square miles.

Whilst it was established that the initial scheme will be used to unite patients with healthcare providers, developers have created the system to be sustainable, meaning the infrastructure would then be available to develop the offering further still. This could mean that, further down the line, a much broader range of video conferencing facilities can be implemented as and when they are needed.

Commenting on the scheme, associate professor at COH, Dr Anthony Smith, told “We are concentrating on a range of specialities for patients of all ages, and ensuring that any new telehealth services are introduced as a response to the health needs of patients in these communities.

“An important aspect of introducing telehealth services is ensuring that we have the right mechanisms in place to facilitate consultations at a distance, and that the appropriate support is made available to the clinicians involved in this service. Our aim is to build a whole-of-community telehealth service which will help deliver specialist services into selected hospitals, general practice medical centres and nursing homes.”