This week there was an interesting story from IDG Australia about telemedicine in that country. It’s growing rapidly, spurred by economics, the need for better medicine in rural areas and direct government support.
We were struck by the language in the story about expanding broadband in Australia to better healthcare. It sounded very similar to how some of the broadband stimulus dollars from the NTIA and USDA RUS will be used in this country:
In a release, The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, said it was a positive early indication that the National Broadband Network (NBN) would benefit video conferencing applications in healthcare.
“The NBN will serve all Australians, no matter where they choose to live and work, and will provide the enabling platform for a whole range of future remote health applications,” Conroy stated.
Australia and the United States are similar in many ways when it comes to expanding broadband and improving the delivery of healthcare. The population is ageing, the countries are large with geographically dispersed populations, and there are particular challenges getting the best care to rural areas.
TANDBERG is a major sponsor of the National Rural Healthcare Association (NRHA) and has supported the improved delivery of rural healthcare for many years. Whatever the funding mechanism, let’s hope that we will continue to accelerate the adoption of video conferencing as quickly as other developed countries.