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Proponents of TeleHealth Discuss Best Practices in Scalable and Sustained Delivery of Services to Regional and Rural Australia


April 5, 2011 - 7 Comments

Cisco hosted an expert panel discussion on TeleHealth in Australia for media and industry analysts attending Cisco Live! last week.  The event was held at the Australian Centre for Health Innovation (CHI) which is nationally recognised for its collaboration with clinicians, researchers and industry in the establishment of a simulated clinical environment where IT solutions can be evaluated without any risk to patient safety or critical hospital systems.

It proved to be an ideal location for our event as it not only served as the backdrop for our interactive and at times immersive technology demonstration of a clinical experience, but it also exposed the media and analysts to a valuable resource that has already been visited by over 18,000 healthcare, government and industry leaders since it’s opening in May 2007.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Brendan Lovelock, Cisco ANZ’s Health Practice Lead, who was joined by four expert panelists from various parts of the health industry, including:  

  • Steve Pascoe: CIO, New South Wales Health Cochlear Implant Centre
  • David Ryan: CIO, Grampians Rural Health Alliance
  • Gayle Boschert: Clever Health Project Manager, Grampians Rural Health Alliance
  • Cathie Steele: Managing Director, Centre for Health Innovation

The panel explored what TeleHealth success looks like, with Steve Pascoe discussing how the Cochlear Implant Centre is already delivering TeleHealth services via high definition video to bridge the shortage of skilled clinicians and making much more productive use of a limited pool of professionals.

Gayle Boschert highlighted the culture and process changes required for TeleHealth to be replicable and sustainable, discussing the project she is currently leading within the Grampians Rural Health Alliance to help integrate TeleHealth into hospitals and increase the acceptance among clinicians by demonstrating how these technologies can be integrated into their workflow.

The panel also delved into how TeleHealth introduces new access models for healthcare looking at the importance of video technology to overcoming the shortage of medical professionals in rural areas as well as the ability to remotely care for the housebound, disabled or elderly.

To bring the discussion to life, the staff at the CHI presented a simulation of TeleHealth in action. Check out the FlipVideo to see how Nurse Tess is able to prevent a serious medical emergency by having virtual access to a specialist, thousands of kilometres away, at a critical moment in this nine-month old patient’s life.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtlBrne8JjQ

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7 Comments

  1. Its just a matter of time before people in remote areas are not only diagnosed through videos, but procedures completed using a combination of video and robotics.

  2. I think that having access to a virtual specialist is definitely beneficial especially during critical times. I’ve actually had a virtual experience with Teledoc here in the US but there service is only for non emergency related treatments such as colds, sore throats,

  3. We can't have two different standards between rural and urban areas. We need to conquer the difficulties remote areas face as you touch on. The government sure has enough money to do this.

  4. Any process that allows medical personnel to focus on their actual work via virtual access instead of travelling to remote locations or have the patient covering great distances to get treatment must be a good thing. And the possibility to extend advanced medical know-how outside of the hospitals in the big cities is genuine progress and excellent usage of technological possibilities. We really do live in the future...

  5. Remote access to resources will definitely be something we need more and more, especially in zones which lack expertise. Good article!

  6. As with any new discipline or technology, particularly within health care, studies to validate the many claims made by proponents of telehealth...

  7. I think that having access to a virtual specialist is definitely beneficial especially during critical times. I've actually had a virtual experience with Teledoc here in the US but there service is only for non emergency related treatments such as colds, sore throats, etc...