Telehealth removes some of the barriers to accessing medical services for Australians who have difficulty getting to a specialist or live in rural and remote areas.
Telehealth services use information and communications technologies to deliver health services and transmit health information. It encompasses diagnosis, treatment, preventive and curative aspects of healthcare services and typically involves patients, care providers or educators in the provision of these services.
Interactive telehealth appointments are real-time communication encounters between a patient and a clinician, delivered via video conference. In this way, the patient and practitioner are able to talk, share images and information as they would in a face-to-face appointment.
These consultations may occur in the patient’s home, a general practice, residential aged care facility, Aboriginal Medical Service, consulting rooms or other settings.
Access to telehealth services can reduce waiting time, travel time and expense for patients that would otherwise have to travel to see a practitioner. Allowing patients to access treatment closer to their own family and home can help to alleviate anxiety and streamline the patient journey.
For appointments with specialists, a variety of telehealth consultations can be bulk billed, particularly if the patient lives in a rural or regional location.
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