Rapid improvements to medical technologies and more generic technologies has meant telehealth services are becoming increasingly common across Australia. According to the Department of Health in Australia, telehealth refers to using communication technologies in order to provide medical advice, education and health support over a long distance. As a result, distance medical services rely on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to ensure viable, practical health services can be delivered and transmitted over short/long distances. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the administering of long-distance health advice is more important than ever. Indeed, this brief article will provide all the information and advice you need when it comes to telehealth practices.
What does telehealth involve exactly?
One of the main ways people can connect with doctors and medical professionals is via videoconferencing. In fact, the growth and development videoconferencing services, like Zoom and Skype, has meant that communities that are increasingly isolated (like rural areas) can get access to medical advice and diagnostic information without having to leave their home or suburb. Moreover, there are many recognised distanced medical providers in Australia, which can provide a range of comprehensive services.
What can telehealth agencies provide?
Online medical platforms can provide a range of awesome, practical services for their patients. While these services can vary from provider to provider, there are several core services that most portals provide because of their simplicity. Indeed, these services include the following:
- Medical Certificates
- Pathology Requests
- Specialist Referrals
What are the benefits of online medical services?
There are many advantages associated with online medical consultations. As we are currently seeing, online medical services are highly valuable during times of social and economic lockdown. As COVID-19 continues to spread, being able to consult with a medical specialist online has been able to help slow the spread of the virus. This has proven effective in countries like Australia, where social distancing has helped curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Here are some of the other benefits of online medical platforms:
Being able to see your doctor via videoconferencing is also a lot more convenient than the alternative. Long gone are the days when you had to schedule an appointment with your doctor, organise transport there, wait for who knows how long for your appointment, before finally travelling back home. These days, it can all be done from the comfort of your home. So, if you’re sick from work or school, and you require a medical certificate, you can easily schedule a consultation online.
Many of the new telehealth portals are very user-friendly. They are compatible with many devices, like laptops, computers, iPads, iPhones and Android phones. Once you have downloaded the software onto your device, all you need to do is make an account and schedule an appointment with an available doctor. You’ll receive reminders prior to your appointment starting, so make sure you at your computer when the allotted time comes around. Make sure your camera and speaker are working, as well as ascertaining that your internet connection is strong enough to maintain a 15-minute appointment (if needed).
Medicare and bulkbilling
Now, not all telehealth providers receive Medicare benefits or offer bulkbilling services. However, as the practice continues to grow and become more widespread, more and more agencies are becoming certified. This ensures that costs associated with consultations are slowly dropping, meaning the service is not only more convenient but becoming more cost-effective and affordable too.
Hence, there are clearly some great benefits to telehealth services. They save patients money and time and can even be used to provide healthcare to more disadvantaged patients, like those living in isolated regions.