Tech care: Key benefits of telehealth
How online services are allowing Australians to take charge of their health.
These days, 24 hours don't seem like enough to fit in a full day at work, carve out time with the family, and get chores out of the way... let alone keep on top of all aspects of your health.
However, as more Australians gain access to fast broadband and learn about online health services available to them, health-management tips and tools are just a click away.
From video-conferencing that allows real-time patient-to-doctor communication; Internet-connected home sensors and monitoring for the elderly; to the countless number of health and wellbeing apps - the benefits of harnessing telehealth services are endless.
How will telehealth benefit Australians?
New and expecting parents
Expectant mothers will be able to undergo regular check-ups more efficiently through online services such as Pregnancy, Birth & Baby – a government-funded service that not only provides information for mothers throughout the course of their pregnancy, but also offers an online video call service where they can speak to a counsellor for confidential advice from the comfort otf their own home.
Approximately 20 per cent of all Australians suffer from a chronic disease. Access to telehealth services will allow the aging population to actively manage their health, and carers to monitor them remotely.
Numerous connected devices can now measure vitals such as blood sugar, blood pressure, body weight and temperature.
A great example is uHealth, a pocket-sized glucose meter that can read blood sugar levels in seconds before relaying the results on a chosen smartphone, tablet or computer.
Regional and remote Australians
Before access to fast Internet connection was available, many Australians living in regional and remote locations would need to travel significant distances to access healthcare.
Thanks to telehealth services such as GP2U, many of them now have the option to access a doctor who can provide consultations over video conference.
Watch: Find out how a patient in regional Victoria no longer has to travel for days to see her specialist, thanks to telehealth services via the nbn™ network.
The Australian healthcare system
With $154.6 billion spent on Australians' health in 2013-14, telehealth is enabling many Aussies to easily access healthcare services and is expected to help relieve the pressure on the current health system.
On an average, 23,000 people are admitted to the hospital every day in Australia.
Access to a fast Internet connection means some patients could be monitored from the comfort of their own home, helping free up hospital beds for people in need.
To start enjoying the potential benefits of telehealth, check your address to see if you can connect to the nbn™ network.