[LINK] Minister, Turnbull, Windsor...discuss NBN on Insight

Birch, Jim Jim.Birch at dhhs.tas.gov.au
Mon Nov 1 10:28:14 AEDT 2010

Tom Worthington wrote:

> For tele-medicine applications you need trained staff at the patient's

end of the link. You can't have the patient sitting at home alone in 
front of a video screen. There needs to be a trained professional with 
the patient to carry out part of the examination, under the remote 
specialist's direction.

This depends on the situation.  Obviously you aren't going to diagnose
an appendicitis - or do an appendectomy - in someone's home via video
link, but there are a lot of people with existing conditions who might
benefit significantly with the management of their or their children's
condition.  These people often have diagnostic tools - like blood sugar
or heart monitoring equipment and could mix online and face-to-face
consultation, saving the trip time and associated risk of contracting
something serious in the waiting room.  We tend to think of diagnosis of
new acute conditions but a large proportion of medical expenditure is on
chronic conditions.

This is a new style of service that offers closer medical supervision at
reduced cost, when appropriate.  It will require some cultural change
and development of enabling systems, not a direct replacement for GP's
offices or hospitals.

- Jim


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