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

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Tue Nov 2 11:29:20 AEDT 2010

Birch, Jim wrote:
> ...  diagnostic tools - like blood sugar
> or heart monitoring equipment and could mix online and face-to-face
> consultation  ...

You don't need the NBN's high speed broadband for transmitting
blood sugar levels or heart monitoring data. I wore a heart monitor
for 24 hours and all the data fitted on a small flash card. A low speed 
broadband connection would be enough transmitting this data as well as 
audio and video for a home medical consultation.

What might be useful is nurse practitioners linked to doctors by
broadband. From 1 November 2010 patients can claim on Medicare when
examined by suitably qualified nurses. The nurse can examine a patient 
on their own (without a doctor), write some prescriptions and referrals: 

A nurse practitioner could record the patient history and make an
examination. Then, where necessary, the nurse could contact a doctor 
online. The patient details would appear on the doctor's screen along 
with live video. The doctor could then make a quick assessment. In most 
cases they would simply confirm the nurse's diagnosis. But they could 
request further tests, write a prescription, or ask the patient to come 
in person.

As the nurse practitioners can now set up practice for themselves, this
could change the balance of power in the medical profession and lower
costs. Most visits to the doctor would be eliminated. The nurse would be 
the one the patient goes to see and so the nurse would decide if patient 
needs to see a doctor and which doctor they will see.

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/

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