Australia’s latest telehealth initiatives are a fantastic advance for patients and practitioners, and who knows, they might have the fortuitious consequence of encouraging specialists, who with some remarkable exceptions have for too long been behind the technology curve, to embrace computers and communications with more enthusiasm.
But one thing we might take on board is the design of telehealth tools and practices. The video below of an elderly Parkinson’s sufferer commenting on the relief she and her family gained through tele-consultations indicates what’s likely to be achieved.
The Mobile Health blog raises some pertinent issues arising from the interview, although I’m not sure it quite appreciates the fact that this was more of a review of benefits than a formal consultation.
Nevertheless, as Australia moves forward in telehealth, it’s surely worthwhile to consider “a multitude of problems that are typically encountered when patients and doctors connect over video in a way that hasn’t been effectively designed …. and don’t do things such as waste expensive clinicians’ time asking basic questions, waiting for answers and documenting them, sometimes into paper-based records, when there’s a helper available and ensure the doctor and the patient maintain eye contact.
Any other suggestions?