Telehealth: A Game Changer - Closing the Gap in Remote Indigenous Health in Three Remote Homeland Communities in the Laynhapuy Homelands, East Arnhem, Northern Australia

Marianne St Clair, David Murtagh, John Kelly, Payi Linda Ford, Ruth Wallace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review

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Benefits of telehealth have been demonstrated both internationally and through local assessments. Early diagnosis and treatment, reduced costs associated with patient travel, minimized time spent away from community and providing improved patient and staff satisfaction are key drivers for using telehealth. Uptake of telehealth in the NT has been limited, for a variety of reasons including inadequate broadband access. Through collaboration between stakeholders, high-end satellites have been deployed in three very remote clinics, uncontended internet provided and telehealth successfully implemented. Face-to-face consultation via video-conferencing, direct supervision and observation of patient examinations, showing patients and families pictures and videos from the internet allowing the supervising GP to demonstrate clearly what the problem is and the treatment required and the use of remote diagnostic systems for patient assessment in acute care is a “game changer” in remote Indigenous health service delivery. Early identification and decision making of malignancies can facilitate earlier intervention with better prognosis for the patient. Through collaboration, this program has demonstrated the value of uncontended and unlimited internet access in implementing telehealth. The question was: Is high quality internet required to improve service delivery? The service recognises the value and now relies heavily on this service and is committed to improving connectivity and implementing telehealth in more of their communities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConnecting the System to Enhance the Practitioner and Consumer Experience in Healthcare
Subtitle of host publicationSelected Papers from the 26th Australian National Health Informatics Conference (HIC 2018)
EditorsElizabeth Cummings, Angela Ryan, Louise K. Schaper
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Netherlands
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-61499-890-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-61499-889-1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2018
EventHealth Informatics Conference - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 29 Jul 20181 Aug 2018
Conference number: 26th

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
PublisherIOS Press
ISSN (Print)0926-9630


ConferenceHealth Informatics Conference
Abbreviated titleHIC


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