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Telehealth could save "unsustainable" federal health budget, according to a white paper

Brian Karlovsky | March 6, 2014
A national strategy for Telehealth could save the federal government about $4 billion and help rein in an unsustainable health budget.

"MBS funded video consultations have improved the lives of the 47,000 patients who have consulted with a specialist in the last two years."

"But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the real potential that Telehealth has to dramatically reduce costs and improve the quality of health care available to all Australians, particularly in remote and rural areas," she said.

For those with chronic conditions, Telehealth can also include remote patient monitoring which provides patients with the knowledge to manage their condition in the comfort of their own home, and allows for early detection of any changes in their condition.

The patient's vital signs can be captured in accordance with the care plan through blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximeters and other small medical devices that send the readings via Bluetooth to a smartphone or similar device to a central monitoring station.

The monitoring nurse — who is able to manage a workload of up to 250 patients — will be alerted if readings exceed the thresholds set for the individual patients and may request that the patient retake their readings, assess the impact of recent medication, food or exercise intake, or refer the patient to their GP for review.


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