Telehealth is the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies, for example Skype, or FaceTime. Telehealth could be as simple as two health practitioners discussing a case over the phone or as sophisticated as doing robotic surgery between facilities in London and Sydney. These advances in the delivery of a health service have saved many lives of people living in remote or rural areas.
Research, as discussed by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, has demonstrated that assessments conducted remotely are equivalent to those conducted face-to-face. So what are the benefits?
- Not travelling long distances to see your Speech Pathologist
- Fits in better with your busy schedule
- Can access intervention in your child’s/ your own home environment
- Reduce anxiety involved in regards to visiting a “medical clinic”
I have recently had to opportunity to complete voice treatment with a man with a degenerative disease living overseas. Delivering therapy via Skype meant that he had the professional input he needed, which was not available in the country he lived. We had regular sessions, which lead to increased motivation and noticeable changes.
In 2006, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that 32% of Australians lived in regional or remote areas. That means that over 6 million people here may not have adequate access to the health professional they need.
Do you live in a remote area? Or are you a busy parent who thinks that telehealth may benefit you or your child? If so contact us to discuss further.