Who benefits from the use of telehealth?
It can be easy to think that the only people who benefit from telehealth are those clients who make use of the integrated solutions to help monitor their conditions and overall health from the comfort of their homes. While direct users of Tunstall’s integrated services and solutions undoubtedly benefit from doing so, there are many other individuals, groups and bodies who have plenty to gain from this technology.
What is telehealth all about?
Telehealth helps patients and doctors keep track of a client’s health conditions on a daily basis without the need to be physically present at a care provider’s office. Tunstall’s patient management system does this by collecting vital signs and interview information from clients on a regular or even daily basis, feeding this back to a clinician who will alert a doctor or other carer if any of the data needs further attention. It’s ideal for those living with chronic health conditions, including diabetes, hypertension and congestive heart failure.
Clients clearly benefit from telehealth solutions, as they reduce the number of unnecessary medical appointments they need to attend, saving time and money. They also take their healthcare into their own hands, discovering how to manage their conditions in the comfort of their own home. It means those in rural or remote areas who have difficulty getting to specialist appointments only need to do so when necessary. According to a 2010 study called ‘The reported benefits of telehealth for rural Australians‘, patients may benefit from reduced inconvenience and lower costs associated with specialist healthcare services.
Doctors and other care providers also benefit from telehealth, as they can reduce the time spent travelling to see rural and remote patients who may not urgently need attention. This allows them to focus only on patients who need to be seen, increasing their productivity while still allowing them to monitor all their patients through telehealth solutions.
The healthcare system as a whole has much to gain from telehealth, including the reduced healthcare costs associated with transporting patients to appointments and lowering the number of emergency department visits. Specialists and local healthcare providers can work hand in hand to provide improved disease management, and having more clients aware and in control of their conditions is certainly likely to see an upswing in value for Australia’s healthcare system.
– Lisa Capamagian, Corporate Development Manager