A telehealth appointment is just like a regular appointment, only the specialist you will be seeing and talking with is on a monitor with sound coming through speakers.
Telehealth is videoconferencing. It provides an opportunity to patients living in rural and remote areas to see their specialist without having to leave their local community.
Videoconferencing can also be used to link families to long-stay patients who are in a hospital away from their hometown.
"[Telehealth] is great because firstly it saves the trip, secondly it saves the cost and you're getting the same information that you'd get just talking to the person."
If you like, you can ask family members, carers or friends to sit in on the telehealth appointment with you. There will also usually be a healthcare professional sitting with you during your telehealth appointment.
Before the telehealth appointment starts, usually the health professional sitting with you will outline what you can expect during the consultation and may even take some preliminary patient readings such as your blood pressure or heart rate.
Once the videoconference starts, it will be as if you are all sitting in the room together like a regular appointment.
Telehealth appointments can:
- Improve access to health services locally
- Reduce patient travel and costs
- Reduce time away from home
- Reduce making lengthy family or day care arrangements
- Reduce taking extended amounts of time off work to attend appointments.
To find out whether you can access a telehealth service, ask your GP or specialist when booking or confirming your next appointment or alternatively, please contact the Telehealth Support Unit.