We are all more than aware of the havoc the pandemic has caused around the world and one of the most important tools the healthcare sector has at its disposal is IT. Digital solutions empower the healthcare sector in many ways, which we will highlight in this article and the term given to this is ‘telehealth’.
What is Telehealth?
Simply put, telehealth is a term used for health services that are delivered via the Internet, where the health professional and the patient communicate using audio and video, with a VoIP platform such as Zoom or Skype. Many Australian GPs now offer virtual patient consultations, which protect both the medical professional and the patient and, in most cases, the doctor gains sufficient information to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the correct medication. If not, they would ask the patient to make a face-to-face appointment at the doctor’s surgery.
Known as EP, exercise physiology is delivered by a qualified physio and if you are recovering from a sports injury, the physio can treat you in a virtual environment. There is affordable EP in Rouse Hill from a leading Australian physio and you can make an online consultation booking and the physio can show you how to exercise during a video call.
Mental Health Counselling
The pandemic has caused millions of Australians to be without an income and with constant lockdowns, people are suffering from stress and anxiety. Luckily, there are 24/7 mental health counsellors that are available on free telephone numbers and using VoIP Internet platforms. If you need someone to talk to, a quick Google search will take you to a website where you can find the help and emotional support that you need. A short call in the morning and again in the evening can really help and if you know someone that seems to be acting strangely, make contact and be a good listener; that is often all a person needs, a sympathetic ear.
Even though suicide rates are rising, tele-counselling is providing essential mental health support for thousands of Australians; if you have free time and would like to be a listener on counselling platforms, there are opportunities (search with Google) and it’s a good feeling, knowing that you are supporting those less fortunate than yourself. If you would like to make some lifestyle changes, click here.
Virtual Fitness Programs
If all the gyms are closed, you can work out online with a remotely located instructor; or sign up for virtual yoga or Pilates classes, which use a VoIP platform such as Zoom, which enables you to interact with the instructor and the other students. Tele-fitness classes take away the geographical borders; you can hook up with a Texas-based gym if you wish, although the hours might be unsocial here in Australia, but your local gym or fitness centre will be offering virtual sessions.
Learning to Use VoIP Programs
When the health professional prepares for your online consultation, he or she will ask you to open Zoom (or other platform) and you will receive an invite to join the video meeting. Of course, you need to download and install the VoIP software and we recommend calling a few friends to get the hang of using the app. Powerful features like file sharing and a group whiteboard make for an easy exchange of ideas and it doesn’t take long to master. Let’s not forget that the healthcare provider will record your session and send it to you via email, which is great for reviewing.
Benefits of Telehealth
There are many benefits for the patient using telehealth, which are as follows:
- Have treatment in the comfort of your own home.
- You receive a recording of the session, so you can review and replay as many times as you wish.
- Convenient appointment times.
- Telehealth is very affordable when compared to regular treatment.
The health professional can watch you doing the exercises and can coach accordingly, or perform the exercises for you, as a model. A stable Internet connection is essential and this ensures you have good communication with your physio. If you are recovering from a sporting injury, you might only need a single session to put you right about the best way to recover.
Telehealth will continue to develop and with the emergence of 5G and the Internet of Things, we are moving into a new dimension of digital technology. As soon as the world receives the vaccine, we can get back to normal and this technology will play a growing role in the healthcare sector, with tracing and tracking.
We are all benefitting from the current levels of technology in so many ways and the Internet can help you to find important health information, should you ever be in need.