Australasian Telehealth Society
ATHS This Week in Telehealth Number 7 - 29th July 2013
SFT-13 Conference Update
Professor Shuji Shimizu, the Director of the Telemedicine Development Center of Asia, will be a keynote speaker at SFT-13. He will be speaking about his 10 year experience of remote medical education in the Asia-Pacific region: lessons learned and recent trends.
Notes from the Health Informatics Conference – 2013
HIC-13 was held in Adelaide the week before last, and there were several presentations on telehealth. Some of the telehealth-specific content is summarised below:
Michelle McGuick presented on how telehealth in the Northern Territory can be used to support social action in indigenous communities.
Gunner Hartvigsen from the Norway Centre for Telemedicine, which has been operating for over 25 years, said that they started with video consulting, moved to store-and-forward, but were now moving back to video consulting as they found that this prevented more hospital transfers.
Paul Taylor from Deloitte Life Sciences presented about 5 criteria for sustainable telehealth services: demand, acknowledgement of benefits, alignment to clinical models of care, technology support and strength of sponsorship.
Janet Bennet from BT, which is a large UK-based Telco, spoke about the 3 million lives group, which is intended to bring together the UK NHS and industry to improve 3 million people’s lives by telehealth over the next five years. Interestingly, this Telco has started to become a clinical telehealth service provider. See more at
Other highlights of HIC-13 were:
HISA launching their Certified Health Informatician program, with an agreed set of national competencies.
The need for improvement in processes and transparency of outcomes in health: Penny Dash from the UK, looked at the impact of reporting of outcomes by individual clinicians.
Personalised medicine; paradoxically, large online patient communities based around specific diseases have lead to much faster clinical trials and a better ability to treat patients individually.
Free e-book: How To Make Telehealth Work: Defining Telehealth Processes & Procedures First Edition
Click here to download a FREE E-BOOK from Adelaide Unicare:  Written by Victoria Wade, this book distills ours and others’ experiences on setting up and operating telehealth services. The main issue discussed is the clinical models of care; how introducing telehealth changes the model of care, including referral pathways, scope of practice and safety of practice.
Information by discipline includes mental health, pain management, plastic surgery, cardiology, geriatrics and dermatology.
Study Reports GPs Concerns about Video Consulting
Researchers from Curtin University asked GPs to view video vignettes and then report their attitudes towards video consulting. Results showed that attitudes were evenly divided between positive, ambivalent and negative. See at: Comment on this study from the TWIT editor: there has been a reasonable amount of other research on health care providers’ attitudes to telehealth. In general providers who have done actual clinical work via telehealth are more positive than those who are having their attitudes assessed as an isolated event. It may be, however, that those who do participate in telehealth have selected themselves, and therefore are likely to be more positive. In the live situation, telehealth is also part of an overall model of care, so the information from a video consultation is set in a broader context.

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