Sunday, March 08, 2020

Telehealth for dealing with the COVID-19 Coronavirus

Yesterday, Professor Paul Kelly, the Australian Deputy Chief Medical Officer, discussed the advantages of Telehealth for medical practitioners dealing with the COVID-19 Coronavirus. But if you are going to talk to patients by phone or video conference, I suggest spending $100 setting up for it. I have been helping my university colleagues set up for their online student consultations. Audio is most important: get a Bluetooth or wired headset, to put the microphone near your mouth (about $50). If using the your smart phone, put it in a cradle for a stable image. If using your laptop, get a USB web camera (1,280x720 pixels will do for $50). You might want a second camera for showing diagrams. Ensure your face is lit, and dress the set behind you: tidy your bookcase, straighten your certificates, and remove your half eaten lunch.
"So I think Telehealth has a number of advantages. One is the one you mentioned but the others side that particularly for those who have chronic disease and therefore- or the elderly - and are therefore at that highest risk of getting the more serious end of the spectrum of this disease. And just remembering that 80 per cent of cases will be mild and probably don't need to see a doctor at all, once we have a large number of cases if that occurs. And then there's the protection of the health staff themselves but it will also importantly minimise the use of personal protective equipment. You cannot catch this virus over a Telehealth consultation. And so that certainly from a public health point of view and decreasing the numbers of cases that may be found in the community. That's an important consideration as well."
From  Deputy Chief Medical Officer's press conference about COVID-19, National Incident Room, 7 March 2020

1 comment:

Tom Worthington said...

Good to see access to telehealth is being broadened. However, I suggest all restrictions should be lifted.

$1.1 billion Medicare, mental health, domestic violence package on its way in response to coronavirus crisis, by Kath Sullivan, Matthew Doran and Stephanie Dalzell, ABC.