The World of Telehealth Today

The World of Telehealth Today

Telehealth has recently become a concept that has been sweeping the world. In today’s reality, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused both fear as well as the need for innovation and creativity to protect and suit the needs of the population today.

In order to continue providing essential services and consultations by healthcare providers, there has been a massive shift in how we fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a media conference back in 2020, Professor Michael Kidd discussed the multifaceted system of Telehealth. He noted that it aims to keep medical jobs and medical practices running, as well as to also take pressure of the emergency departments and hospitals and to continue to treat all areas of health. Medicare rebates have been stepped up to cover the growing need and complicated healthcare concerns that arise in these unique times-such as a growing need for mental health care, as isolation, domestic violence, alcohol and opioid abuse (and more) grows.

The HeraBeat device is a prime example of the promising future of Telehealth. Obstetric and Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring clinics now have the opportunity to offer hospital grade care to each woman from the comfort and safety of her own home. The clinic connected to the HeraCare program would have live CTG imaging whereby the healthcare professionals can assess the baby’s heartrate patterns using the HeraBEAT Maternity Viewer option and could integrate it into an antenatal telehealth appointment.
Further, the system can be expanded to HeraCARE and be fully integrated with the Enterprise’s EMR (Electronic Medical Records) platform. This will allow for TeleHealth consultations to capture maternal and fetal vital signs and real-time CTG charts and provide clinicians accurate information to act upon.

Beyond COVID-19, HeraBeat could fills a massive gap in supporting rural and remote communities, whereby the time it takes to get to a clinic for CTG monitoring may be too late to be considered safe. HeraBeat’s ease of use is both empowering and settling for the woman when she is supported by her healthcare team.

There is also the possibility that once COVID is controlled and a vaccine emerges, there will be better integration between the world of Telehealth and the world of face-to-face care, which, in my opinion, would be ideal. The concept of Telehealth being available as an option as well as a solution to those who cannot be physically present with the healthcare practitioner, could be ideal. We cannot deny the power and the need for human, face-to-face interaction and it would be a shame to completely have to abandon the future of person-to-person care. However, one cannot deny the need to adjust to the world as it changes and ‘Black Swan’ events, such as the COVID pandemic emerges.

Whether Telehealth will turn out to be a ‘fad or the future of medicine’, it has been the catalyst to re-evaluating our healthcare system and how healthcare is/will be delivered to the public. The gaps that can be filled and the opportunity to create access to healthcare for all, open ups a world of possibility both in Australia and for the rest of the world.