Video conferencing taking off in rural Australian clinics

Monday, April 4 2011

Broadband systems in Australia's rural areas are paving the way for a new kind of patient care.

According to ABC News, healthcare clinics may still be waiting for the National Broadband Network (NBN) to install faster systems, but for now, the current broadband speed is sufficient to support video conferencing and other telehealth programs being practiced.

In rural Victoria, David Ryan of the Grampians Rural Health Alliance explains that doctors and clinicians in the area are starting to see the technology as a primary option even before choosing to travel. Doctors can get urgent online consultations from other specialists in cities like Melbourne because it is efficient and cost-effective. Ryan adds that doctors "now consider the option to use video conference and telehealth devices instead of jumping in the car at the first thought."

Patients are currently traveling to these rural health centers to connect to specialists who may otherwise be hours away, but the news outlet is stating that with the help of the NBN, these individuals could eventually get the service from the comfort of their own homes.