Digitally connected, the term we commonly use in a range of industries across Australia be it travel, banking, education, government services, food and beverage, ecommerce and more. But, what about healthcare? Can the available technology ease the wait times, bring in consultation services to the remote parts of Australia with a click of a button? Can the health care industry sustain the burden of disease with the growing population? Is telehealth in Australia the answer to contain the spread of various illnesses? 
 
As we ring in the new year of 2024, it is important to understand how telehealth is shaping Australia’s health care system and why it has become a necessity in our daily lives.  

Usage of digital technology in Australia

As per a report from Australian Communications and Media Authority, 99% Australian adults have internet access post 2022 for work, study, leisure, shopping, and daily activities. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, Telehealth has seen a consistent increase in usage due to the restrictions imposed on movement and to mitigate the risk of spreading the disease. Especially the restrictions led people of all ages to get online for tele consults.   Australia’s healthcare landscape is undergoing a revolutionary transformation, driven by advancements in technology and a growing emphasis on digital solutions. The National Digital Health Strategy is at the forefront of this change, with telehealth emerging as a pivotal component in delivering accessible, efficient, and patient-centric care.  As per some statistics from Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy, 1 of 20 Australian google searches are health related, 84% of users first go online for health information and 69% of older Australians used Internet to look up health information which shows how digital technology is already a part of our life.

What do Aussies want from Telehealth in Australia?

As per the Australian Digital Health Agency led consultation process in forming the National Digital Health Strategy, it was found that
  • 65% of the respondents think that it is difficult to navigate Australia’s healthcare system.
  • 45% of the respondents had difficulty in accessing healthcare when they needed it due to location, cost, or wait times.

Here are some key aspects that Australians typically want from telehealth:

  • Reduced Travel: Reducing the need for extensive travel, particularly for routine check-ups, follow-up appointments, or minor health concerns is a boon especially for patients who are in older age. 
  • 24/7 Access: Many Australians desire round-the-clock access to telehealth services, allowing them to seek medical advice at any time, especially when it comes to urgent situations or child health. 
  • Reduced Waiting Times: Australians want telehealth to address the issue of long waiting times for in-person appointments, providing a more efficient and time-sensitive healthcare experience. 
  • Professional Expertise: Patients want assurance that telehealth consultations will involve qualified healthcare professionals who can provide the same level of expertise and care as in-person visits. 
  • Cost-Effective Services: Australians look for telehealth options that are cost-effective, providing a more affordable alternative to certain types of healthcare services compared to traditional in-person consultations. 
  • Remote Monitoring and Follow-Up: Patients with chronic conditions, new mothers, patients with illnesses that could spread appreciate telehealth for remote monitoring and ongoing management, enabling them to receive continuous care without frequent travel. 
  • Post-Operative Care: Australians expect telehealth to play a role in post-operative care, offering convenient follow-up consultations and reducing the need for unnecessary hospital visits. 
  • Culturally Competent Care: Australians from diverse cultural backgrounds appreciate telehealth services that are culturally sensitive and respectful of their individual needs and beliefs. 

How are Telehealth services such as Hola Health come into the picture?

Telehealth services are the need of the hour, especially with diseases such as Coronavirus and other easily spreadable viruses, we understand the importance of virtual healthcare in our life. Hola Health, one of the best telehealth platforms in Australia, reduced the burden on the Australian Healthcare system by utilizing technology. Many Australians benefit from these services namely:
  • People living in remote or rural areas. 
  • new mothers
  • older people  
  • people who need post-op follow-up 
  • People who require an urgent script 
  • people who need a medical certificate for a single day or multiple day leaves 
  • People who require medicines, test kits, OTC products delivered to home. 
  • People who would like to speak to a mental health specialist in anonymity. 
  • People who can’t take off work or cannot travel long distances to reach a hospital. 
  • People who need a specialist, pathology, radiology referrals quickly so they can have the reports ready for the next appointment. 
  • People who require after hours or weekend consultation 
  • People who cannot get an appointment due to long wait times. 
  • People who are travelling  
  • People who want cost effective health care and who wants to save on travel costs to a hospital. 

Hola health offers a plethora of services including:

  • Online General Practitioner (GP) consultation: Hola Health’s telehealth doctors are AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) accredited GPs and can provide a broad range of medical advice including sick children, coughs, cold and flu, heavy congestion, earaches, sore throats, tooth aches, temperatures, and sexual health. Speak to a GP within 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in Australia. 
  • Get a Medical Certificate: Whether you need a doctor’s certificate for work, school, or as a carer, Hola Health puts you in control of your medical certificate needs with simple, quick, online certificate requests.  
  • Get an online prescription: Cannot get in to see your regular doctor and need a prescription? Select your medication from the provided list and have a short consult with an AHPRA registered medical practitioner within 15 mins 24 hours a day. Approved scripts are sent to your mobile device as an eScript.  
  • Get a Mental Health Treatment Plan: If you think you may be experiencing a mental health disorder, and it is not an emergency, you can make an appointment with an AHPRA registered doctor who is trained in mental health assessment. During this appointment, our doctor will assess whether you have a mental health disorder and would benefit from a Mental Health Treatment Plan (formerly known as a Mental Health Care Plan). Appointments are 100% Medicare bulk billed. 
  • Get your medicines delivered at home: Getting to the pharmacy to collect your medicines can be time consuming and take you away from the things you should be doing. There is an easier way. Hola Health medicine delivery provides a fast and convenient way to get the medicines you need, now. 
Telehealth is a cornerstone of Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy, representing a transformative shift towards a more accessible, patient-centric, and digitally driven healthcare system. As technology continues to evolve, the integration of telehealth in Australia will play an increasingly crucial role in shaping the future of healthcare, contributing to improved health outcomes for all. 

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Disclaimer

This content is created for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. For emergencies please immediately contact 000.