Telemedicine is the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology.
• Increasing and aging populations increases in healthcare costs • There is a pressing need for society to find ways to provide healthcare in a more cost effective way
• A majority of the cases a GP sees do NOT require physical examination • A good history will often be enough to plan tests and treatment • But are people ready to break with tradition? Are people ready to break with the traditional idea of a visit to the doctor?................
Doctor online versus… Doctor in the clinic
Often cheaper No commute No exposure to germ-filled waiting rooms Convenience
Comfort- can seek advice from home when ill Often less waiting time, often same day service Choice of when and where you want to have your appointment
Can serve remote communities and other groups in society who experience difficulty accessing a doctor in person Can reduce burden on GP clinics and other frontline medical services, keeping them free to deal with urgent and serious cases
Can save Medicare ( and thus the taxpayer) money, as online services often involve much lower overheads, as well as the fact that patients may be willing to pay for convenience of an online service rather than attend a bulk-billing service in person Better for the environment- fewer road trips! Possibility of collecting health data and statistics- which can improve our understanding of disease and help to plan health budget spending as a society