Australia Launches Telehealth Program

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - A new $20 million telehealth program using Australia's fiber-based National Broadband Network (NBN) will provide innovative in-home telehealth services to older Australians, people living with cancer and those requiring palliative care.

Government officials say that, beginning in July, the NBN Telehealth Pilot Program will deliver services in areas where NBN is being rolled out and provide feedback about delivering telehealth services nationwide. Services in the pilot program will include remote monitoring of health indicators, such as blood pressure, as well as remote doctor visits and and healthy living support in the home. The NBN's speed, ubiquity and bandwidth will enhance the reliability of telehealth services and ultimately transform the way health care is delivered in that country.

The existing telehealth program is already proving popular with Australian patients and doctors, making it easier for people to receive care and advice via videoconferencing when and where they need it. It removes many of the barriers - distance, time and cost - that prevent patients from getting timely, appropriate health care services. Six months after the government introduced Medicare reimbursements for telehealth consultations, more than 7,000 services are provided by over 1,200 clinicians, mostly in rural and remote areas.

Over time, the NBN will provide an enhanced nationwide platform that allows homes, doctors' offices, pharmacies, clinics, senior care facilities and other health care providers to connect to affordable, reliable, high-speed and high-capacity broadband.


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