This week telehealth is being celebrated in Western Australia during the state’s Telehealth Awareness Week. The awareness week (25 – 29 June) aims to raise awareness about telehealth and encourage regional and rural patients to ask their specialists whether telehealth might be available for their next appointment.
For ophthalmology patients in Western Australian, telehealth services have been available since 2011 through the dedicated team of eye health professionals at Lions Outback Vision and local resident optometrists.
A/Prof Angus Turner, McCusker Director of Lions Outback Vision, says that the Western Australia eye health sector is leading the way in the use of telehealth in remote eye care which is a major benefit for patients in rural and remote areas.
“Telehealth allows more people to be seen closer to home. Optometrists provide eye examination and testing which enables the specialist assessment to occur remotely. The patient can be included in culturally appropriate settings via video consultations, which determines the best plan for treatment or surgery as required. Sometimes we are able to arrange treatments to be performed in our mobile clinic, the Lions Outback Vision Van with specialised equipment, further reducing the need for patients to travel vast distances to receive treatment.”
Of the 7392 patient consultations through Lions Outback Vision in 2017, 1555 were managed by telehealth.
To find out more about Lions Outback Vision, visit their website at https://www.outbackvision.com.au