Proper guidelines are benefiting Government’s telehealth initiative: LifeSize

Unified communications vendor sees stricter rules around telehealth benefiting the initiative

The Federal Government’s telehealth initiative may not have achieved its intended goal, but LifeSize A/NZ country manager, Gerry Forsythe, said that is finally changing.

“With no real guidelines behind it, the one-off incentive payment of $6000 was not really taken on properly, though it is coming together now,” he said.

In 2011, the Federal Government introduced an initiative to encourage the use of telehealth by offering an incentive payment of $6000 to medical practitioners.

However, the rules were tightened and funding was reduced in 2012 following a less than anticipated uptake of telehealth.

Despite the reduction of the incentive to $4800, Forsythe said the positive outcome is that proper guidelines have been drafted for the rules of the funding.

“A doctor that qualifies for the funding gets half of that payment upfront, but to get the rest of the payment comes after proof of ten full consultations over video,” he said.

The new guidelines may be a good start, though Forsythe admits it is somewhat challenging for vendors such as LifeSize to reengage customers who have “already spent the initial $6000 on the repayment of their luxury car and downloaded Skype instead.”

Telehealth today

Forsythe is seeing more and more younger doctors in hospitals walking around with tablets, a trend he said LifeSize is well positioned to capitalise on with its mobile solutions.

“Telehealth is changing, so we have to facilitate these people,” he said.

Despite the continued absence of the NBN, Forsythe adds that a “very good” video conference can be run on the existing network available in Australia today.

While many associate the NBN and telehealth with running HD videos at high frame rates, Forsythe said the high speed network has the potential to deliver patient records almost instantly.

“While today’s network is good, that’s where the NBN is really going to benefit telehealth,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

2015 State of The IT Channel Survey : IT'S TIME!!! Fill in this year's State of the IT Channel Survey and be in the running to win great prizes. CLICK HERE

Join the ARN newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags unified communicationstelehealthehealthlifesize

More about Federal GovernmentIDGIDG CommunicationsIDG CommunicationsIDG CommunicationsSkype

Show Comments
 

Latest News

01:06PM
ShoreTel signs HP South-Pacific as reseller partner
12:15PM
Australian government ICT spend to exceed $6.2 billion by 2018: IDC Australia
10:11AM
Steve Saunders joins Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise
10:08AM
CSIRO opens $6 million 3D printing centre
More News
26 May
IM Experience, Brisbane
26 May
SplunkLive! Brisbane
26 May
Entrepreneurial Marketing - Innovative Thinking to Create or Re-Invigorate your ...
26 May
D-Link IP Surveillance Training and Certification
View all events