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

02:15PM
Aussie appetite for fast broadband proves to be insatiable
02:07PM
Dicker Data partners NEXTDC to provide "affordable" Cloud solutions
01:27PM
There should be a ‘when, not if’ approach to security issues in the channel: Log...
01:22PM
Huawei's Australian enterprise business posts triple digit revenue growth
More News
14 Apr
Dell Solutions Tour Melbourne
15 Apr
LIVE WEBCAST Websense 2015 Threat Report: 8 High-Risk Lessons
21 Apr
APJ Progress Spark Conference
22 Apr
2015 Innotribe Startup Challenge
View all events