Australia’s telehealth incentive programme nears end

A multi-million dollar financial incentive programme to encourage Australian clinicians to start telehealth [grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]schemes is due to end in June. Launched as a four-year programme in July 2011, the Telehealth On-Board Incentive Programme was funded from a wider AU$620 million telehealth initiative, but the end of the programme was brought forward to June 2014.

The Medicare rebates and financial incentives for specialist video consultations were introduced to address some of the barriers to accessing medical services, particularly specialist services, for Australians in remote, regional and outer metropolitan areas. The Telehealth On-Board incentive was one of five financial incentives in the wider initiative and encouraged and supported the initial and ongoing provision of telehealth services to eligible patients by practitioners. (more…)

An encouraging Australian RCT combining self-care and telemonitoring

A paper just published in the Journal of Telemedicine & eHealth (Volume: 19 Issue 9) entitled “Telehealth Remote Monitoring for Community-Dwelling Older Adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease” makes refreshing reading for those of us who still believe that a well-designed implementation of telehealth brings immense health benefit to those with chronic long-term conditions.

The authors, Kristen De San Miguel, Joanna Smith, and Gill Lewin, all from Western Australia describe a small RCT using Docobo kit that involved (more…)

BT takes 3ML ‘down under’

Just when the UK’s 3millionlives (3ML) project seems to have hit the doldrums, BT has taken its model ‘down under’ to Australia. According to The Australian (part pay-walled) “BT is spearheading a multi-million-dollar push by more than 20 key private and public sector players in the healthcare industry to roll out telehealth services in Australia, mirroring a British e-health initiative to provide services to three million people within five years…BT is convening a meeting later this month of key players across the sector, including those in private, community and aged care, to sign off on bankrolling the initiative, expected to run for up to two years, to develop a framework to fast-track the rollout of telehealth services.”

It will be interesting to see if a private 3ML-type initiative without the dead hand of Ministerial blessing will fare better than the original. Of course, the connecting link between the Australian and UK initiatives is Angela Single, Chair of the UK’s 3ML Working Group who is Clinical Director of BT’s Global Telehealth and Telecare Managed Service Pratice [sic]. Will BT, with the benefit of the UK experience, be able to make a fresh start In Australia? More, is this development a sign that the UK’s 3ML investors are restless? Might it not be time for 3ML to be reinvigorated and regenerated Dr Who-like and moved to a new home?

The Australian item: BT leads big push to roll out national telehealth services.

…Meanwhile, also in Australia, a seemingly unrelated story: Telehealth projects get $20m funding boost ITNews.