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A virtual clinic : telemetric assessment and monitoring for rural and remote areas
journal contributionposted on 2004-07-13, 00:00 authored by B Meade, James DunbarJames Dunbar
This article reports the establishment of a pilot ‘virtual clinic’ in a rural region of Victoria, Australia. Using low-cost videophones that work across ordinary phone lines, together with off-the-shelf (mostly automatic) clinical tools, local volunteers have been trained to mediate a virtual consultation between simulated patients and local GPs. This system has the potential to save long trips into town by such patients since the traditional ‘home visit’ is not feasible, as well as to provide regular home monitoring for those with chronic conditions. This in turn should impact favourably on ambulance deployment, sometimes enabling patients to avoid going to hospital or allowing them to come home sooner than otherwise would be the case, and generally to offer a sense of medical security to those living in isolated regions.