By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist
I've previously written about my 1st telehealth experience using videoconsultation. Dr Herman Lau and I then set up and continue to visit a rural NSW town called Temora 3 monthly to see patients in the flesh. We then follow them up remotely using videoconsultation (read about this hybrid model).
Our Royal Australasian College of Physicians has just launched a website to help physicians interested in providing telehealth. I think it's already an excellent resource which will improve with time. A lot of you will find this interesting so I thought it worth providing the link here.
I was pleased to see that this RACP Telehealth website included a link to an article (read here) written by my fellow rheumatologists, Drs Lynden Roberts and Claire Barrett with a small contribution from me.
I currently use videoconsultation for only a few consultations each week. This number will likely increase but being a city-based doctor, it will always represent a small part of my work.
I do however believe that telerheumatology makes a difference. It will have an impact as more embrace this mode of consultation.
But, it's important to point out the very real advantages of interacting with a patient while in the same room, with the ability to process sensory clues, and the ability for physical examination. These are lost using internet-based communication and a webcam.
Telerheumatology is second best, but for some, the improved access and greatly improved convenience, will outweigh the disadvantages.
I'd love to hear about your experience with videoconsultation.Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here. Arthritis requires an integrated approach. We call this, Connected Care. Contact us.