Friday, 14 January 2022 11:31

$2M project will enhance telehealth capabilities

Healthdirect Video Call Healthdirect Video Call

A $2 million project led by Monash University aims to improve telehealth delivery for patients, clinicians and caregivers.

The project – funded by the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC) and led by Monash University's Faculty of Information Technology – will deliver user-centred and research-based software solutions to enhance telehealth services such as real-time transcription, smoother integration of personal diagnostic data from medical devices, and better accessibility for the elderly or Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Other participants include Monash Health, researchers from the University of Melbourne, unidentified industry partners, Healthdirect Australia and the Victorian Department of Health.

The focus will be on mental health and palliative care, and – once developed – the improved video telehealth solutions will be available to Victorian clinics using Healthdirect Australia Video Call.

"We will be working closely with patients, caregivers and doctors to understand their needs and create software solutions like providing language translations, explanations for medical terminologies in real-time during medical appointments, better integration of portable medical devices and generating consultation summaries to support patients and doctors etc," said project leader Monash University Associate Professor Rashina Hoda.

"We are looking to augment current web-based video telehealth services with further enriched clinical capabilities support that will create more streamlined and reliable systems, while maintaining the privacy of all the users involved."

The University of Melbourne's Professor Victoria Palmer said "Creating better and more accessible telehealth enhancements would mean more doctors and patients are supported for an improved telehealth experience that can lead to better health outlooks.

Monash Health director of supportive and palliative care Associate Professor Peter Poon said "The project is especially important for palliative care patients and their carers who have difficulty accessing in-person consultation and will provide data and enhancements to better support virtual care."

Victoria's chief digital health officer Neville Board said "We are pleased to be supporting this project to improve the patient and clinician experiences of virtual care throughout the state."

DHCRC chief innovation officer Dr Stefan Harrer said "Our investment will deliver real-world mental health services providing improved patient experiences and outcomes in Victoria while at the same time laying the foundation for the developed telehealth services to seamlessly scale and be adopted beyond Victoria and palliative care; nationally and globally."

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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