Technology and Telehealth Workshop

telehealth

We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves on a personal journey that no one can take instead of us. (Marcel Proust (1871- 1922))

As a member of Alzheimer’s Australia Consumer Dementia Research Network, I am always grateful when I am sponsored to attend a forum, conference or workshop, because I know it will enable me to learn new things, do great networking and be more trained for the work we do.

I now have a much better knowledge and understanding about Technology and Telehealth. This was crucial for me, as I am one of thousands of people of CALD background who are still a bit reluctant to embrace technology.

The session in the morning was live streamed, which enabled some external callers to participate and ask questions and also allowed interested parties to access the webcast after the event. You can find the morning session on the CDPC website at this link Technology and Telehealth Workshop

The workshop was coordinated by Professor Len Gray and his team within the Centre for Online Health and the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Telehealth at the University of Queensland.

Presentations included:
Professor Len Gray speaking about the use of video links for medical consultations at a distance providing patient satisfaction with significant cost saving.
Dr Liam Caffrey discussed implementing “fit for purpose” video conferencing solutions and explained network, equipment, software, physical environment and measures of quality.
Dr Anthony Smith spoke of the increased use of telehealth for patients living in remote areas, or for those who have difficulty travelling to a medical facility.

“I remembered a few ladies who were having breast cancer radiation like me last year; I could walk from my home to the clinic, some had to come with a driver 200km away every day.”

Dr Melinda Martin-Khan looked at cognitive assessment at a distance: a specialist completing a consultation via video conferencing; a registered nurse administering MMSE on paper via video conferencing; a computerised cognitive test done on iPad.

Professor Elizabeth Beattie spoke about the need to really embrace technology both in the field of nursing and among carers. Issues, such as relationship between patient and nurse, privacy issues, and trust were also raised.
Professor Trevor Russell gave an overview of Telehealth technology specifically for home based telehealth interventions, physiotherapy, telerehab, speech pathologist, and also spoke of validity of conducting clinical dysphagia assessments with telehealth.

  • Professor Len Gray speaking about the use of video links for medical consultations at a distance providing patient satisfaction with significant cost saving.
  • Dr Liam Caffrey discussed implementing “fit for purpose” video conferencing solutions and explained network, equipment, software, physical environment and measures of quality.
  • Dr Anthony Smith spoke of the increased use of telehealth for patients living in remote areas, or for those who have difficulty travelling to a medical facility.

“I remembered a few ladies who were having breast cancer radiation like me last year; I could walk from my home to the clinic, some had to come with a driver 200km away every day.”

  • Dr Melinda Martin-Khan looked at cognitive assessment at a distance: a specialist completing a consultation via video conferencing; a registered nurse administering MMSE on paper via video conferencing; a computerised cognitive test done on iPad.
  • Professor Elizabeth Beattie spoke about the need to really embrace technology both in the field of nursing and among carers. Issues, such as relationship between patient and nurse, privacy issues, and trust were also raised.
  • Professor Trevor Russell gave an overview of Telehealth technology specifically for home based telehealth interventions, physiotherapy, telerehab, speech pathologist, and also spoke of validity of conducting clinical dysphagia assessments with telehealth.

New technology is changing provider control to consumer control and empowering the consumer- Are they ready?

After lunch we discussed application of technology to areas related to our needs including about possible partnerships with CALD communities, in sharing the cost in installing technology that can then be used for leisure as well as health, and even consultations.

“I have a dear friend who has dementia and has had to move overseas to be cared for by family; we Skype; the joy on her face, as she waves to me, the joy in my heart, when I can see her. And my mum, for example, who, in the later stages of her dementia, thought that people on big wall posters in the street, and people on the TV screen, were REAL, and she was talking to them, would have no problem with a Teleconsultation.”

In both cases a carer was needed to make it work.

So maybe technology needs to go a step further and have an App that is all the time on the person, like dentures are; and can be activated from a distance by another person? Imagine the power of communications, counselling sessions, in the person’s mother tongue?

Danijela Hlis, Alzheimer’s Australia CDRN