What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is the use of telecommunication to provide medical services to patients. The practitioner typically uses videoconferencing to administer patient sessions in real-time but may utilise other formats, such as telephone or email, for related communication. Telehealth is sometimes referred to as telemedicine.
Telehealth has become even more essential during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Fears of spreading and catching the virus during in-person medical visits have led to a greater interest in, and use of, technology to provide and receive health care.
Can I book a Telehealth appointment with OccPhyz?
Yes, you can. But there are limitations on what our specialist Occupational Physicians will accept for telehealth appointments.
- Patient must be physically unable to travel to one of our 10 clinic locations. Unwillingness to travel is not a reason we accept for telehealth appointments.
- Certain medical conditions cannot be assessed by telehealth. For example, injuries with or suspected nerve damage or sensory changes.
- Patients with musculoskeletal injuries for assessment, may be required to attend the appointment with a physiotherapist or other health professional to take measurements for our doctor.
- Patient must send us their completed questionnaires, consent forms and photo ID before the day of appointment.
What are the downsides to Telehealth?
Telehealth does not replace a face to face appointment. There are notable restrictions with telehealth consultations, such as the inability to perform a hands on examination may make a definitive diagnosis difficult or impossible.
Telehealth offers a convenient and cost-effective way to see your doctor without having to leave your home, but it does have a few downsides.
- It isn’t possible to do every type of visit remotely. You still have to go into the rooms for things like imaging tests and blood work, as well as for diagnoses that require a more hands-on approach.
- Confidentiality and privacy: Privacy, confidentiality and security may be problematic, particularly with internet-based technology.
- Technological limitations: Services provided by telehealth may be subject to technological limitations and uncertainty. A lack of bandwidth for video or internet-based consultations may hamper the delivery of care and lead to an increase in risk to patients.