The Centre for Online Health is developing telehealth services for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) including designing custom built video-consultation studios.
We will be examining service data, potential cost savings, and the experiences of both patients and staff using telehealth.
The extent to which RFDS’ traditional fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) services could be substituted by telehealth is also being investigated.
RFDS is a not-for-profit organisation recognised throughout Australia for responding by air to medical emergencies in remote locations.
In Queensland, RFDS also provides FIFO GP services in rural communities where the population is not large enough to support a general practice.
Filling the gap in GP services involves high costs and considerable travel time.
Reducing reliance on air and other travel by introducing telehealth could help to deliver a more cost-effective service without compromising clinical quality.
RFDS and COH are committed to a 5-year partnership, commencing in early 2015.