STAT6001 Public Health Information

STAT6001 Public Health Information

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STAT6001 Public Health Information

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STAT6001 Public Health Information

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Course Code: STAT6001
University: The University Of Newcastle is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia

Evaluate the ways that systems,infrastructure and resources can constrain the effective applications of ICT.

In the year 2011, the Australian Government introduced the facility of telehealth services named Medicare (Ouma & Herselman, 2008). The entire focus of such telehealth services was focused on delivering video consultations to varied patients. The scope of current discussion takes into consideration barriers in uptake of telemedicine from the article by Wade, Soar, and Gray (2014). Then it classifies the ICT/infrastructure issues present in telemedicine and ways in which it can be managed. Models of care from the article have been included as well with recommendations, which will allow in overcoming these barriers.       
Barriers to the uptake of telemedicine,
The core aim to introduction of telemedicine in Australia is to provide consultation to patients, who are based in rural and metropolitan locations, and also cater to Aboriginal Health Services and residential aged care facilities (RACFs). Extension of telemedicine services provides consultation in those areas where specialist’s workforce is limited and telehealth initiative provides specialties at higher rebates than in-person consultation (World Health Organization, 2010). However, there are certain barriers to the uptake of telemedicine which includes ICT infrastructure and management tissues. ICT infrastructure is needed for the purpose of providing telemedicines to patients, which includes video conferencing facilities, uninterrupted internet connection, computer or laptop and last but not the least, capability to operate on the telehealth portal. In most remote locations across Australia, healthcare service delivery needs high speed internet, which is often lacking. Connecting to support wireless technology is absent for most patients, who are unable to establish proper connection. Moreover, in case the end user is not comfortable with the use of technology, then it becomes difficult for specialists to conduct their workflow easily. Then a slower rate of adoption is expected and the whole process becomes ineffective (Wade, Soar & Gray, 2014). Lack of ICT infrastructure in most homes in Aboriginals, RACFs or rural and metropolitan sector deters applicability of the service. Absence of proper ICT infrastructure hinders people from taking up services in telemedicine.
Another pertinent challenge includes management issues. Applicability related to telemedicine requires tremendous management capabilities and skills. The application of telemedicine requires linking to doctors, nurses, specialists and patient by use of telecommunication technologies. Therefore, it becomes integral to manage between the varied parties in the discussion in order that patient can receive significant care and appropriate treatment. On one end, it requires the patient to collaborate and communicate with the specialists. On the other end, it is required that the specialists provide special care and communicate names of medicines or any other procedures in an appropriate manner (Rogove, McArthur, Demaerschalk & Vespa, 2012). Lack of management and coordination amongst the both variables might lead to the failure for the entire system. 
Potential ICT/Infrastructure support structures
In Australia, the Federal government is undertaking various initiatives in order to implement telemedicine in an appropriate manner. The government has undertaken significant developments in computer and communication technology (Weinstein et al., 2014). The government is extending tremendous amount of support in clinical and education domain in medicine to bring about applicability of telemedicine. There is a development of Australian modules for medical education in order that telemedicine can be practiced. Such modules can be distributed internationally and can benefit patients from around the world. The Federal government with State health authorities and RACGP along with specialists is developing programs across colleges, university and research department to ensure telemedicine is implemented in an appropriate manner. A legal system for supporting consumers in telemedicine sector is also being developed, which can support consumers and users in telemedicine. The Australian health system from the sponsorship of the Australian Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) is developing a number of projects that can benefit the consumers as well as the overall situation of telehealth in the country.
ICT that are emerging in Australia for supporting telemedicine includes home monitoring activities. Such technologies are meant at previewing cardiac ailment conditions and other severe diseases that impact greater proportion of the population. Australia is also implementing aspects of telemedicine as infrastructure support features, such as teleradiology systems and direct reporting of pathology results to general practioner. Such infrastructural facilities can benefit both the patient as well as the GP to maintain and review records of patients. Apart from these developments, there are several pilot projects that are currently considered in Australia, which would allow better implementation for the project. However, while developing such projects, the cost versus benefit analysis has to be conducted.            
Implementing telemedicine has its focus on developing a new model of care for practioner. The model is focused on creation of consultation-liaison between primary care providers to realize the potential of the initiative and to fill in the continuing gaps in service. Specialists are expected to fill in the gap that healthcare providers deliver such that there are greater health benefits to patients.   
Country-wide implementation of telemedicine can benefit patients and the healthcare system as a whole. The most integral benefit arising from telemedicine is ability to reach patient in need and at the time of need. There is a growing demand in Australia for telemedicine especially in rural and metropolitan areas, especially at the time that they cannot reach a specialists, such services are meant at bridging the gap. The wide range applicability of telemedicine can immensely benefit the Aboriginals, who do not have access to diverse health facilities within their area. In case of aged residential facilities, telemedicine can be used for patient, who cannot traverse distance to avail specialist’s consultations. Therefore, the entire spectrum of benefits of telemedicine in Australia cannot be overstated. Simply put, telemedicine can provide care to patient in need and siting at the comfort of their homes.
Ouma, S., & Herselman, M. E. (2008). E-health in rural areas: case of developing countries. International Journal of Biological and Life Sciences, 4(4), 194-200.  Accessed from
Rogove, H. J., McArthur, D., Demaerschalk, B. M., & Vespa, P. M. (2012). Barriers to telemedicine: survey of current users in acute care units. Telemedicine and e-Health, 18(1), 48-53. Accessed from
Wade, V., Soar, J., & Gray, L. (2014). Uptake of telehealth services funded by Medicare in Australia. Australian Health Review, 38(5), 528-532. Accessed from
Weinstein, R. S., Lopez, A. M., Joseph, B. A., Erps, K. A., Holcomb, M., Barker, G. P., & Krupinski, E. A. (2014). Telemedicine, telehealth, and mobile health applications that work: opportunities and barriers. The American journal of medicine, 127(3), 183-187.  Accessed from
World Health Organization. (2010). Telemedicine: opportunities and developments in member states. Report on the second global survey on eHealth. World Health Organization.  Accessed from

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