Digital technology could make a doctor’s crowded waiting room a thing of the past.
There’s a global revolution underway in healthcare as more people want to connect with health professionals via their smartphones – and Australia is getting with the program.
According to the Australian Digital Health Agency, 73 per cent of Australians want to access health services online. Answering this demand is a swathe of innovative health apps and online health services (collectively known as telehealth) that provide everything from GP consultations to skin checks.
Founder of online psychology service Lysn, Dr Jonathan King, says the main benefit is convenience. “We’re working later, people are juggling family,” Dr King says. “Accessing a stigma-free health professional, in Lysn’s case a psychologist, when and where you need them often means you can get a better health outcome.”
These telehealth apps are set to transform healthcare in 2018.
GP2U is an Australian online medical practice. It allows you to consult a doctor via a secure video connection when and where it suits you. You can use the service for everything from skin conditions to chronic problems such as hepatitis C. GP2U is integrated into the Australian healthcare system so you can even get prescriptions, pathology requests and specialist referrals from doctors online.
Lysn is a mental health platform that allows you to book with your preferred psychologist then have a secure online video consultation from the convenience and comfort of your own home. Patients can access Lysn from anywhere in Australia as well as from overseas, and you pay on a per-use basis.
Firstcheck links you with a dermatologist in just a few clicks to get a worrisome mole, rash or other skin condition assessed with images you take with your phone’s camera. It comes with the option of using a specially designed smartphone lens to increase magnification of your skin.
No more returning to your GP for repeat prescriptions – this app allows you to get your prescriptions sent directly to your mobile phone. ScalaMed encrypts your prescription data and records it to a secure blockchain that you can then access through the app to own and manage your own prescriptions.
If you are a cancer patient, the CancerAid app can help you manage your illness by storing all your diagnostic information in one place. It also provides you with medically accurate treatment and nutritional information and links you with cancer specialists so you can make informed decisions about the right treatment for you.
The CliniCloud app monitors your health data remotely. It receives data from a non-contact thermometer and digital stethoscope that you use to take readings from yourself or a loved one. You can also create profiles and a timeline of your data that your doctor can use to assess your health.