Telehealth (videocall or virtual consultations)

22nd October 2020

Videocalls or virtual appointments (also known as Telehealth) enable health consultations appointments to occur with patients from their home, workplace or other convenient location using a mobile phone, tablet or computer. Patients carers, family members and other care providers can also connect in to the appointment. This can also include an interpreter (if requested).They do not need to be with the patient to connect. Even when the patient is attending a person face to face other participants can virtually join the appointment from a suitable location.

NSW Health approved videoconferencing platforms endorsed for clinical use must be used as they are web-based, secure and do not require the installation of any additional software on the patient's device. Approved platforms can be used on Apple or Android devices.

Some of the advantages of videocalls are:

* saving consumers time and money by removing the need to travel to an appointment

* giving patients the flexibility to have their appointments in a convenient place

* reducing risks to patients who are vulnerable to infectious diseases, by avoiding face to face contact.

* giving patients the option to include their carer, family members or other care providers into the consultation when they can’t be with them.

 A laptop/desktop requires the following: webcam, microphone, and speakers-headset (preferably). • Approved platforms are web based and can be used on both Apple and Android. A landline phone connection can be used if only audio is required.

Data required – a 15 minute virtual consultation uses approximately 80mb data

A suitable location is an environment that should have low noise, good lighting, privacy and a good internet connection.

You can discuss if a videocall will be suitable with your Doctor or anyone else from your clinical team. This depends on what needs to occur in the appointment to make sure you get the best care. You may need to be in person for one appointment but other appointments may be suitable for a videocall.

For more information please refer to the Agency for Clinical Innovation Telehealth Patient Information sheet:

ACI Patient Information Guide - Preparing for a virtual appointment

ACI Patient Information - Attending your appointment using telehealth