How the NBN Is Saving Lives
The NBN is making a vital difference to the health of Australians in a variety of ways. Crucially it is having a positive impact in saving lives across Australia.
The tyranny of distance has always been a hurdle in delivering quality medical care and diagnosis across this vast land. All too often, the lack of experienced qualified medical personnel has seen people lose their lives in remote areas.
The NBN is now helping beat that tyranny of distance and people are taking the technology and applying it to fit their circumstances.
Telehealth – a relatively new initiative from the Federal Government since 2011 – facilitates the Medicare cover for video consultation between medical practitioners and remote patients. The Government has put in place a strong support structure to assist doctors in adapting to this emerging technology to their practices. The benefits of this include:
- Earlier identification of potential serious illness
- Greater connection and consultation between remote patients and their doctors.
- Reduced time cost on patients – resulting in more consultation.
Where Telehealth really works though, is that it enables better real time monitoring of patients, ensuring earlier interventions to save lives.
While the Government has moved to assist doctors to embrace the new technologies that the NBN offers, private operators – like the Trans-Help Foundation – have really embraced the NBN, to help mitigate the health risks for their members. Trans-Help is a charity foundation set up to assist truck drivers and their families. They have adopted an app called GP2U – an NBN connected Telehealth service run by Dr James Freeman, from Hobart, Tasmania.
The Trans-Help Foundation acknowledges that in the macho world of truck driving – where time pressures and schedules are premium – getting a truck driver to visit a doctor is nigh on impossible. The time lost could result in the loss of a contract. Many truck drivers suffer from high blood pressure, obesity and fatigue, and without medical intervention, they are in the high-risk category.
The GP2U app enables the truck driver to have a medical consultation wherever they might be, provided that they have an Internet connection. Trans-Help can cite many instances where the application of this service has assisted truckies get access to vital medication in remote areas. Without the NBN, this would not have been possible.
Trans-Help are actively intervening in the transport industry, trying to make the industry a safer one. They operate mobile units that run preventative health checks on truck drivers at places like truck stops, depots and transport shows. They run checks on blood pressure, help renew prescriptions and make Telehealth appointments if they identify an urgent problem. This service would not be possible or effective without the NBN.
The NBN allows us to offer a high quality service to anyone anywhere and prevent them from falling through the cracks. The NBN does help save lives.