Telehealth is a term used to describe the exchange of medical information from one site to another via electronic communication for the benefit of the patient. Telehealth for eye patients is often referred to as Teleophthalmology. Currently, to attract MBS rebates, such electronic communications must be synchronous where a real-time videoconferencing link is established enabling the ophthalmologist and their patient to see and speak interactively with each other.
In 2015, a consortium of specialist medical colleges, led by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and including the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA), the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO), and the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD), delivered workshops at Port Macquarie and Hobart on telehealth. Each workshop provided ‘hands on’ opportunities for specialists to explore telehealth technologies and to learn from their peers.