Australian govt plugs AU$20.3m into telehealth

Around 2,500 patients in 50 National Broadband Network areas will be part of new telehealth projects funded with AU$20.3 million from the federal government.

The Australian government is looking to show off the benefits that the National Broadband Network (NBN) will bring to the area of telehealth with AU$20.3 million in funding for nine projects across the country.

The nine projects will cover 2,500 patients in 50 locations across Australia where the NBN has already been rolled out.

"These exciting initiatives will help demonstrate how important high-speed broadband is to the future of healthcare, and highlight why it should be rolled out to all Australians," Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said in a statement.

The largest amount of funding — AU$2.993 million — has been given to the Royal District Nursing Service, which will provide in-home video conferencing for 200 patients. The services will also use telehealth to monitor the elderly and chronically ill starting this month.

UniQuest picked up AU$2.756 million for assisted telehealth care for 650 elderly Australians in aged care residences or living at home.

The CSIRO received AU$2.748 million to pilot "NBN-enabled" telehealth services for 150 patients across multiple jurisdictions and health providers. The pilot began last month.

The CSIRO also picked up an additional AU$1.3 million to use the NBN interim satellite service to provide "tele-eye care" service to 900 older and indigenous Australians living in remote and regional Australia in a project starting this month.

The full list of grants can be found here.

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