How can Telehealth help with allied services?
Allied health professions refer to health care professions distinct from dentistry, nursing, medicine and pharmacy. They provide a range of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic, and support services in connection with health care. Some common examples of allied health professionals include; chiropractor, psychologist, podiatrist, paramedic and midwives.
In 2012, the international chief health professions officers defined allied health professions as:
Allied Health Professions are a distinct group of health professionals who apply their expertise to prevent disease transmission, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate people of all ages and all specialties. Together with a range of technical and support staff they may deliver direct patient care, rehabilitation, treatment, diagnostics and health improvement interventions to restore and maintain optimal physical, sensory, psychological, cognitive and social functions.
Health consumers in remote, regional and outer metropolitan/country areas are faced with barriers to accessing specialist services such as allied services when compared to those living in city areas. This is because rural and remote communities are quite small and do not have the necessary population to support all allied health services. As such, access to services by allied health professionals are served differently and are limited. This is particularly true where the allied health service may be a specialty area within a profession. For example, paediatrics, neurology, rheumatology or diabetes. Here, telehealth can assist health consumers to overcome these barriers through enabling and providing them with access to specialist services sooner with lower travel costs and better continuity of care.
For those interested in using telehealth for allied services here are some reasons why: