Telehealth generally refers to the use of technologies like email, phone, SMS or video connection to provide medical care or education over a distance. It allows for the exchange of health data between a practitioner and patient in separate locations.
In Australia, telehealth is often defined more narrowly to mean online video consultations between health professionals and their patients. The convenience of telehealth makes it especially popular among busy mums, rural dwellers and young working professionals, but anyone – given the necessary approval- can use it!
Here are just a few of the many reasons why a video consult may be superior to a traditional face-to-face visit:
Time spent travelling to your health practitioner and the associated travel costs are completely eliminated. Time spent in a waiting room and time missed at work are also minimised.
Up to 70% of GP visits can be solved without physical touch. This includes the need for a sick note, referral, script renewal and pathology results. Say ‘goodbye’ to taking 2+ hours out of your busy day for a 5-minute appointment.
Unparalleled convenience: see your healthcare practitioner during your lunch break, whilst you are travelling overseas, or after work from the comfort of your own home.
Telehealth is discreet and private, making it a common medium among those seeking mental health care.
Patients can leave the hospital sooner after surgery and have check-ups in a more comfortable and relaxed environment.
ODDA is an Australian patient-facing telehealth directory that makes it easy for patients to search, compare, select and book appointments with healthcare practitioners. Here, you can find the largest number of healthcare video consultation providers all in one place, and book appointments immediately!
Overwhelming academic evidence suggests they achieve health outcomes that are comparable to face-to-face care. In addition, telehealth has been proven to reduce costs, travel time and length of hospital stays, as well as improve continuity of care.
Here are some academic articles that support the use and effectiveness of telehealth:
There are many telehealth reimbursement opportunities available to patients. Please visit the reimbursement page for more details.
There are only 3 simple steps you need to do in order to see your practitioner via telehealth.
Step 1: Book your Appointment Online
Once you have searched through the directory and decided on which practitioner you would like to see, simply click the booking button on their profile and you will be prompted to make your appointment online. You will immediately receive an email confirming your appointment. The confirmation email will include a link or URL. Do not delete this email as you will need to enter that link for your appointment.
If they do not have a booking button, you can use the listed contact information to book via email or phone. The practice will let you know how to connect with your practitioner for your appointment.
Step 2: Find an appropriate space for your video consult
You need to find somewhere private, quiet and where you will be free of distraction. You also should ensure the lighting is adequate so that your practitioner will be able to see you properly through your camera.
If you have images you want to share with your practitioner, make sure you have a digital copy already prepared to save time. It is also a good idea to have a notepad ready nearby, in case you want to take note of something. However, your practitioner will tell you when to download something from your call interface, such as a form, notes they have created for you or a photo with annotations. Finally, have your card details nearby so you can pay your practitioner once the session is over, if you have not already done so.
Step 3: Click the link and wait to be connected
A few minutes before your appointment, we recommend clicking the link in your appointment confirmation email and waiting to be connected. If this is your first video consult, you may be asked to ‘approve’ and ‘accept’ for your camera or microphone to be used. Make sure you allow for this, otherwise they may not work.
Once your Practitioner is ready, they will enter their virtual room and accept your call. You will then be connected and should be able to see each other on your screens.
If you book your appointment via a booking button, you will likely need to pay online with your credit card prior to the appointment. Otherwise, your practitioner may take your payment during the video consultation, or bill you afterwards.
If you would like to try telehealth with your existing practitioner, but can’t find them on the website, let them know you would like to see them on ODDA! Sometimes, health practitioners are unaware that their patients want to see them online, so hearing it first hand from patients can be a great way to spark action.
ODDA is designed to be simple and easy to use. We are a third party intermediary, designed to connect you with your telehealth practitioner. In the off chance you are experiencing difficulties booking your appointment, we suggest calling or emailing your health practitioner directly.
Otherwise, check out this support page to try and figure out what's going on.
If you are experiencing significant technical difficulties and need some additional help, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.