How Technology is Changing General Practice in Australia

A recent article in the Herald Sun shows how new technology is making a big impact on the way GPs interact with their patients.

“Dr Collins is stationed more than 1000 kilometres from his patient but he can get a blood pressure reading without laying a hand on the patient.”

Using a video link and a portable machine owned by the patient he can measure blood glucose, pulse rate, body temperature, cholesterol and even get an ECG measurement.

When he’s completed his diagnosis he faxes a script to the chemist nearest his patient.

This is only the beginning. There are specialist devices which can plug into a smartphone to send readings to doctors – including ultrasounds, ECG monitors, mirocroscopes and dermatascopes that can view skin cancers – as well as simple photos of skin lesions or ear infections etc.

This will obviously impact first on rural medicine where patients could be many miles from a GP and even further from a specialist. But it is also likely to bring change to the ordinary town / city GP practice. When patients don’t need to visit the practice for preliminary diagnosis or routine or minor concerns, then will practices need to allocate a GP to managing remote location patients and how will that be paid for?

I recently moved to Perth in Western Australia to start work as a General Practitioner. It was a daunting prospect initially, when searching for suitable posts, especially without having been to Australia before. The formal registration process appeared challenging and time-consuming to start with. However, during the process, I found Monique and Paul to be very supportive, providing reliable and accurate information when needed. I would highly recommend using their valuable insight to those contemplating the move in the near future.
Dr Arya