Peter Mac is beaming doctors, nurses and allied health specialists directly into thousands of patients’ living rooms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the past, telehealth consultations were mostly used by a handful of regional patients to save them a long drive into the city.
But since April there’s been 15 times the amount of virtual medical consultations across all of our cancer types as well as services like physio, psychology and dietetics.
“We’ve gone from seeing less than 5 per cent of patients through telehealth at the start of March to up to about 80 per cent of all our consultations this week” Professor Declan Murphy, Director of Genitourinary Oncology said.
“That’s many thousands of consultations being done through telehealth.”
Because of this dramatic increase in the number of telehealth calls, waiting rooms are quieter and there’s less risk for patients who need to come into the building for their treatment.
Patient Nathalie has a rare type of blood cancer, called myeloproliferative neoplasms, which means her bone marrow makes too many cells. It requires ongoing treatment and monitoring.
She’s a city patient but has started having regular check-ins with her haemataologist, Associate Professor Kate Burbury, to reduce her need to travel.
“After a while of speaking, it was like Kate and I were in the room together at a normal appointment,” Nathalie says.
“I found it great and really easy to use.”