Telehealth: the future of healthcare at a distance

20 Aug 2021
by Prof. Dan Lubman AM, Executive Clinical Director

Through technology, healthcare is embarking on new ways to deliver services to meet the future needs of consumers. While not a completely new concept, telehealth is one area that is being embraced, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although telephone and video conferencing has been around for some time, in-person consultations have always been at the centre of patient care. However, when the pandemic hit in early 2020, healthcare services around the world needed to transition quickly to provide telehealth services to patients and clients.

The past 18 months has highlighted the important role telehealth and online counselling play in the delivery of healthcare treatment, particularly where there are barriers to help seeking, such as stigmatising attitudes, confidentiality concerns, or a lack of services in rural and regional areas. Providing telehealth services increases accessibility for vulnerable populations and provides professional help and support to those who might not otherwise have sought help.

In response to these challenges, Monash University has developed the Graduate Certificate of Telehealth in partnership with Turning Point who have been providing ‘healthcare at a distance’ through its state and national helplines for over 20 years.

Drawing on Monash University’s excellence in education and research, and Turning Point’s industry based telehealth knowledge, the course aims to provide healthcare professionals with a framework for developing a safe and effective virtual practice. As digital healthcare becomes the ‘future’ for healthcare professionals, having expertise and knowledge in this area will enhance practice and employability. For healthcare workers that are self-employed, telehealth saves expenditure and increases revenue by providing (billable) access to clients and patients across a range of modalities.

The Graduate Certificate of Telehealth covers the full range of telehealth modalities, and examines the most recent research evidence underpinning effective telehealth services, the practical skills needed to provide person-centred telecare, and how to optimise the use of telehealth technologies. Only through completing a course such as this can the breadth of knowledge and resources available, such as software, apps and AI, in the field of telehealth be realised.

If you are a general practitioner, nurse, counsellor, therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or other allied health professional, this course will provide you with the core knowledge and skills essential to delivering convenient, safe and accessible healthcare to clients.

With telehealth to remain a permanent part of the healthcare system well beyond the current pandemic, the Graduate Certificate of Telehealth provides the perfect opportunity to upskill the healthcare workforce to meet the growing demands of telehealth based care well into the future.

Visit the Monash study telehealth course page