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Telstra Health tapped for virtual health monitoring of international travellers in Tasmania

Telstra Health’s virtual health solutions have been deployed in hotel quarantine sites in Tasmania to remotely monitor the conditions of international travellers under mandatory quarantine. 

During their 14-day stay, guests are asked to conduct daily checks of their temperature, pulse and oxygen saturation, as well as blood pressure, weight, and glucose levels if required. 

Their data are then uploaded via Bluetooth to the Telstra Health MyCareManager application which stores them in a hosted monitoring platform. To avoid complications with technical support requirements, the Tasmanian government hands out pre-paired mobile devices to the quarantined travellers. 

Through the MyCareManager dashboards, clinicians are able to review observation trends, variations, alerts and guests’ overall usage of the digital health devices. A care team is immediately prompted if an individual shows signs of needing immediate medical attention.

Additionally, guests who require more care can seek follow-ups and mental health support through videoconferencing.

WHY IT MATTERS

In a statement, Telstra Health said it quickly deployed its digital health solutions following a request from the Australian federal government to support returning travellers, including seasonal workers. The suite of health solutions is capable of supporting up to 350 concurrent guests, according to Diane Campbell, business development manager of Telstra Health’s Hospitals Division.

Enabling travellers to monitor and submit their own health data eases the burden of health teams who are working in “such difficult and high-risk environments”, said Dr Stephen Ayre, executive director for Medical Services at Royal Hobart Hospital Tasmania, the state’s largest hospital. They are hitting a daily health check compliance rate past 90% from about 150 guests, noted Kim Ford of Telehealth Tasmania and the Australian Telehealth Society. 

Moreover, Telstra Health emphasised that remotely monitoring their conditions via digital devices helps minimise COVID-19 transmission among clinical staff, hotel employees and other quarantined quests. 

THE LARGER TREND

Telehealth is among the digital health services that the Tasmanian government hopes to implement in the future. It recently engaged professional services firm KPMG Australia to help in developing its digital health strategy. 

In March, the Tasmanian health department partnered with another digital health firm Cardihab to roll out the latter’s health app across public hospitals in the state. The app was said to have enabled patients with heart disease to undergo rehabilitation programmes and receive medical advice weekly via phone calls and video consultations.

ON THE RECORD

Telstra Health’s Campbell said: “Our virtual health monitoring digital solutions are an important pillar of our virtual care platforms that are enabling people to take control of their health. Telstra Health devices are being used for a variety of purposes, from supporting guests in hotel quarantine to allowing people with chronic conditions to monitor their health from the comfort of their home.”

“We are finding that our telehealth teams have really enthusiastically adopted this programme of work, are remaining committed to the solution and senior teams are now considering how virtual health monitoring can support them in a post-quarantine environment,” Dr Ayre of the Royal Hobart Hospital Tasmania also commented.

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