It’s been more than 3 years since we demoed the 3G Doctor service to the Australian 3G Mobile Operator Telstra as part of discussions of their plans to target the Australian primary care sector with 3G mHealth services, and whilst the released details are scant it’s great news to hear that they’ve taken this initiative forward and announced a partnership with the RACGP.
The plan is to deliver a “suite of national e-health solutions and services” to their 17,200 GP members and from the press release it seems that they believe this will be achievable through a “web-hosted service” that will include “multiple healthcare applications including clinical software programs, decision support tools for diagnosis and management, care plans, referral tools, e-prescribing tools, and a range of online training and other administrative and clinical services”.
Dr Chris Mitchell, RACGP President and a GP in northern New South Wales:
“A web-hosted service will make GPs’ lives easier. A web-based solution means GPs can access applications from anywhere; from their practices, homes, hospitals or aged care facilities”
Deena Shiff, Telstra Business Group Managing Director:
“We will work together to lay the foundations Australia needs to accelerate take-up of e-health solutions including patient identification, secure messaging and records storage. These capabilities are a critical first step in the evolution of a national e-health record for Australians. The first priority of the joint venture will be to help GPs upgrade patient-related communications based on the latest digital technology and to make this new service available securely online. Our over-arching aim is to make e-health solutions affordable and accessible to the industry across Australia”
Despite claims in the press release that the new service will enable application providers to “bring their innovations to general practice efficiently and instantly” it won’t be available to RACGP members for at least another year.
A good example of a mobile operator getting involved in the healthcare industry but I wonder if their counterparts at the RCGP/ICGP would be better served by getting involved with specific devices and mHealth Applications with a network agnostic partner?