Public Consultant Reports


Telehealth Infrastructure Services

Telehealth-infrastructureThe National Telehealth Infrastructure Service is an inclusive standards-based interoperable service that provides a platform for clinical grade videoconferencing and telehealth by providing agreed service levels, including usability; guaranteed common quality standards; secure network interconnections; from anyone-to-anyone and anyone-to-everyone across multiple health networks, including public and private health provider networks and with providers and patients both on- and off- net. The service will be intuitive (easy to use), scalable and connect urban, outer metropolitan, rural, regional and remote health providers and patients. The service will leverage and align appropriate existing and emerging national services including governance models, existing secure dependable services, national privacy standards, clinical protocols and current jurisdictional capabilities. Robust governance and operational models that support innovation, continual improvement and flexibility will underpin the service and position the service to be sustainable into the future. The service will support patient centric approaches and best-practice clinical care, allowing increased access and equity and improved health outcomes.

The purpose of this study was to facilitate and scope an initial project and a call for proposals to deliver a common service that allows clinicians to securely and easily connect using online videoconferencing and desktop sharing.

Initially Phase 1 (proof of concept) was set to be the common service delivered between:

  • NT Department of Health,
  • WA Country Health, and
  • Aboriginal Services Alliance of the NT (AMSANT) Members

However this has now changed to be a large project for development of a “National Telehealth Infrastructure Service” which has four Phases. Phase 1 will be provded to early adopters – NT Department of Health, WA Country Health and AMSANT members. Phases 2, 3 and 4 comprise extending this service to include:

  • Phase 2: cross jurisdictional connection;
  • Phase 3: inclusion of non-standards based technologies
  • Phase 4: addition of in home and community based monitoring service

Phase 1 will allow eventual scaling of the common service above to a National Telehealth Service and will provide advice for the requirements definition of the project.

This report was commissioned by the Northern Territory Department of Health.

Related people: Leif Hanlen Phil Robertson


Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options

Today’s framework for wireless policy—which governs the operation of devices that make use of radio-frequency (RF) transmissions—has its roots in the technology of 80 years ago and the desire at that time for governmental control over communications. It has evolved to encompass a patchwork of legacy rules and more modern approaches that have been added over time. Although views vary considerably on whether the pace of reform has been commensurate with the need or opportunity, there have been a number of significant policy changes in recent decades to adjust to new technologies and to decrease reliance on centralized management. These developments have included the use of auctions to make initial assignments (along with the creation of secondary markets to trade assignment rights) and the designation of open bands1 in which all users are free to operate subject only to a set of “rules of the road.”

There remains, nonetheless, much debate about how the overall framework should be changed, what trajectory its evolution should follow, and how dramatic or rapid the change should be. Many groups haveopinions, positions, and demands related to these questions reflecting multiple commercial, social, and political agendas and a mix of technical, economic, and social perspectives.

Related People: David Skellern



Telemedicine in the context of the National Broadband Network

Telemedicine-NBNThis report by National ICT Australia (NICTA) analyses the potential benefits for telemedicine in Australia in the context of the National Broadband Network (NBN). The report is based upon a literature review of national and international case studies, supplemented by two workshops involving industry and academia to discuss telemedicine issues in the context of the NBN. The report notes that various localised programs, both in Australia and overseas, have demonstrated the efficiency and effectiveness of e-health initiatives. Importantly, the report identifies the significant scope for the NBN to catalyse transformative change in the delivery of telemedicine by expanding these local achievements across Australia. The report also emphasises the need for there to be mechanisms to share the information generated by any such trials to aid the progressive national implementation of telemedicine related activities. To achieve this, the report has recommended that e-Health and telemedicine initiatives associated with the NBN develop coordinated testing of technologies and administrative practices.

Related people: Leif Hanlen | Phil Robertson