New online telehealth resource to encourage uptake

  • Jonathan Coleman

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has launched a new online resource which will help encourage the uptake of telehealth by health professionals across the country.

The New Zealand Telehealth Resource Centre website brings together information about the various regulations and guidelines that apply to telehealth.

It includes case studies of where telehealth is already providing benefits. Site visits, workshops and demonstrations are also offered by the resource centre team.

“Telehealth is changing the way we deliver healthcare and is a good example of how the sector is harnessing IT to provide better services to patients closer to home,” says Dr Coleman.

“It means people living in rural or remote areas can access the same specialist care as those living in urban areas without having to travel great distances. Equally, telehealth is useful in busy urban environments or where a patient is not easily able to travel.

“As there are a number of different systems and a variety of equipment providers can use, it is important health professionals are receiving the right information and advice.

“I encourage all health professionals in New Zealand to consider whether there are opportunities for them to include telehealth in their practice.”

Dr Coleman launched the new site at Christchurch Hospital this morning, you can visit the New Zealand Telehealth Resource Centre at

Notes to editors

There are many examples of how telehealth is making a huge difference to people’s lives, by delivering specialist care closer to home.

Children who live on the West Coast receive support from Canterbury DHB’s paediatric specialists based in Christchurch. This includes care for scheduled appointments like outpatient visits, as well as when children are acutely unwell and first come to hospital. If needed, they can then be seen the next day on a virtual ward round.

Southern DHB provides care to children in Central Otago with diabetes through a paediatric diabetes telemedicine clinic. The clinic, at Dunstan Hospital, video links to the diabetes specialist in Dunedin, saving children and their parents an eight-hour round trip, and having to take time off school and work.

Telehealth is not just being used in rural areas. At Auckland DHB, video links are used to supervise patients taking antibiotics to treat tuberculosis – giving nurses extra time to spend with other patients, as they no longer have to travel throughout the region to peoples’ homes.