Although not a medico-legal development as such, the launch yesterday of a new GP telemedicine service could give rise to some interesting legal questions in the future. The service allows contact via phone or a video app, from Australia or whilst overseas, with the media release explaining:
Patients will first speak to a telemedicine assistant to determine if the call is suitable for a telemedicine consultation and a GP will then call them back at a time that suits the patient. The service operates from a purpose built telemedicine centre in the Sydney suburb of Alexandria….
ReadyCare is based on technology and processes used by Medgate, the leading telemedicine provider in Europe, who currently conduct more than 4,300 telemedicine consultations daily.
The service costs $75 with no Medicare rebate yet available. It has been reported that Travel insurance company Cover-More had signed on as one of ReadyCare’s foundation customers, giving Australians travelling overseas the chance to consult with an Australian-based GP.