With our reality shifting due to the influence of COVID-19, many Australians are scared. Leaving our homes is now something many of us feel apprehensive about. I know when I have to go buy my weekly groceries, I have a feeling of dread in my gut I just can’t shake. This is especially the case for those of us who have chronic illnesses and chronic pain conditions, as well as the vulnerable portions of our population: the disabled and the elderly.
Due to the higher than ever need for health professionals in Australia, and the increasing demand for medical services, innovative creations have been brought into the spotlight in the form of telehealth. One such innovative creation is an app called SwiftDoc.
SwiftDoc has revolutionised the healthcare sector, allowing patients to schedule and attend appointments in the safety of their own homes through their online devices. Patients can access appointments for GP’s, specialists, pathology imaging, medical certificates and prescriptions, as well as referrals for COVID-19 testing and care.
This particularly important for those who live in rural and remote communities, who often have high rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as many people over the age of 65. Many of these communities usually have to travel outside of their local area in order to access healthcare, as there is a lack of medical access and support within these communities. This puts residents of these towns at higher risk of COVID-19 and also highlights the barriers to access services and support during the pandemic. Having the ability to see a medical professional while safe at home is incredibly important for those in at-risk groups. SwiftDoc is available Australia wide and is completely bulk-billed. It is a key way to help relieve the burden on the healthcare system, which is suffering from overcrowded hospitals and other health services throughout this pandemic.
SwiftDoc is also user friendly and easy to navigate with a simple process. The user can download the app and select the doctor or service needed at a time that suits them. After that, an Australian doctor will contact them via video call and send through any referrals, certificates or prescriptions via email. Thanks to modern technology like My Health Record, doctors have all your details available to them, so you experience the best-personalised service possible.
The innovations extend from SwiftDoc’s use of telehealth to their partnership with thousands of chemists. This ensures that medication can be arranged to be provided by the patient’s local pharmacies. SwiftDoc is also partnered with Superpharmacy, which means that medications can be accessed by Australians without leaving their homes. This will go a long way in protecting the vulnerable and assisting to flatten the curve of COVID-19 in Australia.
In our new world of quarantine, self-isolation, and social distancing, technologies such as SwiftDoc and other telehealth options are increasingly needed in order to keep everyone safe – including our doctors who risk exposure to themselves and their loved ones every day.
Cover image by Claudio Schwartz on Unsplash.