PK (Poh-Kooi) Loh
Department of Geriatric Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, Wellington Street, Perth, Western Australia 6000.
The use of Telemedicine in the assessment of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease is evolving with advances in Information and Communication Technology. This article outlines the course of evolution in Western Australia, a large state with a sparse population outside of the capital city. The starting point of the evolution, video-conferencing in Telehealth studios, is reviewed as well as the next stage, use of desktop technology, which enables the physician to consult from the office or clinic. A pilot study currently being undertaken to assess the validity of the latest stage in evolution of Telehealth - the use of handheld mobile cell phone video calling that allows the physician and patient to interact at locations convenient to both parties. The pitfalls and implications of the use of this stage, should it prove to be a valid approach, are discussed.
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