Monday, February 27, 2023
HomeHealthSouth Australia starts 24/7 remote rural health monitoring

South Australia starts 24/7 remote rural health monitoring

SA Health has started a 24/7 remote health monitoring service in rural and regional South Australia.

Funded by Country SA Primary Health Network, the service is being provided by the Integrated Cardiovascular Clinical Network of the Rural Support Service. 


The free service, which is available to individuals aged 15 and over with a GP referral, provides patients with a monitoring kit that will allow them to measure their vital signs, including  blood pressure, oxygen levels, pulse rate and temperature, at home. The kit also comes with a digital tablet where they can upload their health data via a secure website. Those data are then reviewed by a specialist nurse who can also speak to them about their next steps via live video link at any time of the day, seven days a week. 

According to a media release, this new service is for patients at risk of hospitalisation, including those with heart and respiratory disease and infections; aged care residents; and COVID-19 patients with chronic comorbidities. 


Providing 24/7 remote health monitoring service is expected to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions while ensuring access to high-quality urgent care at any time from the comfort of patients’ homes and supporting rural GPs, said SA Minister for Health Chris Picton.

About seven million Australians, or around 28% of the total population, live in rural and remote areas. Due to their geographic location, these people have less access to care than those living in major cities, and thus often have poorer health outcomes. Based on data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, people living in remote areas were hospitalised at almost twice the rate as those living in major cities. GP visits were lower among people in remote communities than those living in metro areas. 


SA Health has been trying to reduce hospital admissions over the past few years by leveraging telehealth. Last year, it started rolling out a virtual care service for residential aged care facilities in partnership with SA Ambulance Service. The SA Virtual Care Service provides urgent patients on the scene with responders a personalised assessment via video link. It was said that during its trial, the service was able to reduce ED admissions and emergency calls for about 70% of patients.

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