Telehealth brings clinical services closer to home
Speech pathologist Dr Clare Burns is passionate about telehealth, with her research bringing clinical services closer to home for patients with swallowing and communication disorders.
The Clinician Research Fellowship is enabling Dr Burns to take the next step, developing two new models of care for patients with swallowing disorders.
“For the first model, we are developing an integrated telehealth service to improve access to rehabilitation for patients with swallowing difficulties,” Dr Burns said.
“We will be using live videoconferencing coupled with a software application accessed via the patient’s mobile device to provide an individualised therapy program.
“Patients usually come into a speech pathology clinic or the clinician travels to their home to access their swallowing rehabilitation. The new personalised telehealth model will guide patients through their therapy at a time and place that is convenient to them, while receiving remote monitoring
and support from their speech pathologist.”
The second service will develop a clinical model delivering the instrumental assessment, Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) via telepractice.
“This model aims to increase the efficiency of diagnostic swallowing services and support the expansion and sustainability of FEES services across our district,” she said.
Dr Burns’s research through the Fellowship aims to establish these new telepractice models within speech pathology services across Metro North and has the potential for expansion to other clinical services using similar assessment and rehabilitation models.