Telstra acquires platform to expand telemedicine in Australia
April 15, 2015
Telstra Health has entered an agreement with Medibank for the purchase of the business assets of Anywhere Healthcare, one of Australia’s leading specialist telemedicine platforms.
Anywhere Healthcare was established by Medibank in 2013 to give people in regional and remote areas of Australia, or people with a physical constraint, access to specialist medical practitioners and allied health professionals over videoconference. It has established a reputation for delivering high quality clinical care through a network of more than 1600 GPs and aged care referral partners and a panel of 26 specialists who provide services across a range of specialties.
Telstra group executive of retail, Gordon Ballantyne, said the integration of Anywhere Healthcare was a logical fit with Telstra Health and would allow for a more comprehensive approach to telemedicine.
“Medibank has developed a wonderful service and we are delighted to be able to assume responsibility for this going forward,” he said. “We are keen to build the service and increase options for GPs, specialists and care providers in providing high quality care to their patients. It aligns perfectly with our aim to overcome the challenges of distance and availability to help provide greater levels of access to medicine, especially for those in regional and remote areas.”
The announcement means that when combined with its previously announced GP telemedicine service ReadyCare, Telstra Health will have the framework to enable it to provide Australians and their referring GPs a full spectrum of care options via telehealth when it is clinically appropriate, from GP care through to specialists and allied health professionals.
“We recognise the central role of GPs in managing the care of their patients,” said Ballantyne. “Anywhere Healthcare provides a patient’s regular GP the option of referring them to a specialist for a videoconference, providing more convenient access to specialist care that can otherwise be difficult to reach because of distance or in circumstances such as for patients in nursing homes.”
Medibank chief operating officer David Koczkar said Medibank established Anywhere Healthcare as part of their commitment to providing better health to the community and that this transaction would support further development and expansion of the service.
“We are really proud of the innovation we introduced with Anywhere Healthcare, and the solid foundation that we have built over the past few years,” he said. “Telstra Health will provide the additional support, focus and expertise required to expand this important service and we look forward to working together to develop further opportunities for Anywhere Healthcare.”
The Anywhere Healthcare business will transfer to Telstra Health in early May 2015.