The NBN satellite service promises to deliver a boon for rural with results of one telehealth pilot program highlighting its enormous potential to provide diagnostic health services to those in remote locations.
A trial by a team of CSIRO researchers has used the interim NBN satellite services to successfully deliver a solution that connects specialists to patients in remote areas, who generally have little or no access to eye screenings.
The screening program, funded through a $1.9 million Department of Health and Ageing grant (the NBN Telehealth Pilots Program), serviced more than 1000 patients from the Torres Strait Islands and southern Western Australia and identified 68 patients who were at high risk of going blind.
CSIRO’s lead researcher on the project, Yogi Kanagasingam, told The Australianthat the speeds provisioned on the interim satellite service proved to be surprisingly adequate.
“It was surprisingly faster than the 3G mobile network,” Professor Kanagasingam said.“Initially we thought that the (12 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload) speed might not work but it actually didn’t bother us that much.”
With the first of the two NBN satellite set to lift off in September, the head of the NBN satellite project, Julia Dickinson, said that the service on the long-term service would be even faster.“Our aim is to make sure that speed is not an issue so people can just do what they need to do,” Dickinson said.