Australians living in regional and remote areas experience worse health outcomes and access to health services than Australians in major cities.
Factors such as geographic spread, low population density, limited infrastructure and higher costs for delivering rural and remote healthcare can limit access to important health services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for telehealth services. By November 2020, more than 3.2 million regional and remote Australians had accessed telehealth services.
The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that technological advancements are enabling health services to be more
digitally-oriented, from patient care to record keeping and infrastructure management.
Digital health services use technology to collect and share health information. This improves the quality, cost and accessibility of health services and infrastructure. Technology-enabled out- of-hospital healthcare models include
community, home-based and virtual care.