Telehealth research paper supports using telehealth delivery for independent medical assessments

Telehealth delivery has long been effectively used for psychiatric and psychological assessments. It’s accepted practice. But how is it best used for physical examinations?

When the pandemic came along, our Chief Medical Officer, Professor Peter Steadman and the MedHealth Research & Innovation team, together with Professor Ian Freckelton QC, examined just that; publishing this 2021 paper in the ANZ Journal of Surgery.

The paper pulls together experts across the medical, allied health and legal fields to review the available literature and examine the potential for telehealth Independent Medical Examinations (known as virtual or vIMEs in the paper) through an evidence-based lens.

Over the course of 2020, MedHealth delivered more than 8,000 telehealth IMEs using a hybrid approach, pioneering the inclusion of trained allied health professionals in this type of assessment.

“Through both practice – and now this research – MedHealth has established that telehealth or virtual IMEs are a very effective tool for instances where a face-to-face appointment with the specialist is not possible,” Professor Steadman said.

A summary of the article findings is available from our Newsroom, and the whole published paper is available online via the ANZ Journal of Surgery.

Booking a telehealth IME

To choose an mlcoa telehealth IME, use any of our flexible booking options: via phone on 1800 652 621, email contact@mlcoa.com.au or our online booking portal, vault.

To choose a Medilaw Group telehealth IME, please email clientservices@medilaw.com.au, call 1300 633 452 or contact your local Medilaw, Next Health, AMLG or MLO office.

To choose an ASSESS Medical Group telehealth IME, please email admin@assessmedicalgroup.com.au or call your local ASSESS office on 1300 188 988 today.

When you should use a telehealth IME

This useful delivery method is now available for any reason that doctor and client cannot be in the same room.

It’s particularly useful for people who live in regional and remote areas, who will now not necessarily have to travel for an independent medical examination; and equally appropriate for people who have injuries or illnesses, or any circumstance including risk of infection, that does not allow them easy access to the doctor’s rooms.