Using technology remotely to care for patients can go way beyond Zoom calls or basic telehealth measures. Professor Simon Malpas explains how tech can start to even out inequity in healthcare.
Imagine you live in Ahipara, Northland. You also have early stage heart failure. It’s a 90-minute drive to your nearest hospital in Kerikeri. Your whānau are very much involved in your wellbeing but it’s always a struggle to find one of them who can drive you to the hospital for your three-monthly check-ups.
This scenario is played out daily around Aotearoa and worldwide for many with chronic disease, where equitable access to healthcare is impeded through financial, geographical and logistical barriers. I describe our patient in Ahipara because, statistically, Māori living in Northland have a life expectancy 10 years less than Pākehā.