Patea opens first virtual medical clinic in New Zealand
A virtual medical clinic is being run in Patea from Monday using technology developed by Dr Lance O'Sullivan.
Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Trust says the service is a much-needed solution for the doctor shortage in Patea.
The pilot will be based in the Patea Maori Club building where patients can be seen free of charge.
It uses MAiHEALTH, a trademarked software developed by Dr O'Sullivan for virtual health services managed by people from within their own community.
The service will run daily with support of locals trained as digital health facilitators.
It enables people to be connected with a cloud-based health team.
"The purpose of the pop-up clinic in Patea is to demonstrate that harnessing simple technologies in the community can result in timely access to effective healthcare for simple medical conditions," says Dr O'Sullivan, who was the 2014 New Zealander of the Year.
There are about 2300 patients in the South Taranaki town where locums have been used for some time because of difficulty in recruiting a GP, media have reported.