Telehealth means virtual access to healthcare, whereby people can speak with a health care professional either by phone or video call. Access to Telehealth is growing rapidly, with over 30 million telehealth consultations provided in Australia in 2020. The process of accessing psychology services via telehealth is often referred to as ‘telepsychology’. Psychologists have been providing telehealth services long before the COVID 19 pandemic, however, telepsychology has increased significantly in popularity in recent times.
In recognising the benefits of online healthcare, an increasing number of psychologists have moved to telepsychology. Unlike other health professionals (e.g. physiotherapists or podiatrists), a psychologist does not need to physically examine a client. Their practice is therefore not interfered with by the absence of face-to-face contact. Indeed, research has shown telepsychology to be as effective as in-person psychological services.
The Australian Government acknowledges the many benefits of telehealth and Medicare funding for online psychology services has recently increased. Seeing a psychologist online is now easier than ever before and provides both convenience and affordability.