Rural patients in the Waikato DHB are being offered the option of face-to-face speech language therapy via telehealth.

The district health board has ten Hamilton-based Speech Language Therapists (SLT) based in Hamilton, serving the wider Waikato region, with some providing weekly outpatient clinics in Te Kuiti, Thames and Tokoroa.

Speech Language Therapist Leisha Davies says the use of telehealth technology – delivered via a patient’s smartphone, tablet, computer or using a hospital mobile televisual unit – means the team now saves on travel time and rather than weekly they can deliver more regular, sometimes daily therapy, to their outlying rural patients.  She now sees about 40 per cent of her patients using telehealth and for the overall department it is about 12 per cent.

Read the full story by Health Central.