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Novel ENT live telehealth and live video-otoscopy clinics in remote Australia: outcomes and comparisons to traditional clinic models

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 September 2023

Luke M O'Neil*
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia Division of Surgery, Medical School, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Margie O'Neill
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia
Fiona Whelan
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia
Travis Leahy
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia Division of Otolaryngology, Medical School, The University of Notre Dame, Perth, Australia
Robert Wormald
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia
Anton D Hinton-Bayre
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia Division of Surgery, Medical School, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Joseph Ghandour
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia
Jafri Kuthubutheen
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia Division of Surgery, Medical School, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Corresponding author: Luke O'Neil; Email: luke.o'



Coronavirus disease 2019 challenged the delivery of healthcare in Australia, disproportionately impacting vulnerable patients, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and those living in remote regions. The otolaryngology service provided to remote Western Australia adapted to these barriers by altering clinical consultations to a digital model.


A review was undertaken of patients in regional Western Australia. Demographics and clinical outcomes from 20 live telehealth clinics were retrospectively reviewed and compared to 16 face-to-face clinics.


The demographics of patients reviewed in both live telehealth and face-to-face clinics were similar, except for a larger proportion of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander patients utilising telehealth. The outcomes of patients reviewed through each model of care were comparable. Live video-otoscopy provided diagnostic quality images in 92 per cent of cases.


The findings of our review suggest that, despite its limitations, a large proportion of ENT patients may be safely assessed through a live telehealth model.

Main Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of J.L.O. (1984) LIMITED

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Luke O'Neil takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper


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