6 key factors for telehealth success and sustainability

Female doctor using a digital tablet at her desk in the clinic

What makes a telehealth service successful and sustainable? An Australian study has found out!

The 2016 review article, Telehealth services in rural and remote Australia: a systematic review of models of care and factors influencing success and sustainability, analysed the Australian telehealth landscape by reviewing 116 published articles that described 72 discrete telehealth services.

The authors identified six key factors that successful and sustainable rural and remote telehealth services have in common: Vision, Ownership, Adaptability, Economics, Efficiency, and Equipment.

The goal now, say the authors, is for all telehealth providers to adopt these factors and replicate success.

Here are the six key factors for successful and sustainable telehealth services:


  • Clear, realistic vision of the purpose of the telehealth service.


  • Deliberate and consultative service development with all stakeholders.
  • Supportive management.
  • Clinicians who champion the service by actively engaging and participating in service delivery.


  • Trial and modify the service model according to needs of patients and health service.
  • Remain responsive to requirements of all stakeholders.


  • Deliver cost savings or facilitate prioritisation of services for health services.
  • Provide value for patients.
  • Achieve comparable care with clinical benefits.


  • Have defined, efficient processes for managing activity.
  • Quantity not necessarily the marker for success – high levels of activity are not required to be sustainable


  • Careful consideration of the equipment used and the technical requirements for support.

Visionflex – experts in clinical telehealth technology.