The ProEX Telehealth Hub was born in Outback Queensland

Case Studies
Remote care van providing medical care to remote communities using ProEx Telehealth Hub

The ProEX Telehealth Hub was born in the back of a van in Outback Queensland.

10 years ago, in 2009 Mike Harman travelled to the small community of Cherbourg in Queensland to deliver the first-generation predecessor to the ProEX: the Flexicam Mobile. It was installed into a van fitted with state-of-the-art digital ENT equipment.

The Health-e-Piccaninnies Van, as it’s known by the Cherbourg community, is an initiative backed by the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, the Cherbourg Aboriginal Community and the University of Queensland’s Centre for Online Health. Cherbourg Health Worker Cecil Brown tours Queensland’s South Burnett in the van decorated in custom-painted Aboriginal artwork. Cecil is conducting life-changing ear health assessments for conditions such as Otitis media and eardrum perforation.

Otitis media (OM) or glue ear is a serious problem for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. More than 70 percent of kids in the region suffer from the condition which can lead to hearing loss that has a devastating effect on learning and development.

Visionflex is proud to have been involved with the Health-e-Piccaninnies Van since day one, providing ongoing support and periodic upgrades to their equipment through every iteration from Flexicam to ProEX Telehealth Hub.

“It all started a decade ago when we were providing cameras for ear examinations to health services in indigenous communities”, says Visionflex CEO Mike Harman.

“Outback nurses told us they would like to better connect with doctors and specialists for advice on a range of things like dermatology, dental, ECG and general examinations.

Which led us to develop the ProEX. That’s how the ProEX Telehealth Hub was born in Outback Queensland.

“Now we have a device that can be operated remotely by nurses for more comprehensive examinations of patients by doctors using a range of probes and diagnostic devices above and beyond the usual face-to-face video consultations.

“We’re working with Government and Private Health, outreach services like the Royal Flying Doctor Service and community-run services like this hearing van to help doctors make daily decisions on urgent patient treatment.”

The Royal Children’s Hospital is the largest specialist children hospital in Queensland and is also a paediatric teaching hospital. RCH is a 168-bed facility providing health specialities to children, and young individuals aged 0-14 years old. The RCH provides it specialty paediatric services to children in Queensland, New South Wales, Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Japan. RCH’s aim is to provide services to the needs of children, young people, and their families in a family-oriented environment.

Logo for the University of Queensland's Centre for Online Health

The Centre for Online Health (COH) is world-renowned for its telehealth expertise. The Centre’s mission of telehealth research, teaching and education, consultancy and clinical service provision makes it unique amongst peer university centres. The COH is the host centre for the Centre for Research Excellence in Telehealth funded by the National Health Medical Research Council.

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