Virtual care can range from a telephone or video consultation with your healthcare provider, to sharing your tests and scans with experts for advice. It may even involve using special devices to monitor and manage your health outside of a clinic or hospital.

On this page

Types of virtual care

Telephone and video consultations

You can use everyday devices such as a telephone, smartphone, tablet or computer to access healthcare virtually.  Videoconferencing platforms are safe, secure and accessible. The preferred tools for NSW Health are:

  • myVirtualCare also known as myVC
  • Pexip
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Skype for Business.

You will need a stable internet connection and/or mobile data to participate in video consultations.

People often use both virtual care and in-person appointments to meet their healthcare needs. Speak to your healthcare provider about the most suitable options for your care. Where it's appropriate you can choose how you wish to see your healthcare professional. This can change from appointment to appointment depending on your needs.

Remote monitoring

Remote monitoring uses technology to collect and send your medical and healthcare data to an app, device or service. Remote monitoring equipment or devices can be used to measure:
  • blood glucose
  • blood pressure
  • heart rate heart rhythm (pacemaker)
  • respiratory function
  • oxygen saturation
  • body temperature and body weight and more

Store and forward

Store and forward is an electronic communication method used by clinicians to share and store your clinical information, such as scans or images. With your permission, your information is forwarded to another clinician for review, intervention or advice. All data is securely stored and managed.

Frequently asked questions

How secure and private is virtual care?

NSW Health's virtual care platforms have had safety reviews and testing to ensure they meet our high standards of privacy and confidentiality. NSW Health providers can only use platforms that have undergone a safety assessment.

What will virtual care cost?

There is no cost to you from your local health district. You may be asked to give consent for your healthcare professional to bulk bill Medicare – just like you would for in-person care.

Virtual care will use some of your data. A 15 minute video call will use approximately 80MB of your data and a 15 minute audio-only call will use approximately 10MB. Usage depends on your individual mobile phone arrangements. Speak to your mobile phone provider if you have questions about how much data you have on your plan.

Is virtual care safe?

Absolutely. Safety and quality is at the centre of everything we do. Virtual care is only one of the many types of care we provide and your healthcare professional will let you know if this type of care is safe and suitable for you.

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What equipment do I require for virtual care consultations?

Depending on the type of virtual care it could include:
  • an email address
  • access to a reliable internet connection
  • a suitable device with a camera, microphone and speakers – e.g. Windows or Mac computer, or an Apple iPad/iPhone or Android smart phone or tablet device
  • a private, well lit area where you won't be interrupted.
If you don't have this equipment, you may be able to attend the consultation with your GP or other healthcare provider, or at your local community health facility or hospital. 

What happens before a virtual care appointment?

You and/or your carer should be given all necessary information before the appointment. This includes:
  • the date and time
  • where to go (if you can't join from home)
  • who will attend
  • how to set up your technology.

The healthcare provider who made the appointment may share information (such as treatment history) with another local healthcare provider. This helps them to better understand your condition and the type of care you need. All of your information is sent securely to ensure your privacy.

Further information

Telehealth for patients, carers and other providers 

Current as at: Tuesday 30 November 2021
Contact page owner: Strategic Reform and Planning