Telstra's healthcare ICT division has entered an agreement to acquire the Anywhere Healthcare network from Medibank, the telco announced today.
Anywhere Healthcare is a telemedicine platform that allows medical specialists to carry out remote consultations with patients.
The consultations take place via video in specially designed rooms.
Currently Anywhere Healthcare comprises 26 specialists and has a network of 1600 GPs and aged care referral partners, Telstra said.
"Medibank has developed a wonderful service and we are delighted to be able to assume responsibility for this going forward," Telstra group executive of retail, Gordon Ballantyne, said in a statement.
"We are keen to build the service and increase options for GPs, specialists and care providers in providing high quality care to their patients.
"It aligns perfectly with our aim to overcome the challenges of distance and availability to help provide greater levels of access to medicine, especially for those in regional and remote areas.
"We recognise the central role of GPs in managing the care of their patients. Anywhere Healthcare provides a patient’s regular GP the option of referring them to a specialist for a video conference, providing more convenient access to specialist care that can otherwise be difficult to reach because of distance or in circumstances such as for patients in nursing homes."
Telstra Health formally launched late last year and established a joint venture with Swiss telemedicine company Medgate dubbed ReadyCare, which offers video and phone consultations with GPs.
Ballantyne said Anywhere Healthcare would complement Telstra's ReadyCare platform.
The launch of Telstra Health followed earlier acquisitions of IP Health and e-health software company Database Consultants Australia.