Therapy Connect using telehealth to deliver allied health services

Therapy Connect Co-Founder Simone Dudley has been featured by NBNAustralia in a video case study focusing on digital connectivity underpinning business growth and access to much needed allied health services around Australia.

NBN: Therapy Connect: the tele-healthcare alternative

Therapy Connect featured by NBNAustralia as a powerful example of an innovative telehealth business where access to digital connectivity brings health and wellbeing benefits to many Australians every week.

NBN: Making the most of telehealth: meet Emma and George

Introducing Emma and George, who live in regional NSW and found accessing speech pathology services through Therapy Connect, a dedicated allied health telehealth provider, was fast, easy and comfortable. Therapy Connect was founded to increase access to high quality allied health services for all Australians via telehealth. 

Shine Awards 2021 open: Sharing the Stories of Rural Women

In the lead-up to the 2021 Awards, Therapy Connect’s Co-Founders Simone Dudley and Sue Cameron were again recognised for their contributions towards Simone taking out the 2020 Shine Awards Belief category for Therapy Connect. 

‘Simone – an occupational therapist from Deniliquin, NSW – was honoured for her work in setting up a telehealth service that allows for ease of connection with remote patients. Created with fellow rural woman Sue Cameron, their business – Therapy Connect – now delivers treatment to rural families and children across the nation’.

Therapy Connect using telehealth to deliver allied health services

In 2015, she and speech pathologist Sue Cameron formed Therapy Connect, a dedicated telehealth practice providing allied health support predominantly to children and families with disabilities on the NDIS scheme.

“We just felt that with the NBN and NDIS rolling out back in 2015 that there was such a great potential to harness the telehealth capability to increase access to services for clients,” Ms Dudley said.

Since then Therapy Connect has grown into a business with more than 60 allied health practitioners offering psychology, speech, occupational, nutritional and physiotherapy sessions. 

Therapy Connect Featured in Autumn Issue of OT Australia “Connections” Magazine

Therapy Connect is featured in the Autumn 2021 issue of the OT Australia “Connections” Magazine.  Themed ‘Supporting Our Communities’, this issue includes articles on OTs offering a hand in our communities, connecting with OTs in the NT, and reflections from the OTs of tomorrow.  We shared our insight and experience on ‘Supporting our Remote Practitioner Community’, with the OT Therapy Connect team being ‘the OT’s of tomorrow’. 


Therapy Connect’s Simone Dudley wins the Belief Category in the 2020 Shine Awards

On the 18th November, Therapy Connect’s Co-Director Simone Dudley was announced the winner of the ‘Belief’ category of the 2020 Shine Awards.

Simone says “Sue Cameron and I are pretty excited to have the Therapy Connect story showcased by The Weekly Times Shine Awards. To be selected as a finalist was wonderful, however, to be announced as a winner is something else.  We have come so far. We think back to the early days of Therapy Connect where in 2014 I had to problem solve internet connectivity, sitting on a drum over near the edge of the farm shed as that was where the strongest internet connection was to enable a videoconference with a client”.

Occupational Therapy Australia 

The Shine Awards, presented by The Weekly Times and Harvey Norman, celebrate women of rural Australia making real differences in their communities, illustrating breadth and depth of leadership, ingenuity and compassion. This year OTA member Simone Dudley, a grain and beef producer and occupational therapist from the Riverina region of NSW, has won the Shine Award for “Belief”. 

NBN Co Feature

Simone Dudley, Co-founder of Therapy Connect, was featured in an NBN Co article on ‘Finding a healthy connection to the real world’.

While telehealth has been highly valued in rural and regional areas for years, it seems the benefits are finally becoming clear to the wider community. “The reality is, many of our clients wouldn’t have access to various forms of therapy and other healthcare practices without telehealth services. “I anticipate people will continue to use telehealth services, particularly as more practitioners begin to offer the service,” says Simone.

NBN Covid-19 Behavioural Change Survey

An NBN Covid-19 Behavioural Change Survey was created and released to the Media on how ‘Lockdown brings increased digitisation to the health and lifestyle habits of regional Australians’.

Simone Dudley, Co-Founder of leading allied health telepractice Therapy Connect, commented: “Telehealth has been a vital element of healthcare for rural and regional Australians for many years.

I’ve run a telehealth practice for six years, providing thousands of hours of speech and occupational therapy, psychology and physiotherapy support to children and families living all over Australia via the nbn. The reality is, many of our clients wouldn’t have access to various forms of therapy and other healthcare practices without telehealth services.

Rural Health Partyline Blog Feature

Therapy Connect were featured on the Rural Health Partyline Blog, discussing how Telehealth is a game-changer for rural and remote allied health services.  The “beach office” of a our travelling Speech Pathologist Kirstyn O’Rourke was shared as an example of just how much Telehealth has changed the therapy landscape. 

Rural Health Workshop (Sydney via videoconference)

Simone Dudley presented at the NBN Australia and National Rural Health Alliance – Rural Digital Health Workshop in Sydney via videoconference.

The aim of the workshop was to bring together a range of stakeholders from consumers, health practitioners, policy makers and researchers interested in digital health to start to work on a national digital health action plan.

Simone spoke about Therapy Connect as a case study example of contemporary allied health delivery and highlighted both the enablers and barriers to delivering services via telehealth.

Health Times

Therapy Connect was excited to be featured in a HealthTimes article discussing Telehealth being an opportunity for allied health professionals in the last week.

‘The ability to deliver allied health services and information to patients in rural and remote communities is made possible by telehealth.

Telehealth has many important functions, including long-distance patient care, advice, education, and monitoring. It has far-reaching benefits for isolated communities and offers allied health professionals the chance to reach them where they are.

Simone Dudley, an occupational therapist with Therapy Connect, believes telehealth is key to increasing choice for those in rural and remote areas.

“There can be difficulties recruiting allied health professionals with specific skills in thin market regions which subsequently affects participant choice and outcomes and reduces consistency and continuity of supports.

“Telepractice is an evidence-based, innovative solution to providing access to person-centred high-quality allied health therapy supports in thin market regions,” said Ms Dudley’.

National Rural Health Alliance Round Table Event

As the NBN Australia™ build nears completion, NBN Co is turning its focus to digital adoption and digital health features, and joined forces with the National Rural Health Alliance to host the industry’s first digital health roundtable in early November, which brought together government, practitioners and hardware/software and network providers to discuss digital health adoption.

Therapy Connect, founded by Simone Dudley and Sue Cameron, who both live in regional areas of Australia, provides speech and occupational therapy, psychology, physiotherapy and dietetics to clients all over Australia and into Asia, all online via telepractice through a team of 23 health practitioners, who also live all over Australia, work remotely and never meet their clients face to face.

Therapy Connect co-director, Simone Dudley said that the nbn™ was a ‘game changer’ for her.

“Connecting online in the early days of Therapy Connect was problematic; I had to travel into town to gain access to an internet connection that would enable me to connect to clients. Many of my clients around Australia also had poor internet connection,” she said.

“We now have reliable connection as do most of our clients around Australia.

“Our clients are very open to engaging in online consultation, as they have increased access to a range of services when they need them and they save time and money by not having to travel.”

“We also find that those in smaller tight knit communities are more open to working online as it provides the element of privacy.”

Regional Australia Institute

A few years back we were interviewed by the Regional Australia Institute for their report on the future of work for our kids. It’s not only fascinating to read, it also gives some important insight into how we can prepare kids right now for their futures.

The Report discussed “employment in the future” and the skills that kids will need into the future. The future of work offers a heady mixture of excitement and promise as new ways of working become embedded in the economy, along with the worry of how and if each of us can make our way in a rapidly changing work landscape.

When we work with children remotely, we are giving them not only the highest quality therapy that can help position them for their futures, but also give them a taste of what the interaction with technology might look like for them for the future!

About Occupational Therapy

About Occupational Therapy featured Pandora’s story, one of our clients.  

Speech Pathology Australia

Speech Pathology Australia, a magazine for Speech Pathologists, featured Sue Cameron & Telepractice in an Edition of Speak out.