Rural and remote communities in Australia and Canada experience barriers to accessing healthcare services (1). These barriers are especially pronounced when attempting to access more specialized health care services, such as paediatric (2–4). Both countries have implemented programs that aim to bridge the gap between rural communities and specialized healthcare. One such service is telepaediatrics.
Telepaediatrics, as part of telehealth, refers to any paediatric health-related service, network, or medical tool that transmits voice, data, images and information through telecommunication programs as part of providing health services (5–7). Telehealth services are ideal because they remove the need to relocate the rural patient to urban specialist sites (5–7).
In a WHO survey (2010), 60% of member countries had telehealth services in place but only 30% of these programs were implemented as part of routine care (8). Only 3 member countries had established telepaediatric services in place (8). No previous investigations examine the use of telehealth programs in urban versus rural settings (8). This review aims to identify the common barriers to telepaediatric services in rural Australia and Canada and outlines suggestions for future implementation.