Running from 26-28 June, the Forum will explore supporting consumer-centred care through technology, integrating technology to support business growth and efficiency, and using patient data to inform service strategies.
One industry leader, multiplatform media company DPS Publishing, knows only too well the important role of technology in the growing aged care sector, with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Ogden taking his knowledge and experience in the area to the Forum’s stage.
“I have personal experience in the technology industry, assisting enterprise organisations digitally transform and I will be presenting on DPS’s new initiatives - Australia’s first online aged care comparison marketplace and consumer ratings/reviews,” Mr Ogden explains.
“In particular I will focus on how these increase accountability in the aged care sector and put choice in the hands of seniors, ensure the emotional process of the aged care journey is simple and stress free, as well as how it will facilitate dialogue between aged care providers and older Australians seeking care.”
He adds that advancements in technology are enabling exponential growth and that he is a subscriber to the view that “disruption has become the new normal” and says business leaders need to make the choice to either drive change, or be driven by it.
“Some of the greatest problems facing the aged care sector, in particular how to cost effectively satisfy the growing service needs driven by the baby boomer bubble, could be solved through the clever use of technology,” Mr Ogden says.
Mr Ogden explains that one of the key themes of the Forum - consumer-centred care through technology - is at the core of DPS’ business.
“We utilise technology to empower consumers through informed choice, hence we need to really understand how consumers digitally consume information,” he explains.
“We play a vital role in the industry in connecting consumers actively looking for services with providers who deliver those services - and we do that well.
“Our website AgedCareGuide.com.au has 1.6 million unique visitors to our website each year, so we already have a pretty good understanding of what content consumers are looking for and how they wish to consumer it.
“On top of this, late last year, we completed a comprehensive consumer research study that outlines how consumer needs are changing and the current gaps in how they inform themselves and make decisions.
“Hence recent initiatives we have announced go towards closing these gaps and empower consumers even more so.”
Mr Ogden says this is what he will be focusing on sharing during his time on stage at the Melbourne Forum.
“Consumers are looking for greater transparency when selecting a provider to deliver their required service, the tried and tested way to do this is through consumer ratings and reviews.
“However, real value comes from creating a dialogue between the consumer and provider, hence it is important for us to to help providers understand the overall positive implications for them by engaging with this type of solution.”
He adds that in regards to the company’s comparison tool - or Marketplace - it is making the process of contacting providers and collating information to make an informed decision more efficient.
“Our tool allows consumers to enter some generic information, hit a button and receive responses from multiple provides in the same format for a more easier comparison.
“It is important we provide choice for consumers, hence we are working hard with the industry to ensure the majority of providers continue to engage with this tool.
“We need to continue to provide transparency and value in the process, not only because it is the right thing to do, but it ensures ongoing benefit and credibility in a marketplace comparison tool.”
Mr Ogden says he is excited to share his knowledge, experience and initiatives with those attending the Forum, adding that his content can make “an immediate positive impact” depending on how the broader industry embraces the new concepts.
“An industry-wide approach to technology in aged care offered through conferences and forums like this one will enable the level of adoption that will maximise the benefits on offer,” he says.
“More importantly, we need to ensure the focus of any change is being driven by consumer needs and wants, not technology for technology's sake.
“Hence the sharing of use cases, good, bad and indifferent, can act as inspiration or warning to others as they strive to deliver advancement in the sector.
Mr Ogden will be speaking on Day Two of the Technology in Aged Care Forum alongside other speakers such as Allan Waters, General Manager Innovation and Technologies for Anglicare, and Stephen Thomas, General Manager Quality and Innovation for Jewishcare.