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How 35 percent of older Australians could benefit from an award-winning platform

Could this platform be the future for health services?

<p>New technology is being developed constantly, but this new online platform could help everyday Australians with their general health. [Source: Shutterstock]</p>

New technology is being developed constantly, but this new online platform could help everyday Australians with their general health. [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points

  • A new Australian technology to aid healthcare in older Australians has just won an award at an international festival for ageing
  • The iAgeHealth Platform is set to help older Australians access essential healthcare services that may otherwise be difficult to find because of rural location
  • Almost 35 percent of older Australians live in remote or rural areas, as per recent data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

‘People living in rural and remote areas have higher rates of hospitalisations, mortality, injury and poorer access to, and use of, primary health care services’ than their city-dweller peers, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

A brand-new Australian technology has just won an award at an international festival for older people, which could change the lives of the many older Australians who live outside of metropolitan areas. 

Almost 35 percent of older Australians live in remote or rural areas, as per recent data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The product, iAgeHealth Platform, was awarded Innovation of the Year for Smart Care Technology at the Ageing Asia World Ageing Festival. 

The iAgeHealth Platform was created by McLean Care in collaboration with Deakin University and a specialist Australian-based software development partner. 

Professionals who work with patients using this technology include nurse practitioners, occupational therapists and dietitians. 

Services available on this platform include: clinicians being available 24/7 for consultation and treatments and personalised treatment plans.

McLean Care Chief Executive Officer Sue Thomson explained the importance of such a platform for older Australians who may not have the same access to services as people in metropolitan areas. 

“iAgeHealth was developed to bridge service gaps that we experience in Australia’s regional, rural and remote communities and to improve quality health care for older Australians.

“We firmly believe that a postcode should not dictate whether an older person — or any person — can receive the primary care they need to maintain their health and well-being,” said Ms Thomson.

For some of the iAgeHealth clients, the technology platform has helped to transform their lives. One 82-year-old woman was living in an aged care facility where the closest hospital was around 200 kilometres away. 

Both GP and physiotherapist visits were scheduled at six-week intervals. However, when the 82-year-old woman fell, attained a hip fracture and received surgery, her mobility was impaired. After this, she was referred to iAgeHealth and was able to receive physiotherapist, occupational therapist and dietician assessments on the day of her referral. 

After just over a month of receiving care through iAgeHealth, the woman could again engage in community activities, run personal errands and regain her lust for life.

One clinician involved in the iAgeHealth Platform expressed their satisfaction in working with other allied health professionals to improve the quality of life for their patients.

“[…] Working together across a full multi-disciplinary team is such an enriching experience and something I hadn’t really experienced before. Each of us brings a particular area of expertise within the iAgeHealth team,” said the iAgeHealth clinician.

Ms Thomson understood the need for a platform that makes it easier for Australians to access their healthcare needs, regardless of location that may have previously caused difficulties.

“Technology has a critical role to play in improving equity in our health system and our intent with iAgeHealth was to bring that to older Australians in a way that supported them and delivered better health outcomes,” said Ms Thomson.

Ms Thomson also expressed gratitude regarding the award for McLean’s product and that future progress from McLean to support older Australians can be expected.

“Recognition on a platform such as the World Ageing Festival is incredibly humbling and we are very proud of what iAgeHealth has achieved thus far. There is still a long way to go to deliver the kind of care every older Australian deserves, and McLean Care is proud to be leading the way,” said Ms Thomson. 

 

Are you working in aged care and are excited about this new health platform?

Let the team at Talking Aged Care know on social media. 

For more information and news in the aged care industry, subscribe to our free newsletter. 

 

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