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Technology needs to support delivery of aged care services

Establishing a national data exchange and reporting hub to support providers with advanced business intelligence, analytics and reporting capabilities, and developing a series of Demonstration Pilots to show how to extend telehealth and telemedicine programs into aged care are some of the proposals in the Aged Care Industry Technology Council (ACIITC)’s Technology Roadmap for Aged Care in Australia.

The Technology Roadmap will ensure older people are able to remain independent for longer (Source: Shutterstock)
The Technology Roadmap will ensure older people are able to remain independent for longer (Source: Shutterstock)

Recently launched by Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, the Technology Roadmap recognises the need for technology to underpin the delivery of aged care services and ensure independence, choice and control for consumers.

It was prepared by the Flinders University Medical Device Research Institute on behalf of ACIITC, which was interested in exploring the contribution technological interventions could make to realising the Aged Care Roadmap’s vision for a sustainable and robust aged care industry.

“The aged care industry is in an era of unprecedented change,” says explains ACIITC Chair Glenn Bunney. “The convergence of current aged care reforms, business model transformation and technological disruption is reshaping multiple areas of the aged care industry. Consumers are at the centre of these changes and the Australian aged care industry is embracing this change.”

While researchers say the Technology Roadmap will ensure older people are able to remain independent for longer with choice and control over their support services, it does highlight other issues including:

  • further reform depending on consumers being able to use technology in order to maintain independent lives or access services
  • increasing consumer choice and control depending on engaging consumers in decision-making with aged care service providers
  • aged care organisations will need to uptake IT in the provision of care
  • the aged care workforce will need to upskill its technology literacy.

 “It is hoped that the insights from this research will help policy makers evaluate the benefits of embracing technology as well as provide guidance and information for aged care providers seeking to embed appropriate technology in all aspects of their operations,” continues Mr Bunney.

 “The Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council trusts this work will assist in enhancing the positioning of the Australian aged care industry for a vibrant and sustainable future. Further it is hoped that this work will stimulate continued research, evidence gathering, and the deployment of practical demonstration projects designed to explore how greater innovation and technological uptake will help to improve the quality of the aged care industry in Australia,” he adds.

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