June 26, 2021

Aged Care and the Desperate Need for IT Innovation

The Australian aged care sector is going through an era of change. A report from the Royal Commission into Aged Care outlined the technological disruption the industry is undergoing, but uncovered a need for further progress.

Aged care IT support is essential in managing and improving the lives of the elderly. And, with a growing older population in Australia, the need for scalable, innovative IT systems becomes even more pressing. Our senior population may not have grown up around digital tech, but it’s now more important than ever – with aged care providers integrating solutions such as AI, machine learning and the Internet of Things.

The link between technology and quality of life.

Embracing technology equips aged care providers with better management systems, while helping the elderly to live a better quality of life, providing more peace-of-mind to families, and in some cases, it could save a life.

Some benefits of aged care technology include:

  • Remote monitoring enables seniors to contact a healthcare professional, no matter where they’re based
  • AI can identify when someone is likely to suffer from a heart problem or other health concern
  • Location services can track the whereabouts of an elderly person
  • A reduction in social isolation, loneliness and mental stress
  • Peace-of-mind that support isn’t far away
  • Lowered cost of care
  • Improves health data collection for better awareness

What needs to be done?

At the IT Across Care (ITAC) conference, several experts weighed in on what the aged care sector really needs from IT solutions. The buzzwords that kept popping up were simplicity, consistency and interoperability.

In discussing the report mentioned above, there was a clear emphasis on the importance of integration in IT. A key finding of the report was the need for more interoperability. Saurabh Anand, CEO of The Architecture Practice, said: “there’s limited interoperability between aged care providers, GPs, hospitals, specialists and the Australian government. There seems to be a disconnect in how we share information, or lack of that altogether.

While an integration between core systems sounds like a great idea, it was recognised that it can be difficult to implement in reality. The main focus, however, should be on user experience. While user training from IT providers adds value, the real goal is to implement intuitive technology that can easily slot into – and improve – the lives of healthcare workers, without the need for an instruction manual.

As well as the workforce, the needs of an aging population need to be considered, with a call for more accessibility and personalisation being highlighted during the conference. For example, the need for technology designed for those with sight or hearing difficulties.

The IT Department can help you find the right balance between quality care and ease-of-use. To speak to one of our friendly team, give us a call on 1300 10 10 40.

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