Preventative health mobile platform planned for aged care

Saving Australia $1.2 billion a year in hospital admissions is an ambitious task, but that’s the ultimate goal for StayWell Health Solutions, a Sydney app development company that has recently emerged following the apps4NSW competition.

While still in its infancy, StayWell has some big plans for the future, including rolling out a preventative health mobile platform for aged care by 2015.

It is hoped that such a platform has the potential to prevent one to two days of hospital admissions per user every year.

StayWell Health Solutions was recently formed by the team behind the Grey Book app concept, which won first place in the empowering consumers and people's choice categories in the apps4NSW competition. The developers hope it will provide a stepping stone in developing that aged care mobile platform.

The app aims to give older citizens greater control over their health by giving them easy access to their medical records, and better contact with primary care providers. It will encourage users to become more involved in their psychological and nutritional well-being, and users will be able to receive results and information via their PCEHR.

StayWell is a collaboration between health informatics researcher Joanne Curry of the University of Western Sydney, health IT executive Frank Dorrian and data warehousing and visualisation specialist Murray Cooper.

StayWell is in negotiations with NSW Health, the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) and a number of private companies to develop and commercialise its apps, according to Dr Curry.

As well as the Grey Book app, StayWell has also developed concepts for a Breathe Right app and eGuidelines for healthcare clinicians.

Breathe Right collects data on environmental pollution for users with respiratory illness or allergies, while eGuidelines aims to give clinicians the ability to improve diagnosis and patient management by providing searchable guidelines and electronic referrals to different areas in the patient flow.

Dr Curry said StayWell is having discussions with the CEC next month about developing eGuidelines for paediatrics.

Perhaps ironically, the StayWell project furthest along in development is not one that was entered in apps4NSW. That project is a tablet version of an intranet patient flow portal being developed with the CEC to improve bed management.

According to Dr Curry, NSW Health had a forward-thinking attitude in recognising that mobile devices will play a key role in the future of health.

“I think they are being cautious about the implementation on these devices but in a good way,” she said.

“They have to make sure the users are ready for this and that the interface that are built are what the users want.”

It’s an attitude shared by Staywell, which wants to avoid user acceptance problems arising from a lack of engagement by the developer.

Dr Curry said the initial meeting was about how Grey Book might be used, and by what sort of users, both within NSW Health and the wider community.

She also said talks are being planned with NEHTA about PCEHR integration.

“There should be no reason why you shouldn’t be able to upload information to your PCEHR, but making sure that message is sent over the network securely, in the right format, is the issue.”

However, Dr Curry said that, depending on the scope set out by StayWell’s partners, she believed it could develop Grey Book within four months.

Discussions have been held with Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, which was involved in the development of the eBlue Book, a mobile app that allows new mothers to keep track of their newborn's growth rates and vaccination records.

Posted in Aged Care

Comments   

# Cassandra Jordan 2013-03-27 13:51
Congratulations to Dr Joanne Curry and the team.
# Josephine Calvert 2013-04-04 17:44
The forward thinking of Dr Curry is enlightening keep up the good work
# Deborah Haydon 2013-05-05 12:11
Dear Team, Very interesting and necessary. Health systems are currently unsustainable in their current form with the tsunami of baby boomers heading our way. Deborah Haydon MPH Doctoral Student QUT Queensland Australia

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