Telehealth moves into retirement living

Independent living provider RetireAustralia is rolling out a real-time monitoring service to residents of its 26 independent living villages in association with telecommunications carrier Frontier Networks.

The company will initially offer high-speed broadband capability to provide online entertainment and village management services via wireless internet and IPTV, and is also planning to provide 24-hour health services and eventually telemedicine and telecare.

Frontier Networks specialises in providing telecommunications infrastructure to mining sites and remote construction camps as part of its Camp Connect service, but has also set up an independent living division called Village Connect to capitalise on the growing market of older people who want to remain in their own homes or as independently as possible.

The company uses a mixture of technologies including gigabit passive optical fibre (GPON), microwave, wireless and satellite broadband, as well as the provision of CCTV, IPTV, video conferencing, security and room energy monitoring and nurse call systems.

The first service will be rolled out to the 163 residents at Wellington Manor, a Brisbane bayside community, in the first half of this year.

It will enable residents to communicate and connect with friends and family, be entertained, and receive wellness and telehealth content and applications on a high-speed wireless and IPTV network, delivered with “seniors friendly” training and support.

RetireAustralia managing director Tim Russell said Frontier Networks’ high-speed broadband service would open up opportunities for residents.

“We are responding to a striking shift in internet adoption and online participation by retirees,” Mr Russell said in a statement.

“They are already the fastest growing segment in social media, and huge participants in online health blogs and forums.”

He said the Village Connect service would enable them to connect to their online communities and to access a growing body of health and wellbeing services and products online.

Frontier Networks managing director David Waldie said services like maintenance updates, emergency alerts, menu services, resident surveys, billing and security are all village management processes that can be delivered online via portals.

Mr Waldie said that by investing in technology, owners and operators of independent living villages are investing in their long-term viability.

The company can offer ubiquitous Wi-fi, best of breed IPTV solutions and an expanding offering in wellness and telehealth, he said.

Posted in Aged Care

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