Telehealth research goes commercial for aged care

This story first appeared in the February 2014 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

A Queensland-based research team that has developed protocols to support geriatric care using telehealth has established a new commercial business called RES-e-CARE for residential aged care facilities. Taking a high-tech approach to telehealth in aged care is considered essential for frail and often immobile elderly people, many of whom often have cognitive impairments.

The University of Queensland’s Centre for Online Health (COH) had been researching and developing a number of programs in the fields of telemedicine, telehealth and eHealth since 1999, and through Brisbane’s Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) has run a telepaediatrics service for the last 13 years.

It also has a particular in interest in telehealth for aged care, and in association with the Centre for Research in Geriatric Medicine (CRGM) has developed a web-based clinical decision support system that is used in hospital care for older people. The system uses a structured assessment overlaid with a number of processes to help interpret clinical observations.

That system is also being used as part of a project that delivers healthcare to residential aged care through high-definition video conferencing. In 2012, the research groups received a grant for almost $1 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council to conduct the project, which involves a four-year study of the clinical support system as well as what it calls “clinical-grade” video conferencing technology into residential aged care facilities.

The randomised control trial will see video conferencing technology deployed as a mobile wireless device at the resident’s bedside and operated by a geriatrician from a remote telehealth studio, situated in a dedicated centre at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH).

To read the full story, click here for the February 2014 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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