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Silver Chain involved in NBN enabled Telehealth pilot

10 July 2013

Serving older Australians

As a part of this week’s NBN launch in Geraldton, attended by The Hon Sharon Bird MP, Federal Minister for Regional Communications, Silver Chain has commenced a Telehealth trial in the area. Telehealth is a way of delivering healthcare through remotely monitoring a person’s vital signs using equipment that is installed in their home.

The pilot, part of a national consortium managed by Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council (ACIITC) and implemented by Silver Chain, IRT and Accenture, aims to demonstrate how the high-speed broadband provided through the National Broadband Network will enable better access to health services in the home.

The trial in Geraldton will see Silver Chain using the NBN’s Fixed Wireless connection to link the Telehealth equipment to the Internet in the client’s home to:

  • monitor vital signs based on client answers to questions that are recorded daily, and
  • conduct face-to-face video calls and conferencing remotely.

This will run in conjunction with provider IRT undertaking a similar trial in Kiama, in the Illawarra region of New South Wales. Silver Chain will host and manage the secure database containing the health data for pilot clients in both states – demonstrating how Telehealth’s capabilities can span the length and breadth of Australia.

“Telehealth allows Silver Chain to monitor a client’s health and recognise any signs of deterioration in their chronic disease,” says Carole Bain, Silver Chain’s General Manager of Country Services.

“This enables the client to take steps to control the situation, for example, take medication, or seek advice from their GP and, in turn, prevent a visit to the Emergency Department or an admission to hospital. For rural clients, this means they can stay in their community and not have to travel to a regional hospital or even to their nearest capital city.”

Many people could potentially benefit from a Telehealth service that will help them better understand and manage their health. The service is designed to help a person stay well by more closely monitoring their health, educating them about their health and making it easier for them to get any assistance if they need it.

A successful pilot outcome will go towards ensuring older Australians all across the country can access Telehealth, Mrs Bain explains.

“The findings will change the face of aged care service provision in rural and remote areas across Australia. Silver Chain and IRT will compare results and examine options for sustainable models going forward.”

“Telehealth will increase access to health care in country areas and totally change the way health and community care is delivered.”

 If you live in Geraldton and are aged 65 years or older, you may be eligible to take part in the trial. To find out more, please contact Silver Chain Telehealth Nurse Linda Patmore on 0449 261 175.