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Telecommunications provider Telstra has announced it is stepping up efforts to roll out new technology to help Australia cope with future demand for health and aged care.
Telstra Business Group managing director Deena Shiff says easy-to-use networked technology could help meet the challenges faced by an ageing population, and greater demand for scarce health resources, while improving outcomes for patients.
“Over the past six months Telstra has carried out an extensive survey and consultation process meeting people at every level of the health and aged care sector, as well as technology providers around Australia.
“The time is right to kick-start a technology revolution in the sector, and Telstra is ready to deliver it over the Next G and Next IP networks.
“Technology is now available to allow carers to manage patients’ health information more efficiently around the country using laptops or handheld devices. The challenge is to connect the front-line health delivery people with people further up the health delivery chain.
“Telstra wants to work with front-line health providers to bring them in touch with the latest health technology, and we stand ready to pilot or support commercial trials of our technology.”
Telstra’s study of the industry and the technology available has identified several areas in which there is potential to reduce costs and improve health outcomes:
IT on demand – for medicine, patients’ records and prescriptions;
Regional health solutions – video collaboration between sites via high-speed broadband, providing rural areas with access to specialists;
Community and domiciliary care – monitoring of patients for preventive health programs and chronic disease;
Virtual clinics – ‘super clinics’ spread over geographically diverse locations.
Deena says Telstra is keen to hear from health providers willing to participate in deployment of new technology to support these key areas and provide innovative health solutions.