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‘Virtual visit’ project wins ICT award

A 'virtual visit' telehealth project has won the Outstanding ICT Innovation award in the Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards 2013.

The Royal District Nursing Service bagged the award for their broadband-enabled project Healthy, Happy and at Home during the 4th Ageing Asia Investment Forum in Singapore.

The project allows a nurse to visit a patient at home through broadband technology to help clients avoid hospital stays and reduce the health system’s overall burden.

RDNS won in the same day as it made its first public demonstration in Asia of its senior-friendly telehealth solution that may enable earlier hospital discharge for patients, prevent medicine mismanagement and maximise nursing resources.

The project is RDNS’ solution in delivering care using high-speed broadband technology. It is designed specifically to meet the challenges associated with caring for an ageing population.

To demonstrate its project, RDNS had a videolink between conference guest-of-honor, Singapore Senior Minister of State Chan Chun Sing, and nurse Amanda Murray, who was more than 6000 kilometres away at the RDNS call centre in Melbourne.

Murray walked the Minister through a simulated conversation, monitoring his ‘medication’ – using lollies – and hypothetically taking his blood pressure.

For the past 24 months, the project has been tested in Australia with a sample size of about 50 clients.  Each client has a special monitor at home with an inbuilt camera, allowing nurses at the RDNS call centre to conduct two-way video calls with clients at the comfort of their home.

RDNS Chief Executive, Adjunct Professor Stephen Muggleton, said “It is a great example of how clever but easy-to-use technology can provide better in-home support for consumers.”

“The success of this project is opening up a range of other exciting solutions that build on the capacity of our nurse-led call centre,” Muggleton said.

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