More than 30,000 Victorians will take part in a pilot of a new program that aims to virtually connect families and support older people to maintain their normal routines as they age.
Pilot participants will receive a custom-developed tablet connected to a communications platform. Users can click on a photo of a family member to create a video link. Similarly, loved ones can use their smartphones and tablets to touch base with older relatives by activating a video link without their involvement.
The platform will also include video software, motion detectors, voice recognition and artificial intelligence to monitor for any adverse situation, enabling assistance or intervention.
Terry Crews, founder of Gabriel Health Systems, the health technology company behind the platform and pilot, said the trial will not only enable seniors to remain independent at home for longer, but also stick to their normal routines to help prevent loneliness.
“Our technology provides a simple means to create the virtual family connection and in a non-invasive way detect any changes to health and wellbeing,” Crews said. “Family connections have been shown in countless research papers to dramatically improve health outcomes and leads to a much better quality of life.”
Victorian minister for small business, innovation and trade, Philip Dalidakis, said the technology has the potential to improve health outcomes for ageing populations worldwide, reducing healthcare costs across the globe.
The pilot is set to take place in 30,000 homes across metropolitan and regional areas and will begin to roll out from August 2017.Do you have an idea for a story?
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