Monday, 30 January 2017 21:02

Feros Care tech hub ‘transforming’ health & aged care delivery

Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt opens Feros Care tech hub Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt opens Feros Care tech hub

Not-for-profit aged care and support services provider Feros Care has opened a new state-of-the-art technology hub that it says is transforming the way health and aged care is delivered.

The new centre at Tweed Heads was opened on Monday by the Federal Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, who said the Australian Government welcomed Feros Care’s investment and promotion of innovation and technology in aged care.

“Access to quality, accurate and timely information is vital to support consumers, and their families, to make informed choices about their care,” Wyatt said.

“It’s important for the aged care sector to harness technology to support Australians everywhere to make their own choices, to be able to seek support as they wish, when it suits them and in ways that work for them.”  

The new “Experience Centre” is devoted to the research, design and implementation of digital technologies that deliver smart and emerging technologies for seniors and people with disability.

The centre provides a national presence through state-based service partners, national distribution network and online services.

Jennene Buckley, Feros Care’s chief executive, said that the “technology revolution is at our doorstep, therefore it is critical for health and aged care organisations to build a significant capability in delivering digital service models to remain relevant to our current and future consumers of our services”.

“I applaud the government’s ongoing commitment to innovation and transformation of aged care. Feros Care’s initial focus has been on aged care, however our commitment in the next five years is to focus on virtual health and wellbeing for people of all ages. This includes people with chronic disease, people with disability and virtual care (hospital in the home).”

 The new centre facilities include:

•    Research laboratory where new technologies are rigorously tested and piloted by consumers to ensure products are the best in market and most accessible and usable for clients;

•    Plug and Play Centre where clients and health professionals can look, touch, feel and experience exactly how the equipment works;

•    Knowledge centre that includes face to face and online workshops that can be access by health and aged care staff and services to build their knowledge, capability and interest in the use of smart and emerging technologies;

•    Virtual care team with our clinical staff remotely monitoring and supporting high risk clients with chronic conditions; and

•    National warehouse and distribution centre for our Lifelink Smart Technology Service.

Buckley said Feros Care is adapting technologies that were originally designed for athletes, office workers, and millennials to feel safe at night in New York, so older people and people with disability can live independently and safely in their own homes.

Some of Feros Care’s adapted technologies that are available or being tested include:

•    Lumo lift, which was originally designed for people sitting and working at computers. It is a small, lightweight wearable to improve your posture and a healthy back. Lifelink has since repurposed this to help prevent falls. Once a person has experienced a fall, they have less confidence and tend to look at the ground and watch where their feet are going.

Wearing a Lumo Lift reminds you to stand tall and look ahead. If you slouch – or in the case of an older person – look at your feet, Lumo will vibrate, making you aware of your posture.

•    Care@Home — originally developed on a home security system is now providing seamless health monitoring so people to live independently at home. Sensors and intelligent algorithms learn your daily habits and behaviours and sends an alert to loved ones if your daily routine changes. Care@Home is also playing a key role in reducing carer fatigue because your family and friends know that should anything happen, they’re only a text message away.

•    The stylish Wisewear is a distress bracelet complete with GPS and text messaging, and is concealed in 18-carat gold jewellery. Wisewear was originally developed as a distress bracelet for millennials going out at night in New York. Lifelink has since repurposed this product to seniors as a discreet and attractive falls protection that sends an emergency alert in the case of a fall or health scare.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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