Innovation in Aged Care the way forward

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A commitment to development and putting new technology to specific uses has led a Brisbane company to pioneer what it believes will be the future for aged care services in Australia and the world.

Surecom’s CEO, Ash Hanna, said his company’s leading-edge technology applied at PresCare’s, Mt Tamborine aged care facility will also have application for many other industries in the future including transport and logistics, mining and process driven operations to name a few.

The boutique IT&C company, has partnered with its client PresCare, in developing a means of monitoring aged care residents 24/7, while keeping their independent freedom to move about and undertake normal activities within the facility.

“PresCare’s commitment to technology innovation for superior resident care provided the platform for us to undertake the development work required.

“What we have achieved is a new type of nurse call system.”

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Recognition hardware produced by AeroScout in the US had been adapted to provide a flexible and personalized approach.

The Partnership has attracted Australian and world attention and been nominated for industry awards since being introduced at PresCare’s 38 bed facility at Tamborine Mountain.

PresCare is now looking at further introduction of the service following the success of the Tamborine Mountain rollout.

Mr Skelton, PresCare’s IT Director & Chief Financial Officer, said the service provided clear benefits for both nurses and residents by enabling flexible care.

“Our research and PresCare’s commitment to innovation has allowed a truly pioneering approach within the Australian healthcare industry. This solution is superior to the less informative, conventional room-based buzzer-alert systems.”

Residents and key staff wear user-friendly wristbands or necklaces which are monitored through a series of sensor points called “exciters” located throughout the complex.

The design enables residents to push a personal alert button for assistance or to be located quickly, such as in the instance of a resident with dementia leaving predefined boundaries.

Mr Hanna said Surecom’s research technology had delivered a flexible, mobile alerting and nurse-call system which could ensure the safety of all residents, at all times, while still allowing them the freedom to move around the entire facility.

Behind the cutting edge service is American company AeroScout’s Wi-Fi-based RFID tags along with its enterprise location tracking software, MobileView. These products allow linking staff mobile handheld device as well as several flat screen monitors throughout the complex.

Mr Hanna said, Surecom’s brief was to source, provide design applications and implement a product to allow high-accuracy detection in critical locations such as doorways and exits.

“Whenever an alert is triggered, an on-call nurse is immediately notified through their handheld device.

The partnership selected the American product to develop because of the tags technical excellence and rugged nature, as well as the user-friendly look and feel”.

“In addition, the MobileView software can be accessed through any web-enabled device, enabling the facility to perform real-time searches for residents and detailed reports on all activities.”

“We have now a proven, cost-effective example how Wi-Fi technology can be developed to compliment existing services and provide a level of safety, quality control and efficiency not previously possible without major cost through additional processes,” Mr Hanna said.

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