Telstra pilots videoconferencing for remote aged care

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Telstra pilots videoconferencing for remote aged care

Telstra is piloting a videoconferencing and IT system at four aged care facilities in NSW and Queensland it hopes will help connect residents to medical specialists and form the basis for a repeatable system that can be rolled out nationwide.

The carrier is one of several partners in the ConnectCare project led by the Catholic Church-backed Church Resources and supported by the Federal Government’s ‘Clever Networks’ program.

The project will initially roll out a suite of technology applications and infrastructure including video conferencing in four not-for-profit facilities in regional New South Wales, Central and South West Queensland.

“Telstra hopes the pilot will help us to create 'off the shelf' solutions, including network-hosted software, making it affordable to roll out similar equipment more widely in rural and regional nursing homes and aged care facilities,” said Deena Shiff, managing director of the Telstra Business Group.

Stephen Richards, CEO of one of the facility owners Nambucca Valley Care, said he hoped ConnectCare would improve the health of people living in regional aged care facilities by faster and more accurate treatment and easier access to specialists.

“People living in aged care facilities are older, frailer and have more complex medical needs than a decade ago. With increasing demands on our limited health resources doctors and specialists are being stretched pretty thin, especially in rural and regional areas,” Richards said.

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