NSW Smart Sensing Network invests $5m in aged care

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NSW Smart Sensing Network invests $5m in aged care

The NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN) has brought together researchers with Aussie small businesses to develop sensor and data innovations solving significant challenges for the aged care sector.

The $5 million industry-led initiative has received $1.48 million in funding under the latest round of the federal government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) program.

The market-led collaboration brings together Australian SMEs, including Vlepis, CARETEQ, Allambie Heights, Great Communities and Machinery Forum with two prize-winning research teams from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).

Professor Julien Epps, co-director at NSSN Co-Director said, “Vlepis participated in the NSSN Ageing Grand Challenge Forum last year and saw strong benefits via industry collaboration and participation.

“The workshops revealed a real commitment from the participants to support and solve real-world problems that affect the sector. It is great to see a company like Vlepis leverage the network’s research capability and industry vehicles to validate the direction and application of their solutions.”

Bill Dimopoulos CEO at Vlepis said the company aims to build an integrated smart triaging platform that leverages data science and new Australian-manufactured sensing technologies to automatically identify health and wellbeing events that notify the relevant care staff.

He said, “The project develops and then leverages low-cost, unobtrusive wearable sensors that will actively monitor the users’ wellbeing biomarkers such as heart rate, blood oxygenation and temperature.

“We know from recent reports that the proportion of the Australian population aged 60 or over is projected to double by 2031 and the cost to deliver aged-care services to our ageing population is expected to grow beyond $40B. Against a backdrop of a Royal Commission that has underlined under-performance and excessive workloads in the aged-care sector, the potential impacts for this project stretch well beyond purely financial metrics.”

Distinguished professor Fang Chen, UTS Data Science Institute executive director said, “The technology will use real-life data for optimal detection and triage. It has a clear target of improving the well-being of at-risk Australians and reducing hospital admissions, saving lives and improving access to care in remote communities.

“Meanwhile, the collaboration will grow Australia’s sovereign manufacturing capability and directly addresses care providers’ compliance risk through ongoing health and wellbeing monitoring.”

The NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN), a consortium of eight leading universities across NSW and the ACT, is a not-for-profit innovation network that brings together universities, industry and government to translate world-class research into innovative smart sensing solutions that create value for NSW and beyond.

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