Healthcare finalists for the iTnews Benchmark Awards 2020 revealed

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Healthcare finalists for the iTnews Benchmark Awards 2020 revealed

Telehealth, voice controls and an always-on health coach.

A robust field of projects from Australia’s multifaceted healthcare industry has been narrowed down to just three finalists for the 2020 iTnews Benchmark Awards.

These entrants stood out for their ability to deliver on the promises we’ve all heard about technology’s impacts on health - overcoming barriers like distance and access to services to increase the quality of care consumers receive.

They also tackle some of the biggest issues facing the Australian sector, namely our ageing population, increasing demands on our time from an always-on society, and the difficulty of reaching patients in regional and remote locations.

iTnews Benchmark Awards 2020 Health Finalists

Doctors On Demand: ‘GP InClinic Telehealth for Pharmacies’

The Doctors on Demand InClinic telehealth solution was developed to bring more medical expertise to rural and remote communities with limited access to GPs without requiring end users to have the necessary IT setup at home.

The solution allows users to securely video conference doctors from a private booth at a pharmacy, where pharmacists can provide physical services like blood pressure monitoring and vaccine delivery.

Prescriptions are issued immediately through the service, either to the hosting pharmacist or to one of the patient’s choosing.

It meets both a growing national demand for medical care in a convenient setting of a patient’s choice, and the need for more medical services in regional settings that can make simple tasks like getting a doctor’s certificate unnecessarily slow.

Feros Care: ‘MyFeros Portal and Voice Command Technology’

Feros Care has overhauled the way it records interactions with its aged care residents, capturing all data in its unified MyFeros portal which can be accessed through any screen device.

Residents can also check in on things like their budget, schedules and communication through the portal, rather than doing so through the Feros Call Centre

Voice control through Google Assistant was added after Feros staff saw that some residents struggled with the screen option, and has since become a hit. In the event of an accident, residents can also use the assistant to call for help.

Uptake among residents has been strong, coinciding an increase in user satisfaction and the first rise in Feros Care’s retention rate in some years.

University of South Australia, OutThought: ‘Health Coach Paola’

OutThought and the University of South Australia developed a virtual assistant as a proof of concept to see if it was capable of delivering an entire health program without human intervention.

After 12 weeks of training the AI assistant can answer questions on 70 topics related to the dietary and exercise program and understand around 2000 phrases and nuances.

Paola also integrates with wearable fitness trackers, allowing it to prompt participants who might’ve have missed their daily exercise goals to encourage them to increase their activity levels.

Unlike human health coaches, Paola is available to answer questions at all times of the day and night, or while in supermarket aisles while trying to make healthy purchases.

All participants who trialled Paola increased the amount of exercise they did a week, lost weight and showed a significantly higher adherence to the diet than is typically seen.

In the coming days iTnews will continue announcing the finalists in each category, with the top mass-market projects to be revealed tomorrow.

Case studies on each and every finalist will be published in the lead up to the awards gala dinner on 5 March at KPMG’s Sydney Office in Barangaroo, where we will crown the teams behind the winning projects.

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