Ground breaking Telehealth pilot

Silver Chain took part in a ground breaking Teleheath pilot in Geraldton, Western Australia, to help improve rural access to healthcare by delivering services in the home using technology supported by the National Broadband Network. 

The pilot commenced on 30 June 2013 and involved the use of video-enabled Samsung tablets to deliver Telehealth monitoring and video consultations to 86 elderly clients living in their own homes. 

Clients monitored their conditions from their home by entering data such as their blood pressure, temperature, pulse and weight on to their tablet each day which was in turn sent to a Silver Chain nurse for assessment.

When there was an anomaly, an alert was sent to our nurse via email or mobile phone and as the nurse already had a comprehensive view of their client's immediate health issues, could make an informed decisions about what action to be taken.

Technology can be a game changer for home health and community services, particularly in rural and remote areas and this was evident in the research findings and success stories from the pilot.

Through the Telehealth service, a very slow pulse was discovered on Mr Meyer, from Harbour Pines, Geraldton, and he was referred to a cardiologist. Further investigations led to find a serious, yet relatively unknown, heart condition.

In this case and many others, the ongoing monitoring not only reduced Mr Meyer's anxiety and gave him the confidence to manage his own health but it also helped Silver Chain identify conditions early, preventing more severe medical issues and unnecessary hospital admissions.

Silver Chain was part of a consortium involved in the pilot, managed by Leading Age Services Australia (LASA). The consortium includes the Aged Care Industry IT Council (which includes ACSA), aged care provider IRT from New South Wales (NSW), and strategic partner Accenture.

Thanks to the significant outcomes of the pilot, Silver Chain is now providing the Telehealth service to eligible clients in other country areas.