NBN to Pilot New Models of Health Care for 2500 Patients

NBN to Pilot New Models of Health Care for 2500 Patients

14 May 2013

The Gillard Government is providing $20.3 million to nine cutting edge telehealth projects that will use the National Broadband Network to pilot new methods of health care delivery.

These exciting initiatives will help demonstrate how important high-speed broadband is to the future of healthcare and highlight why it should be rolled out to all Australians, Senator Conroy said.

The projects, to be implemented by some of Australia's leading healthcare and research organisations, will reach around 2500 patients in 50 NBN communities, and include:

  • The CSIRO delivering early intervention services to allow specialists in metropolitan hospitals to identify eye diseases in remote Western Australia and the Torres Strait using video-conferencing and medical imaging.
  • The Royal District Nursing Service using in-home monitoring to allow nurses to support chronically ill and elderly patients and reduce the frequency of home visits.
  • Feros Care helping seniors to stay at home longer through daily monitoring of their wellbeing; and
  • The Hunter New England Health District assisting cancer patients in rural and regional areas to assess and manage their symptoms, with the support of a care coordinator and other medical professionals through high-definition video conferencing.

This initiative follows other Gillard Government programs that are using high-speed broadband to improve and change people's lives.

For example, one NBN-enabled education project is allowing year 10 students in Willunga, South Australia, to take an astrophysics class with students in Canberra and Tasmania via the NBN, with a teacher based in Melbourne.

We now live in a world where education doesn't stop at the school gate, healthcare doesn't only happen in a hospital, and aged care doesn't always mean having to go into a nursing home.

These exciting initiatives will help demonstrate why fast, reliable, and affordable high-speed broadband delivered to all Australians is so important for our countrys future."

Mr Butler, said: With Australias rapidly ageing population, we face increasing challenges in providing appropriate care services to our older citizens in an affordable way.

This program will demonstrate new models of aged care for older Australians living in their own homes and communities, and how telehealth can help meet these challenges.

An overview of the nine successful grants is attached.

For more information please visit the Department of Health & Ageing website.

For further information on the NBN, please visit the National Broadband Network website.