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Transforming Aged Care for the Future

This post is authored by guest contributor Professor Vishaal Kishore, the Executive Chair of the Cisco-RMIT Health Transformation Lab

The recent report of the Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety tells us two critical things. First – something systemic is going on in aged care: the elements of the system are not working together to produce optimal outcomes. Second – the issue is one of respect: our system is not treating individuals the way that they ought to be treated.

Our challenge is to find a way to make the Australian aged care system simultaneously more connected, and more compassionate. And this is where technology has a crucial role to play – but the role is a complex one. Done right, technology can be core to making our system more respectful. Done poorly, technology can merely contribute to making a disrespectful system more efficient at being disrespectful.

At the Health Transformation Lab, we – along with Cisco – set out to explore the profound role that technology can play in reorienting our aged care systems around connection and respect. But those of us who work in innovation in the care economy know that words are not enough – so we set out not just to write about why technology can transform aged care, but also to demonstrate how. The end result is something of which we all are deeply proud – in a few short months RMIT and Cisco had been able to demonstrate how technology could be used to improve the experience of people in aged care and also free up much needed time for staff to focus on their core role: delivering care.

Perhaps most excitingly, these technologies all exist right now – our task is just to arrange them and deploy them in new and exciting ways.

In the coming months, the Health Transformation Lab is looking to work with industry partners, providers and others interested in doing something meaningful to improve the lives of people receiving aged care services in a multitude of settings. Based on our initial demonstrations I am confident that government and the sector broadly will start to understand that technology is not something to be balanced against ‘human-to-human’ care, but rather the very thing that enables it.

To learn more about how the collaboration with Cisco combines research and technology to address key recommendations, read our report on Transforming Aged Care.

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