Digital key to solving aged care sector deficiencies: RMIT & Cisco

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Digital key to solving aged care sector deficiencies: RMIT & Cisco
RMIT-Cisco Health Transformation Lab

Digital transformation is central in responding to the deficiencies of the aged care sector, according to a recent RMIT and Cisco report.

The report, Transforming Aged Care, reveals the value of sophisticated digital infrastructure when it comes to acting on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

According to Vishaal Kishore, executive chair of the RMIT-Cisco Health Transformation Lab, “The report found that technology and digitisation is central to the reorientation of the aged care system by transforming the way that connection happens in the system — between people, between communities, between contexts, and between the activity that happens in the system and the system’s purpose.

“Technology has a core role to play in improving these connections, which are critical to creating a system well-equipped to provide respect, dignity and high-quality care.”

The aged care sector is expected to see staff shortages reach 110,000 workers by 2030.
To fill this gap, the report highlights the benefits of automation in driving efficiencies in aged care, in order to free up 200 minutes of staff time per resident, per day, as recommended by the Royal Commission.

“The scaffolding for interpersonal connection is the creation of connected aged care spaces. Connected spaces automate data collection and safety monitoring, turning isolated sites into a cohesive, comprehensible, network,” the report said.

“Rethinking aged care as the frontier of digital transformation is a bold objective, but it is foundational to the overall aim of optimising the care provided across the system.
While a digital first approach is critical to optimising care and operations, not all digital infrastructure is created equal.

“Purposeful digital infrastructure provides secure and private customisation, with everything connected on a resilient network. While connection is the key to respect, security is a prerequisite for maintaining trust in digital systems,” the report said.

Kishore believes in order for the aged care sector to leverage the technologies that have been recommended, there needs to be strong networks and resilient, secure and reliable digital infrastructure in place.

“We need infrastructure that can help us to innovate, collaborate and experiment around and through the aged care system,” he said.

‘Interventions like the RMIT-Cisco Sandbox are technology-rich experimentation spaces that can catalyse partnering and prototyping, bringing together technologists, researchers and care professionals to create simulations and can inspire real-time action to solve the challenges that we confront at the service coalface,” he said.

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