12 February 2018

Can technology put the elderly at the centre of their care?

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Technology and the elderly may seem like a coupling comparable to water and electricity, but new initiatives in the sector are seeing innovation with the consumer in mind.

In a world-first, Silver Chain is piloting ‘holoportation’ to deliver remote consultations. Doctors will be able to appear in real-time as holograms via a holographic computer which is worn as a headset.

 This will eliminate the time-consuming and often exhausting experience for elderly residents of being physically taken to a healthcare facility.

The development of a smart robotic companion, capable of assisting the elderly with everyday tasks, has received a $1 million grant from NSFA. Brown University and American toy manufacturer Hasbro have formed a collaborative partnership to add artificial intelligence capabilities to Hasbro’s Joy for All Companion Pets.

Whilst the robotic cats and dogs provide companionship, they will also be able to help senior citizens with tasks such as finding lost objects, medication reminders or let them know that it’s time to do something.

In another world first, Australian aged care provider IRT Group has partnered with UK Company RDM Autonomous to bring driverless cars to aged care. Testing will take place at the Canberra-based facility this year before moving up to Brisbane.

Pod Zero will be able to safely navigate private roads within IRT and residents will be able to hail the vehicle to travel independently to appointments or social activities.

We can expect to see further innovation in the space given the release of the Technology Roadmap for Aged Care which provides guidance and a framework for integrating technology in aged care which will ensure independence, choice and control for consumers. 

Written by: Claire Dowler

Claire Dowler is a Senior Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.

A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

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