NBN Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program

9 recipients share in $20 M for cutting edge telehealth projects that will use the NBN to pilot new methods of health care delivery.


 NBN Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program

 

Overview

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.

“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 country’s future.”

Mr Butler, said: “With Australia’s 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.”

 

Recipients

Overview of projects

Applicant Grant Project description NBN locations
Feros CareMy Health Clinic at Home $2.461m This project will deliver in-home services to 200 older Australians, using NBN enabled telehealth technologies to keep seniors easily connected to their health professionals and support network. Patients will also be supported with daily monitoring of their condition and wellbeing from their own homes. Services commenced in April 2013. NSW: Coffs Harbour
Royal District Nursing Service

Integrated Home Telehealth

$2.993m RDNS will deliver a virtual nursing service and in-home video conferencing for 200 participants. Aged and chronically ill patients will also use telehealth equipment for remote health monitoring. The project will embed telehealth solutions within a fully integrated model of care, involving the collaboration of home care services, multidisciplinary care teams, and informal carers and family. Services are expected to commence in May 2013. VIC: Brunswick, Bacchus Marsh, South Morang, Footscray, Karingal, Keysborough, Melton, TullamarineNSW: Wollongong, Kiama

TAS: Hobart, Smithton, Scottsdale, Midway Point, Deloraine, George Town, Kingston, Sorell, St Helens, Triabunna, Bellerive, Launceston, Somerset

Flinders University

Telehealth in the Home: Aged & Palliative Care in SA

$2.528m This project involves 145 participants receiving NBN-enabled in-home telehealth services for palliative care, aged care and rehabilitation for the elderly. Services are expected to commence in May 2013. SA: Willunga, Aldinga, Seaford, Yankalilla, Strathalbyn, McLaren Vale, Victor Harbor
Hunter New England Local Health District

Cancer Care Self-Management NBN Telehealth Program

$1.546m The project will deliver an NBN-enabled telehealth program for cancer self-management and care coordination for 80 patients in the Hunter New England region. Services are expected to commence in May 2013. NSW: Armidale, areas surrounding Armidale and Tamworth
UniQuest

ConTAC (Comprehensive Telehealth Assisted Care)

$2.756m The project will deliver a comprehensive program of telehealth assisted care to 650 older Australians in residential aged care, transition care or living at home under Extended Aged Care in the Home arrangements. Services are expected to commence in May 2013. QLD: Toowoomba, Goodna, Aspley, Ascot, Nudgee, Kallangur, Ipswich, Rockhampton, Mackay, Gulliver, Townsville, Bundamba, Cairns
integratedliving

Staying Strong: Enhanced Aged Care for ATSI Australians

$2.104m The Staying Strong project will deliver a model of telehealthcare and online intergenerational engagement for 120 older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Services are expected to commence from May 2013. NSW: Armidale, Coffs Harbour, Sawtell, Kiama

QLD: Townsville, Gulliver, Toowoomba, Goodna

Leading Age Services Australia

Serving Older Australians

$1.829m In association with aged care providers Silver Chain and the Illawarra Retirement Trust, this project will deliver telehealth monitoring and video consultations for 180 older Australians living in their homes. Services commenced in April 2013. WA: Geraldton, Victoria Park, Mandurah

NSW: Kiama, Wollongong, Dapto

ACT: Crace

CSIRO

Home Monitoring of Chronic Disease for Aged Care

$2.748m The project will pilot NBN-enabled telehealth services for 150 patients in multiple health care settings across jurisdictions with a range of health service providers, including Local Health Districts, Medicare Locals and not for profit community organisations. Services are expected to commence in May 2013. QLD: Gulliver, Townsville

NSW: Penrith, Richmond, Blacktown

VIC: Bacchus Marsh, Ballarat ACT: Crace

TAS: Deloraine, George Town, Kingston Beach, Midway Point, Scottsdale, Smithton

CSIRO

NBN Enabled Indigenous Tele-eye Care

$1.300m This project will use the NBN Interim Satellite Service to provide tele-eye care services for 900 older and indigenous Australians living in rural and remote communities. Services are expected to commence in May 2013. WA: Goldfields and Greater Southern Regions

QLD: Torres Strait Islands

 

Objectives

The objective of the NBN‐Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program is to demonstrate how the NBN infrastructure enables better access to high quality healthcare services, particularly in aged care, palliative care or cancer care, using telehealth services in the home.

Specifically, the NBN‐Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program seeks to develop and trial services which demonstrate how, for example:

  • telehealth services can be delivered to the home in new and innovative ways, enabled by the high speed, reliable broadband provided by the NBN;
  • health services can become more accessible, in regional, rural, remote and outer metropolitan areas;
  • health related transport needs can be reduced;
  • infrastructure may reduce social isolation (ensuring social isolation is not increased by the use of telehealth services).
  • consumers can collaborate and communicate with their carers and health service providers to improve quality of care and health outcomes;
  • telehealth services can improve early identification of health issues and reduce unnecessary hospitalisation;
  • telehealth services are scalable and able to provide an increased volume of care without a corresponding increased cost;
  • location dependent or regional health workforce skills shortages may be mitigated;
  • use of the infrastructure may increase healthcare access and reduce social isolation; and
  • communication during health emergencies could be improved.

The NBN will provide a platform that allows homes, doctors’ surgeries, pharmacies, clinics, aged‐care facilities and allied health professionals to connect to affordable, reliable, highspeed and high‐capacity broadband. This represents a major opportunity to improve the way healthcare is delivered in Australia.

 

 

Expert Assistance

We have raised almost $1 M of telehealth grants and $300,000 for NBN grants. We also have direct experience with $15M + health grant applications. We can provide assistance with all aspects of this grant. Contact us on 03 9005 6789 or email to see how we can assist you further.

Areas where we can assist with your NBN‐Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program application include demonstrating:

  • alignment to the National E‐Health Strategy (the National Digital Economy Strategy and the PCEHR) ;
  • a strong need for the development of telehealth service delivery (needs analysis, statistics, gaps in the market, consultation with health providers, expected benefit, complement to other programs
  • that the proposed project will be completed to a high standard within the required timeframe and budget.  (who will manage the project, risk management, resource availability, collaboration support, sustainability plan, local reference group, evaluation)
  • a clear and logical budget (financial model, documented assumptions, cost control, auditing process, letters of financial commitment)
  • feasibility of the technology (identify any dependencies or limitations, cost effectiveness, ongoing support, standards)
  • How the NBN will be utilised (extended service delivery, differentiation from current services,   number of participants, demonstration of roll out)
  • the proposed services would be scalable and sustainable ( full deployment options, timing, resource requirements, evidence of wider adoption, project evaluation )
  • expected health outcomes and benefits
  • an ability to evaluate, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the impact of the telehealth model of health service delivery (baseline reports, pilot opportunity,  feedback, usage metrics, ongoing cost)

 

 CSIRO Media Release

The trials, Home Monitoring of Chronic Diseases for Aged Care and NBN-enabled Indigenous Tele-eye Care, will run for 12 months involving more than 1300 patients in rural health clinics, hospitals, local health care districts, nursing homes and patients in their own homes across Australia.

Dr Sarah Dods, leader of health services for CSIRO’s Digital Productivity and Services Flagship, said we need to think differently about how we deliver health services due to the pressure of rising costs, our ageing population and an increase in chronic disease.

“We are currently spending 20 cents in every tax dollar on health and that is forecast to increase to 40 cents in every dollar by 2043. At that point, health is predicted to consume our entire state government budgets if we don’t change the way that we do things,” Dr Dods said.

New ways of delivering health services are being made possible by the arrival of fast broadband infrastructure across Australia, especially into remote communities. This technology is reducing the need for travel, providing timely access to services and specialists, improving the ability to identify developing conditions and providing new ways to educate, train and support remote healthcare workers.

“They can also reduce the burden on our health system by helping hospital ‘frequent flyers’ – such as chronic disease sufferers and the elderly who accounted for more than 70 per cent of Australia’s A$103.6bn health expenditure during 2007-2008 – manage their conditions from home,” Dr Dods said.

Video-based tele-consultations are now available to patients in some locations around Australia, but this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what broadband can potentially deliver. CSIRO is working towards making the next generation of tele-health services a reality.

“We are very excited to be at the helm of these projects which bring together the best minds across CSIRO in health services research, computer science, mathematics, statistics and social science, to work with our partners on Australia’s largest telehealth study” Dr Dods said.

The NBN enabled Telehealth Pilots Program is administered by the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) funded by the Department of Broadband and Communications and the Digital Economy.

 

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