Clinton: This is Older, Wiser, Happier with Annie and Jill Donaldson this afternoon. We are helping you with your retirement. TeleHealth is major buzz word at the moment isn’t it Jill?
Jill: Yes it is actually. Especially for older people when they come home from hospital living in their own home. This is a situation where you can actually see a health care professional online. So when you think of the ramifications of that it just gives that extra level of safety and security for older people.
Clinton: So this is if you can’t leave your home or you don’t want to go to the extent of leaving the home and seeing somebody you can actually get some help online which is a great idea. We’re joined in the studio by Claude Rafin who is the managing director of INS Group. They’re sponsors of Older, Wiser, Happier and can tell us more about how this system actually works. G’day Claude.
Clinton: This is quite revolutionary isn’t it?
Claude: We think so. What we’re doing is going really to put TeleHealth out in a big way into the community. And certainly turning these services on for our clients will be very important.
Jill: Can you explain exactly what TeleHealth is Claude?
Claude: Really it’s remote medicine. So instead of having your own nurse or doctor come to you or you have to go to them it’s an ability to do it remotely using technology.
Jill: And what is the actual technology. If somebody wanted to put this into their home how would they set it up?
Claude: What we’ve done is incorporated the TeleHealth function into our medical alarms. So again pretty revolutionary. So all the features required for conducting TeleHealth are already built into our medical alarms and there are quite a lot of those around the country.
Clinton: So would somebody need a separate computer and a screen with that computer then sit in front of with a camera.
Claude: Not at all. Our devices already come pre-configured. They have a screen on it, a camera on it. They’re able to do audio/video and also collect medical vital signs like pulse temperature, blood pressure.
Clinton: So many of our listeners use computers on a daily basis and are online but others are a little bit frightened by computer technology so you can make it easy for those people?
Claude: Very much so it’s been built to be easy. The collection of vital signs are done wirelessly. We can control many of the functions remotely. So it really requires very little interaction from the end user from the client.
Jill: So I’m just trying to get my head around it so people out there what this looks like. So is it the size of say a laptop computer we’re talking about it’s a box or is it actually got a keyboard or…
Claude: It’s a little bit like a tablet, a small tablet with a special dock on it. So it’s got an alarm button on it. It’s got a touch screen on it so that they can activate various different functions from TeleHealth obviously to some social networking including making phone calls, Skyping, browsing the internet and various other features.
Jill: So as I understand it, it has a screen so you can actually as in Skype you can actually see the health professional is that a doctor or a nurse?
Claude: Yes it can be either.
Jill: And they can see you. So if you phone in they can actually see where you’re at. So if you’re in bed and they’re concerned about that they can automatically you know sort of, it’s like they’re in the room with you almost.
Claude: Correct. And they can also view the vital signs. And the doctor for instance could request you to repeat something like a blood pressure or something like that. And it can be reviewed in real time.
Clinton: How would you take the blood pressure using this system?
Claude: We have special devices that are wireless. Basically press one button, it collects the data and transmits it wirelessly back to the Smarthome, the tablet device and then transmits it to our call centre where we have various health care professionals.
Jill: Right. And are there many retirement villages that this system is currently in?
Claude: We have somewhere in the order of 500 retirement villages around the country and where we’re slowly rolling out these additional features. They started off by using medical alarm features which they’re used to and we’re now turning on some of these additional features including TeleHealth. And one of the big things for us is opening it up even further so that the client’s own care providers can conduct those TeleHealth sessions themselves. So it doesn’t necessarily need to be US that does it.
Clinton: So family may be able to keep in contact in that way as well.
Clinton: How would that work?
Claude: We have different portals, web portals available. Ones for the use of the clients care professionals so they can log in and deliver messages, communicate with their client and view and conduct those TeleHealth sessions. And the other one’s a client portal where relatives can connect up and do Skype and various other things.
Clinton: So the equipment uses Skype but it also covers normal phone calls.
Claude: We don’t use Skype for our Mission Critical functions because it’s not secure. We have our own secure portal. But certainly in terms of clients messaging with their relatives they can use Skype.
Clinton: We know the NBN is coming in and many people have the NBN already across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Will it work on part of that network as well?
Claude: It can work on the NBN. We also have a backup in our units that means that it can work wirelessly across the mobile network.
Clinton: So it’s not going to rely on a landline necessarily.
Claude: Correct, it doesn’t need to rely on the landline. It can connect to the NBN and that’s useful for things like internet browsing. However in terms of mission critical things such as medical monitoring we need to make sure there is a connection. So we use a sim mobile connection as well as a backup.
Jill: But you also have other options on there don’t you. So like medication checks is that right?
Jill: Also I read that you had a you have a chat line.
Claude: Yeah. Very important for us that we don’t just sit there and wait for something to happen. We truly believe in being preventative based so we try to engage with the clients early. Example of that might be if the client is coming home from hospital having had an injury or illness. We’d like to check on them so we’ll make outbound triage calls on that client. And check on them and make sure their recuperation is going well right.
Jill: And what’s the my concierge that is associated with the set up as well?
Claude: So there are a number of services that the client can also take up. And these are particularly useful for retirement villages and aged care providers and community care providers so they can click on a button and be directed to electricians, meal service, transport.
Clinton: So far beyond medical emergencies.
Claude: It’s a full concierge service so you just press one button and it puts them in contact with those services.
Clinton: Great to have you on the show Claude. We’ll catch up again next week because I think there’s so much we can talk about.
Jill: Yes definitely.
Clinton: Claude Rafin who is the managing director of INS Group proud sponsors of Older, Wiser, Happier.