NBN telehealth projects injected with $20.3m in funding

The projects will demonstrate new healthcare models for the elderly

The Federal Government has allocated $20.3 million to nine telehealth projects that utilise the National Broadband Network (NBN) to trial new healthcare delivery methods.

The telehealth projects include a CSIRO project, which has received $2.748 million in funding, for early intervention services that allows specialists in metro hospitals to identify eye disease via video conferencing in remote Western Australian and the Torres Strait communities.

The Royal District Nursing Service has been provided with $2.993 million in funding to allow nurses to support chronically ill and elderly patients via also use in-home monitoring.

The Hunter New England Health District’s project, which has received $2.993 million in funding, is for a project that will allow medical professionals and a care co-ordinator to assist cancer patients in rural and regional areas to assess and manage their symptoms through high definition video conferencing.

Flinders University also received $2.528 million in funding for a project which for 145 participants to receive NBN-enabled in-home telehealth services for palliative care, aged care and rehabilitation for the elderly.

“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,” communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy said in a statement.

Mark Butler, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, said Australia is facing increasing challenges in providing affordable and appropriate healthcare services to the elderly.

“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,” he said.

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