Hologram doctors could help you stay in your home longer

A home-based treatment trial using holographic virtual doctors is aiming to cut hospital admissions and help older people in Western Australia live independently for longer.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the Integrum Aged Care+ trial was designed to support senior Australians with complex care needs and chronic health conditions to remain in their homes for as long as possible.

“This trial aims to overcome the challenges of fragmented care and poorer patient experiences, which can happen when a person is transferred between hospitals, specialists and aged care providers,” Mr Wyatt said.

“It’s hoped that through Integrum, older Australians will have more control over their care, through a network that delivers both health and social support.

“It will include the Australian-first application of the Enhanced Medical Mixed Reality interface, allowing healthcare professionals to link with doctors and data through holograms and video conferencing, while they are visiting clients’ homes.”

Mr Wyatt said under the pilot program, clients would have access to a dedicated care team including a doctor, case manager, support workers and allied health clinicians to ensure their needs were identified and supported throughout their journey.

“This care team will oversee and manage processes such as care planning, co-ordination of health and aged care services, referrals and escalation of care, if needed.”

Mr Wyatt said a limited pre-trial had returned positive feedback from those involved and laid the groundwork for the next stage of the program, which would be offered to up to 300 people with multiple chronic conditions who had been hospitalised up to five times in the previous year.

“As part of the trial, the project team will be testing whether this integrated care approach helps senior Australians to better manage their conditions at home and reduce hospitalisations and emergency department visits,” Mr Wyatt said.

The Perth North and Perth South Public Health Networks and aged care provider Silver Chain have co-designed the care model being used in the trial.

For more details, go to the website.

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