Fulfilling the care needs of Australia's ageing population

By Kane Sajdak, CEO and Co-founder, HomeGuardian.ai
Monday, 22 February, 2021

Fulfilling the care needs of Australia's ageing population

From emergency assistance to fall prevention and detection, medication administration and additional assistance for those with impairments and care needs, technology is paving a new approach to care. Innovative solutions and products now play a central role in the life of, and offer a new model of positive ageing for, many elderly and at-risk Australians.

Last year, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety revealed that innovation and technology can and should be utilised across Australian aged-care facilities and assisted care at home. Change is clearly in the air, and technology encourages older Australians to maintain independence, functionality and a higher quality of life.

New research published in the Medical Journal of Australia shows almost 60% of aged-care residents are living in facilities with “unacceptable” staff levels compared with global staffing benchmarks. To bring all Australian aged-care homes up to adequate staffing levels would require a 20% increase in the number of aged-care staff.

The numbers make a clear case that the existing system is failing to deliver the care Australians need and expect. Elderly Australians deserve a model of care that fulfils both their social and clinical needs. The union of artificial intelligence (AI), technology and automation with the practical and effective coordination of nurses may provide the solution.

Bridging the ‘care gap’

From cutting-edge sensors to virtual reality and smartphone apps, innovations in technology are underwriting a fundamental shift in the aged-care sector. While wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT) were once the gold standard, AI and robotics are gaining speed and responding at a faster pace to market conditions, consumer sentiment and regulatory changes.

Introduced in 2019, HomeGuardian.ai is a patented AI device that can detect if a loved one or patient suffers a fall or other abnormal behaviour in the home, hospital or aged-care facility.

Innovative products like HomeGuardian can bridge the ‘care gap’ and transform the independent living, aged-care, disability and hospital sectors in Australia.

Even before the lockdown and restrictions of the pandemic, inadequate levels of staffing and age-old practices impacted the level and quality of care for Australia’s elderly and at-risk population.

HomeGuardian triggers alerts within seconds of a fall or other abnormal behaviour without human intervention. Our world-first technology allows loved ones or care providers the ability to monitor wellbeing 24/7.

No one wants a security camera in their bedroom or bathroom, so our technology is able to monitor someone’s interactions with their surroundings without compromising their privacy or dignity. HomeGuardian also monitors for absence and wandering, and sentiment analysis addresses any decline in a loved one’s health early.

HomeGuardian will allow people to live independently for longer, offer care providers the best incident-detection technology in the world and, crucially, save lives.

East Wimmera Health Services (EWHS) has purchased HomeGuardian.ai to support the delivery of care in their community health services. EWHS Community Health Nurse and Health Navigator Genette Heslop said the care provider decided to implement the device in their community health offering due to the world-first technology.

“Unlike other products on the market, HomeGuardian does not rely on anyone pushing a button. Whether our clients have cognitive or mobility impairments, we like that HomeGuardian is able to monitor their vital signs and alert someone if a fall or abnormal behaviour occurs,” Heslop said.

By leveraging the right technology like HomeGuardian.ai, Australia can move from being the subject of an aged-care Royal Commission to a world leader in how we deliver care to the elderly.

To find out more on HomeGuardian.ai and its smart home device, visit https://homeguardian.ai/.

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