From hardware and grocery stores to technical support staff and security guards, the healthcare industry is one of Australia’s emerging job growth zones adapting to the ever-changing economic climate.
Australian Industry and Skills Committee reports the Health Care and Social Assistance industry is the largest employing industry in Australia with 1.7 million people currently employed in the sector – and this was before the pandemic.
The number of people in the industry is expected to grow to 1.9 million by 2024.
Rapid increases in consumer demand and Australia’s ageing population is driving the upward growth of the health care sector, and the growing reliance on technology is transforming medical systems across the world.
The rise of telehealth and health technology to care and support for patients – propelled by COVID-19 lockdowns and social restrictions – has identified numerous advantages in the use of these services and products.
Convenience, flexibility, and more equitable access make up the leading benefits to telehealth and health technology and as of April 20, has seen over three million patients access Medicare telehealth services.
Despite the fast adoption of these products and services throughout the pandemic, the benefits have long existed, including:
Supports older and vulnerable Australians to live independently
The use of assistive, smart-care technology allow older and vulnerable Australians to live independently at home for longer.
Products such as Tunstall’s Find-Me Watch and SmartLink Medi Guardian provide freedom, flexibility, and peace of mind in that, if an emergency occurs or help is required, it is available 24/7 with the simple press of a button.
Bridges potential geographical disadvantages
Telehealth and health technology give anyone, anywhere with Internet connection access to high-quality care from the comfort of their own home – bridging any potential disadvantages for those Australians in remote communities or with limited mobility.
Patients can opt in for face-to-face video consultations with their GP or switch to home monitoring systems like Tunstall’s Smart Hub for around-the-clock care and support with qualified care consultants.
Minimises the burden on health and aged care workers
Earlier this 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 those living with assisted care at home.
Telehealth and health technology have the potential to improve the aged care system through an increase in efficiency and the coordination of care providers – simultaneously, reducing the stress and workload of these time-poor carers.
Tunstall Healthcare is one of the many healthcare providers who are adapting to the changing needs of Australians during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tunstall has expanded the capabilities of the current range of the Connected Health solutions through developing a COVID-19 Screening Tool to be utilised across the existing Integrated Care Program (ICP).
The screening tool allows clients to connect with a healthcare professional virtually, who will use web questionnaires, chat or video conferencing to help identify potential cases or simply alleviate concerns – reducing the burden on aged and health care workers and minimising the potential of contracting the virus.
While restrictions start to ease across Australia, the future of healthcare shows innovative technology working hand-in-hand with medical professionals to provide adaptable and flexible care.
Technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), an ageing population, and shifts in workforce demographics are just some of the ongoing trends driving growth in Australia’s new healthcare industry and will continue to put pressures on the current methods of delivery of care in our medical systems.
Looking past the pandemic, the benefits of utilising telehealth and health technology is clear and will transform Australia’s healthcare sector.
Lyn Davies is the Managing Director at Tunstall Healthcare, a world-leading provider of Connected Care and Connected Health solutions. Operating in over 50 countries, their connected healthcare solutions play a key role in helping older people, and those with long-term health needs, to live safely and independently in their own homes. Tunstall Healthcare’s range of connected healthcare products include basic personal alarms to fully integrated home care solutions. With 25 years of experience in leadership roles across the public and private sectors, Lyn understands the importance of using technology to support people in vulnerable situations and medical professionals in sometimes complex and stressful workplaces. Moving to Tunstall Healthcare as the General Manager in 2004, she was promoted to Managing Director in 2012. Her mission, to make a meaningful difference.