A virtual aged care system: When health informatics and spatial science intersect

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Journal Article
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 2014, 204 pp. 137 - 142
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© 2014 The authors and IOS Press. Healthcare systems are increasingly adapting to address the issues associated with population ageing. The shift to chronic diseases and a rise in neuroepidemiological conditions, associated with rising life expectancies, means that continued change and accommodation will be required of our health and social support systems. Current social policy environments developed out of early approaches to state-supported health and welfare service provision, most now a century or more old. A feature of these systems has often been a formal separation between them, into silos, that does not and cannot effectively address the issues raised by a growing population of older people. This is especially true in the context of community-based care where the majority of older people currently live and where governments hope to keep more elderly people living into the future. This objective will require a far more sophisticated and responsive approach to the health information environment than is currently the case. One strategy for improving this scenario is the development of augmented and virtual environments that collect and analyse real-time data on which health professionals and support staff can act in a timely manner. In this paper we explore some aspects of a virtualised aged care system and provide some examples of how this would enhance our current strategies for aged care.
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