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Date: 27 Jul 2010
Category: Cloud technology
NEC Australia today announced an exclusive ICT partnership with Australia’s two aged care peak bodies – Aged Care Association Australia (ACAA) and Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) – to advance the use of Cloud computing in the Aged Care Industry.
David Cooke, Head of Health & Aged Care Solutions, NEC Australia said the partnership was the first sector driven Cloud computing engagement – a national approach to assist the industry to enhance productivity.
“This agreement has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of delivering care to Australia’s elderly – something that is becoming ever more crucial in the face of an ageing population. Using Cloud computing, we’re making IT systems more cost effective, easier to manage and more accessible to aged care providers large and small, public and private. Integrated applications, telephony, and secure data management can make the delivery of care more efficient and cost effective, but until now they may have been out of reach for many aged care organisations,” Mr Cooke said.
The partnership sees an industry endorsed platform from NEC offering an array of leading clinical, residential and community care applications, such as iCare, ComCare, AutumnCare, leecareplus and i.on my Care. The offering is complemented with telephony, security, infrastructure and data management solutions. The service is hosted in NEC’s Australian data centres and minimises up-front capital expenditure investment and is available today.
Today’s announcement will establish good grounding to deliver effective eHealth services in the future. NEC is actively working to develop additional services and technology focused on delivering remote and ‘in-home’ care, aimed at deferring the move to residential care and increase efficiencies and productivities of the Aged Care industry. NEC believes the maturity of the Cloud and ubiquity of broadband connectivity provides a fertile ground for these developments.
Rod Young, CEO of Aged Care Association Australia said: “Many aged care providers have been introducing IT systems to support staff in daily care and administration activities. However, making decisions about software products can be difficult and once IT systems are in place, they can be even more difficult. To assist aged care providers with such issues, ACSA & ACAA have entered into a relationship with NEC to provide a hosting service for a variety of software products, aged care provider data, integrated telephony and 24/7 technical support.”
Greg Mundy, CEO Aged & Community Services Australia said: “The aim of the partnership is to help aged care providers gain better access to software products, reduce the need for costly capital investment in hardware and to provide seven day a week remote technical support for staff if the computer system crashes for some reason. If you are an aged care provider and considering IT purchases or system upgrades then we would recommend you talk to NEC about the level of support they can provide to support a system once deployed.”
Nouman Chaudhary, IT Manager, Blue Cross Community and Residential Services said NEC and Blue Cross went through a lengthy process of identifying the needs for a new Private Data Network.
“The outcome is a much faster, reliable network and not only this, we managed to complete it in a cost effective manner. The new Private Network has definitely given efficiency gains to our IT systems, more than what was expected. The new system is running smoothly across our 23 residential aged care sites and the Corporate Office. NEC’s continued support is always much appreciated,” Mr Chaudhary said.
Leading health and community care organisation Silver Chain developed ComCare after recognising the need for an integrated management system. ComCare is a tried and tested, application designed to help community and residential care organisations deliver a better level of care while reducing costs and improving productivity. ComCare isn’t just an assessment or scheduling system; it’s a total solution, integrated across all areas of the operation with a single database for simplified management. Silver Chain embedded ComCare in their business processes to help maximise care delivery and client outcomes for every dollar spent, and looks forward to offering ComCare to other care providers.
Application developer opportunities
NEC’s platform also opens up new opportunities and markets for software vendors and developers by hosting applications in the Cloud.
David Cooke said: “NEC’s open access Cloud application platform, allows developers alternative billing and customer management approaches through NEC, leverages additional functionality such as video and telephony integration, and uses a solid, secure, locally hosted infrastructure. We’re providing a platform that opens up additional routes to market without application developers having to create their own Cloud computing offering from scratch.”
For more information on NEC’s Aged Care Software as a Service solution visit www.nec.com.au/agedcare or call 131 632.