Feros Care has unveiled its new state-of-the-art technology hub that is transforming the way health and aged care is delivered.

The Experience Centre was officially opened yesterday by the Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt and is devoted to the research, design and implementation of digital technologies for seniors and people with disability.

The centre is based at Tweed Heads but provides a national presence through state-based service partners, national distribution network and online services.

Ms Jennene Buckley, Feros Care’s CEO said that the technology revolution is at our door step, therefore it is critical for health and aged care organisations to build a significant capability in delivering digital service models to remain relevant to our current and future consumers of our services.

“It is such an honour to have Minister Wyatt here today, to support Feros Care’s initiative and to see first-hand how many of these technologies are and will change and empower the lives of our clients.

“I applaud the Government’s ongoing commitment to innovation and transformation of aged care. Feros Care’s initial focus has been on aged care, however our commitment in the next five years is to focus on virtual health and wellbeing for people of all ages. This includes people with chronic disease, people with disability and virtual care (hospital in the home),” she said.

The Experience Centre includes a:

– Research laboratory where new technologies are rigorously tested and piloted by consumers to ensure products are the best in market and most accessible and usable for clients.

– Plug and Play Centre where clients and health professionals can look, touch, feel and experience exactly how the equipment works.

– Knowledge centre that includes face to face and online workshops that can be access by health and aged care staff and services to build their knowledge, capability and interest in the use of smart and emerging technologies.

– Virtual care team with our clinical staff remotely monitoring and supporting high risk clients with chronic conditions

-National warehouse and distribution centre for our Lifelink Smart Technology Service.

For the past 10 years, Ms Buckley has provided a leadership role in Feros Care’s investment in the use smart technologies to improve the lives of clients and their carers, from increasing confidence, improving health literacy and health management, to keeping them safe and socially connected.

“Gone are the days when technology and aged care were at opposite ends of the spectrum. Today, we can provide so many more options of care by including technology and digital solutions into both residential and home care,” Ms Buckley said.

“We as an organisation want to lead the positive revolution in living and ageing well. Our mission is to enable bold lives, which is about thinking differently about what is possible. We believe that technology will play a significant role in the types of new products and services Feros Care will deliver each year.”

“Our new product suites for community care include our virtual senior centre, wearable technologies, senior friendly tablets and training, wearable technologies, 12 week remote chronic disease rehabilitation with wearable technologies. The list will be grow constantly with our new Experience Centre,” she said.

Some of Feros Care’s adapted technologies that are available or being tested include:

– Lumo lift, which was originally designed for people sitting and working at computers. It is a small, lightweight wearable to improve your posture and a healthy back. Lifelink has since repurposed this to help prevent falls. Once a person has experienced a fall, they have less confidence and tend to look at the ground and watch where their feet are going.

Wearing a Lumo Lift reminds you to stand tall and look ahead. If you slouch – or in the case of an older person – look at your feet, Lumo will vibrate, making you aware of your posture.

– Care@Home – originally developed on a home security system – is now providing seamless health monitoring so people to live independently at home. Sensors and intelligent algorithms learn your daily habits and behaviours and sends an alert to loved ones if your daily routine changes. Care@Home is also playing a key role in reducing carer fatigue because your family and friends know that should anything happen, they’re only a text message away.

– Wisewear – a distress bracelet complete with GPS and text messaging, and is concealed in 18 carat gold jewellery. Wisewear was originally developed as a distress bracelet for millennials going out at night in New York. Lifelink has since repurposed this product to seniors as a discreet and attractive falls protection that sends an emergency alert in the case of a fall or health scare.

Minister Wyatt said that the Australian Government welcomes Feros Care’s investment and promotion of innovation and technology in aged care.

“Access to quality, accurate and timely information is vital to support consumers, and their families, to make informed choices about their care,” he said.

“It’s important for the aged care sector to harness technology to support Australians everywhere to make their own choices, to be able to seek support as they wish, when it suits them and in ways that work for them.”