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This Aboriginal remote telehealth (ART) pilot trial program commenced in July 2011 and aimed to investigate the use of telehealth remote monitoring of chronic disease to improve the health status of people living in remote corners of Western Australia. The Silver Chain research unit commenced the pilot trial to explore the potential benefits of remote monitoring using this technology for Aboriginal people living in Carnarvon. Benefits of the telehealth services included:
Ten Silver Chain clients were chosen because they regularly attended the service centre for breakfast and personal care and had multiple co-morbidities including:
During these visits, care aides helped clients to take their own vital sign measurements and enter them on to the telehealth equipment, and the measurements were then uploaded to a secure website for a nurse to monitor. If any indications of an exacerbation were identified, further action was implemented. Actions included home visits, consultation with the client's general practitioner (GP) or a request that the care aide assisted the client to visit their GP. Any interventions were recorded on the client's monitoring website and clinical notes.
The monitoring system was recognised by both nurses and care aides as a positive step forward in assisting clients to manage their own health.
Abstract adapted from the Primary Healthcare Research and Information Service
Silver Chain WA
Silver Chain House
6 Sundercombe Street
Osborne Park WA 6017
Ph: (08) 9242 0242
Fax: (08) 9242 0268