Healthcare Opinion Science and Technology

At home care – reshaping the future of healthcare


The Australian healthcare market and system are on an expanding trajectory as Australia’s population continues to grow and age with little sign of reversing. With this, there is an urgent need for at-home care, to take the pressure off hospitals and doctors along with making healthcare easier to access through technology.

To be successful, robust at-home-care strategies will need to be immediately implemented by government and healthcare providers. Existing and developing technologies such as AR/VR, AI and machine learning will provide actionable real-time insights for patients and healthcare practitioners. 

A growing industry 

The global demand for home healthcare is expected to reach $300 billion by 2026, this will drive the development of support systems and technology to enable these services in Australia and worldwide. Care delivery at home includes post-acute care (also called “hospital at home”), outpatient care, personal care, including private nurses and non-medical care, telehealth and end-of-life, or hospice care. The field is seeing a surge in investment by governments and venture capitalists, however, we are currently delaying our adoption and acceptance of genuine, widespread at-home care in Australia. 

During a 12-month trial, a CSIRO Australia report on home health monitoring in Australia showed a substantial 53 per cent decrease in hospital admission and, most importantly, a 76 per cent reduction in length of stay if admitted to hospital. On top of this, the research shows a saving of 24 per cent over the year to the healthcare system made through falls in the number of, and cost of, GP visits, specialist visits and procedures carried out, just from home monitoring. This clearly shows the significant financial and health benefits that at home care can have on our society. 

An aging population 

Australia’s population is rapidly aging, 29 percent of Australians are aged 55 and over and our life expectancy has increased dramatically in recent history. These numbers are indicative that strong at-home care will be necessary to potentially change the face of healthcare in Australia. The current system is lacking efficiency due to its labour driven nature, workforce challenges and lack of integration. 

From the current lack of efficiency, we can see that as a nation we need to move at a rapid speed to change how we receive health care in Australia. Looking towards the future, the health industry is set to go well beyond video calls, offering multidisciplinary virtual and in person care, as health organisations increasingly use artificial intelligence and machine learning models to offer real-time insights to professionals and patients no matter where they are. 

A societal need 

There are currently more than 50,000 Australians on a waiting list for a home-care package, proving the need for greater investment in this evolving space. This demonstrates that health providers have many avenues and options to develop their service offerings and meet this demand. 

In order to build and test the technology such as AI, app-based services, trackers and monitoring systems or predictive data models, it should be a top priority to strengthen and expand health-tech partnerships through increased time and monetary investments. Hospitals can partner with health-tech companies to combine their expertise in technology with the health systems’ care-delivery, where they can also look to pilot and rapidly scale home-care models. These models need to be established and developed closely with patients and policy-makers to ensure the effective reimbursement of home healthcare services. For instance, value-based care models would be an ideal starting point for such partnerships. Further, the upskilling of doctors, nurses and health providers is critical to ensure the effective service and delivery of the future of healthcare. 

Ultimately, at home health care does more than just service the patient – it reduces the demand on hospital inpatient and outpatient services, frees up GPs and community nurses and overall reduces the demand on our increasingly thinly spread healthcare system. 

The game-changing solution 

Australia needs to accelerate the development and uptake of home care. As the necessity for at home care is evaluated by government, providers and patients, it becomes apparent that the longer we wait to employ this game-changing healthcare solution, the further behind we put the future of healthcare in Australia.   

At home care will be a key form of healthcare going forward for Australians. With the potential to reshape how we receive healthcare, as well as significantly freeing up our health sector, which is often stretched to its limits. By working in close collaboration with policymakers, patients, health professionals, health providers, tech providers and investors, we have the collective knowledge to contribute to improving our healthcare offerings and make at-home care a practical option across our society.

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Rob has over 25 years transformational success across US, Europe, Asia and Australia, built on deep technology, product & business knowledge. Extensive experience in digital, product management, payments, high volume transactional systems, operations, business strategy, cloud, infrastructure & data.


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