Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips was in Ballarat today to announce a new project that will revolutionise access to healthcare in Western Victoria.
The new tele-health project will provide patients in need of specialist medical assistance in areas like dentistry, wound management or oncology services access to high-definition, three-dimensional imaging via broadband.
Mr Rich-Phillips said the tele-health project was one of 12 projects to receive a total of around $4 million through the Victorian Government's Broadband-Enabled Innovation Program (BEIP), which promotes the use of broadband to improve the lives of Victorians.
"The project has the potential to revolutionise the delivery of medical services in Victoria," Mr Rich-Phillips said.
"It means patients will have access to diagnosis without having to travel to major centres to access specialist healthcare.
"The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to improving the lives of Victorians across the state and in particular, improving access to services in country Victoria.
"Access to quick and accurate healthcare advice can take the pressure off a family at what can often be a very stressful time," Mr Rich-Phillips said.
The University of Ballarat will lead the project in partnership with the Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society, Grampians Rural Health Alliance, Victorian eResearch Strategic Initiative and hospitals and nursing services in Ballarat, Horsham, Nhill and Melbourne.
The tele-health project will develop the Central Highlands and Wimmera regions' ability to capitalise on broadband infrastructure in advance of the National Broadband Network rollout.
Mr Rich-Phillips said the BEIP funding was also supporting researchers from the University of Ballarat to develop an exciting broadband solution to manage Victoria's groundwater systems.
Through the use of web-based tools, groundwater managers and users will be able to construct and display three-dimensional aquifer models so that groundwater levels and availability can be monitored.
Mr Rich-Phillips said the Coalition Government was embracing clever ideas that present real solutions to help Victorian families.
"High-capacity broadband has the potential to transform the way we do business and access services. And while the Coalition Government is doing what it can to position Victoria as the most productive broadband-enabled state, it is up to the Commonwealth Government to ensure Victorians – particularly in country areas – obtain access to the required broadband infrastructure in a timely fashion," Mr Rich-Phillips said.
"By supporting businesses and service providers to develop and pilot applications and services ready for use on high-capacity broadband, we are enhancing Victoria's economic edge, which can ultimately result in improved productivity and services.
"The BEIP supports collaborative projects in developing new ways of working and improving service delivery in business, government and the community through the use of high-capacity broadband," Mr Rich-Phillips said.
Successful projects under Round 1 of the BEIP include:
- University of Ballarat – developing high-definition, three-dimensional healthcare imaging to allow patients in remote areas to get easy access to specialist care;
- University of Ballarat – using new technologies to visualise Victoria's groundwater systems, contributing to the sustainable management of groundwater resources;
- Royal District Nursing Service Limited – developing a high-speed broadband application which allows for remote monitoring of medication intake of elderly patients living independently;
- Moreland City Council – developing interactive game technology to assist elderly people to remain active in their home;
- Uniting Care, Moreland Hall – implementing remote video conferencing for alcohol and other drug treatment assessments and related activities;
- Victorian Centre for Aquatic Pollution Identification and Management – developing a system which provides rapid, real-time diagnosis of water contamination;
- The Song Room – developing an application that delivers music lessons to fixed and mobile devices;
- Central Highlands Agribusiness Forum Inc – developing a high-speed sensor network-based environmental mapping systems for properties and assets;
- University of Melbourne – using internet-protocolTV to deliver education to students and clinicians;
- Alfred Health – developing online simulation-based clinical decision-making training;
- Melbourne Health – linking primary and specialist care through an immigrant clinical hub; and
- Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – transforming the experience of museum visitors through interactive, high-capacity broadband.
For more information visit www.mmv.vic.gov.au/beip