Hi-Tech Health

Published: April 15, 2011

Millions of Australians are heading towards retirement and a life as “grey nomads” without adequate electronic health applications to support them, according to some technology trailblazers.

In the internet age, there is certainly an argument for travellers in remote areas being better equipped to access potentially lifesaving information.

Philip Cronin, general manager of Intel’s Australia and New Zealand operations, told an American Chamber of Commerce meeting in Sydney that in the next four years, 76 million baby boomers around the world would join the ranks of retirees.

Talking specifically about grey nomads heading off into the wild dry yonder in a caravan, Mr Cronin said,

“And where do they go? Anywhere but where there’s a hospital!”

He said that baby boomers making a “sea change” or “tree change” were pushing the budgets of regional healthcare authorities to breaking point.

“To satisfy that type of need, we will need to invent online healthcare,” he said. “And why is that important? Because the public purse will not support 76 million people because if we do, we won’t be doing anything else.”

Technology website ZDNet says Intel Australia continues to pursue e-health, and recently participated in tele-health trials in the Hunter region. Elderly residents were given equipment to measure their own vital signs at home and transmit them to a registered nurse monitoring the incoming data.

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