NEC's cloud computing gets a tick from Aged Care industry

Wednesday, 28 July, 2010

NEC Australia has announced an exclusive ICT partnership with Australia’s two aged care peak bodies - Aged Care Association Australia (ACAA) and Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) - to advance the use of cloud computing in the aged care industry.

David Cooke, Head of Health & Aged Care Solutions, NEC Australia, said the partnership was the first sector-driven cloud computing engagement - a national approach to assist the industry to enhance productivity.

“This agreement has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of delivering care to Australia’s elderly - something that is becoming ever more crucial in the face of an ageing population. Using cloud computing, we’re making IT systems more cost effective, easier to manage and more accessible to aged care providers large and small, public and private. Integrated applications, telephony and secure data management can make the delivery of care more efficient and cost effective, but until now they may have been out of reach for many aged care organisations,”  Cooke said.

The partnership sees an industry-endorsed platform from NEC offering an array of leading clinical, residential and community care applications, such as iCare, ComCare, AutumnCare, leecareplus and i.on my Care. The offering is complemented with telephony, security, infrastructure and data management solutions. The service is hosted in NEC’s Australian data centres and minimises up-front capital expenditure investment and is available today.

The announcement will establish good grounding to deliver effective e-health services in the future. NEC is actively working to develop additional services and technology focused on delivering remote and ‘in-home’ care, aimed at deferring the move to residential care and increase efficiencies and productivities of the Aged Care industry. NEC believes the maturity of the cloud and ubiquity of broadband connectivity provides a fertile ground for these developments.

Rod Young, CEO of Aged Care Association Australia, said: “Many aged care providers have been introducing IT systems to support staff in daily care and administration activities. However, making decisions about software products can be difficult and once IT systems are in place, they can be even more difficult. To assist aged care providers with such issues, ACSA and ACAA have entered into a relationship with NEC to provide a hosting service for a variety of software products, aged care provider data, integrated telephony and 24/7 technical support.”

Greg Mundy, CEO Aged & Community Services Australia, said: “The aim of the partnership is to help aged care providers gain better access to software products, reduce the need for costly capital investment in hardware and to provide seven-day-a-week remote technical support for staff if the computer system crashes for some reason. If you are an aged care provider and considering IT purchases or system upgrades, then we would recommend you talk to NEC about the level of support they can provide to support a system once deployed.”

NEC’s platform also opens up new opportunities and markets for software vendors and developers by hosting applications in the cloud.

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