NBN Telehealth keeps Minnamurra man healthy

When Minnamurra resident Kenn Wheatland ate a sweet tart the other day, his nurse was immediately on the phone to demand why his blood glucose levels had doubled.

The introduction of the National Broadband Network in the area in late 2011 enabled the 82-year-old to sign up for an innovative telehealth system which allows a nurse to monitor his health remotely.

Mr Wheatland travelled to Federal Parliament to demonstrate to Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews and aged care professionals how the system works on Monday.

It was part of the launch of the Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council's "IT Vision", which will rely on the federal government to invest in more IT solutions for the aged services sector.

Solutions like the NBN Telehealth Pilot Program, which is proving popular with patients and doctors.

IRT is one of three project partners for the program which is providing eligible participants in NBN roll-out areas, like Mr Wheatland, a range of aged care services.

"I suffer from a range of health problems and as part of this program I have been given equipment which allows me to monitor my own health," he said.

"For instance I can monitor the oxygen levels in my blood, I can check my blood pressure and blood glucose levels and I can keep a record of my body temperature.

"It only takes about five minutes a day and then I enter the data into the computer and an online nurse monitors the results.

"If there's anything out of the ordinary then I get a phone call and we can explore the options."

Mr Wheatland supports the call for more government investment in ICT solutions for older people.

"This program gives me peace of mind - there's no guesswork about the condition of my body, I know day to day how my body is performing," he said.

"It also means I'm not being a drain on the doctor's surgery - I go when I need to go, and I know when I need to go.

"I'd like to see more such programs available."

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