NBN trial sites to roll out e-health, education projects

NBN trial sites to roll out e-health, education projects

Home monitoring of type two diabetes patients in Townsville, local government video services planned by Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

National Broadband Network (NBN) trial sites in Townsville, Queensland and Armidale, New South Wales are in the process of rolling out separate trials over the NBN designed to help Townsville type two diabetes sufferers and, in Armidale, offer remote access to TAFE courses.

Speaking at the Cisco Live conference in Melbourne, Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy First Assistant Secretary, Keith Besgrove, said the Townsville trial, which is scheduled to run for 18 months, would involve in home monitoring via video of the type two diabetes patients in collaboration with the Queensland Department of Health. The trial is due to commence within the next two months.

“We now have 10 general practitioners [GPs} who have agreed to take part in the trial and we are in the process of enrolling patients now,” he said.

“The intention will be over the next 18 months to test the use of the NBN for in home monitoring to try and ensure there is early warning of changes in their vital signs which will be monitored on a real time basis.”

Over in Armidale, the department is working with the University of New England and local TAFEs on a project called EduOne which will create a virtual class room facility for remote access to a range of TAFE courses. This will allow students to learn from home and still have access to a class room type environment online.

“We are in the early stages of setting that up and will start to take students in the second half of 2012,” Besgrove said.

Armidale is also due to take part in a video conferencing pilot over the NBN which aims to give regional Australians increased access to services such as Medicare and Centrelink. The pilot will commence in July this year.

The third NBN project the department is working on is the setting up of video services with 27 local government authorities in states including Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia by the end of 2012.

“What we are looking at is the use of video services for citizen interaction and in this case we are specifically interested in encouraging the capacity for one to many connectivity,” he said.

“Local governments also do a lot of consultation with their community and some of the local government catchment areas in Australia are very large so the ability to take advantage of video interaction could enhance access by Australians to local government,” Besgrove said.

Hamish Barwick travelled to Cisco Live as a guest of Cisco

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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