We offer this volume as a set of new insights on a wide variety of recent research addressing the topic of “Telehealth for our Ageing Society”. We believe this area of Telehealth has been somewhat neglected, in favour of more direct mainstream work on classical primary and acute care Telehealth applications, and the use of Telehealth in numerous clinical speciality areas. The work included here all has direct relevance to usage by or for the aged sector, aged from mid-fifties upwards. Within that scope, the papers included here contain a wide variety of Telehealth across various modes of delivery including classic videoconferencing, personal monitoring, online and apps, social media and virtual reality.
This contribution appears at a time when health issues for our Ageing population are receiving much public attention, with the looming “burden of care” sparking ideas on new approaches in health care for the elderly. The recent changes in aged and community care funding and administrative regimes in Australia (and elsewhere) have prompted discussion on new types of services and associated new delivery models. Consumer empowerment of the elderly through access to information and services online has changed the way the market positions itself and responds to demands of individuals. Rapid increase of digital literacy and appetite for use of digital resources amongst older citizens has encouraged the diversification of remote health care options. The growing burden of care needs has led the care industry sector to diversify its offerings and investigate strategic alignments in research and development.
The Global Telehealth series of international meetings which commenced in 2010 have each focussed on different topics in Telehealth, in recognition of the diversity of this area. This volume contains a selection of the papers presented at the 5th Global Telehealth meeting, held in Adelaide, Australia on Friday 24 November 2017 as part of a week long programme of events on the theme of “Ageing Well”. The purpose of the meeting was to share knowledge of complementary research endeavours and to foster interaction between different groups undertaking research in this emerging topic area. The meeting was arranged as a colloquium of recent and current work undertaken by representatives of leading Australian researchers and research groups who are “pushing the boundaries” on Telehealth. Full papers were submitted and subject to peer review by a panel of international scientific experts, prior to acceptance for publication. We invite readers to seek out other papers appearing in earlier volumes of this series, many of which will be relevant to the same areas of Telehealth.
The conference organisers wish to acknowledge the generous sponsorship of South Australian Government through SA Health Office of Ageing, as well as the support of Flinders University, The University of Adelaide, and University of South Australia.
Maayken E.L. van den Berg & Anthony J. Maeder
Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia