Technology Assists Service Delivery During Pandemic
25 June 2020
We recognised that having access to allied health therapy services and assistive technology is extremely important for people’s independence and safety, particularly when many of us were impacted by social distancing and several months of isolation.
Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic, our frontline service delivery staff have shown great dedication and professionalism in continuing with business as usual by incorporating more telehealth and other service delivery options.
We completed about half of all appointments using telehealth technology over the past few months. The team embraced learning new technologies and completed initial assessments and appointments looking at interventions and assistive technology options via a variety of platforms including telephone, Facetime, BEAM and Microsoft Teams.
We also took the opportunity to investigate the types of technology options our customers already have access to, and we explored devices and skills that could be used to help access to technology. In some cases we were able to provide devices to customers to assist them with staying socially connected:
Technology Uptake Project for 65+
With an increased risk of social isolation and people being confined to their homes during the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Indigo team recognised a need to make technology more accessible for older customers to stay connected to loved ones virtually.
Normal activities and social events were drastically reduced and many of us had to rely more on technology for work, entertainment and social interactions. We felt it was important to upskill older people in digital literacy with the support of an occupational therapist.
We are currently offering technology trials (such as iPads) with the support of an occupational therapist for a four to six-week period for Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) to customers in the South West and Midwest regions.
Through the trial people can focus on learning the following skills:
- Making video calls
- Sending emails
- Sharing photos
- Making purchases safely online
- Paying bills online; and
- Accessing e-Books.
So far we have received some great feedback from initial trials in May:
“Mum got her iPad yesterday and promptly brought it around to show me! She made her first Facetime calls on it last night and was super happy to see her sister in Melbourne.
“I’ve had several Facetime calls this morning seeking assistance because she forgot something, but she certainly is very excited to have it. Thank you so much – it’s certainly brought a huge smile to her face.”
If you , or someone you know would like to sign up to the trial call 1300 885 886 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
BEAM Virtual Tours
For those who are not familiar with BEAM, it is a telepresent robot that enables people to visit and explore the Nedlands Experience Centre (display floor) from a remote location. People can drive BEAM from their mobile device or computer so they can control what they are viewing.
We received some great feedback from Alzheimer’s WA staff members who connected to our services using BEAM to do a virtual tour of our experience centre (display floor).
Online Training for Occupational Therapy Students
Due to some of the restrictions on gatherings with the coronavirus pandemic, Indigo was not able to host our usual group tours and training sessions at our Nedlands Experience Centre (display floor). However, rather than cancelling the training altogether, with a little creative thinking we were still able to deliver training for Edith Cowan University (ECU) and Curtin Occupational Therapy (OT) students online.
Using an online collaborative learning platform called Blackboard Collaborate our team was able to deliver interactive, live presentations to students learning from home, including a tour of the display floor, live Q&A, polls and presentation slides.
The team delivered four sessions earlier this month with around 30 students in each session. We received some great feedback, with comments along the lines of the sessions being interesting, informative and fantastic!