Two aged care peak bodies and a research centre have joined forces to trial innovations and develop better technology in collaboration with older people.

Industry peak bodies Aged and Community Services Australia and the Aged Care Guild and the federally-funded Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre announced a partnership to launch the Living Better Lab on Monday.

The lab will trial a bed that notifies staff when immobile residents require repositioning to reduce the risk of injury and look at how a resident’s environment can be transformed into an empathetic space among initial initiatives.

Digital Health CRC CEO Dr Victor Pantano said the partnership would enable better aged care services and the development of technology informed by older people.

Patricia Sparrow

“The Living Better Lab is a partnership with providers of aged care, consumers and carers, researchers and technology developers to co-design, improve and deliver new products and innovations that make real differences to the quality of life of Australians,” Dr Pantano said.

“This will have the dual benefit of speeding up access to life-changing technologies and making sure that our investments are fit for purpose and where the need is greatest,” he said.

ACSA CEO Patricia Sparrow said technology could improve older people’s quality of life.

“Australia has the potential to be a global leader in aged care, using the best tech minds to bring the best quality of life to older people,” Ms Sparrow said.

Matthew Richter

“As we get older, our health needs are becoming increasingly complex. Innovation and new technology will be key to providing the best quality of life possible for older people and a sustainable aged care system,” she said.

Aged Care Guild CEO Matthew Richter said providers should be leading the way in using technology and data.

“By testing innovations with real people who stand to benefit directly from new technology, we know that we are creating a future aged care sector that has been co-designed and developed by senior Australians for senior Australians, with providers, industry experts and some of our finest researchers,” Mr Richter said.

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