Noticeboard: recently acquired, appointed and launched

Investor snaps up pain dementia app; Tunstall welcomes new manager; National privacy consumer forum launched.

In this story:

  • Investor snaps up pain dementia app
  • Tunstall welcomes new manager
  • National privacy consumer forum launched

Investor snaps up pain dementia app

Investor MinQuest has signed an agreement to acquire the research company behind the Curtin University developed facial recognition app to detect pain in people with dementia, which will help bring the app to market more quickly, says its lead developer.

Jeff Hughes
Professor Jeff Hughes

As previously reported, the Electronic Pain Assessment Tool (ePAT) uses a smartphone’s camera to capture a brief video of a person’s face, which is analysed in real-time to detect pain.

The app then collects information on other indicators of pain, such as vocalisations, behaviours and movements, to automatically calculate a pain severity score.

Two versions of the app are in development, the first of which is well-advanced and undergoing ongoing trials in residential aged care. It provides carers of people with dementia with an accurate, simple to use, evidence based pain assessment tool and is targeted at residential aged care facilities, hospitals, healthcare professionals and home carers.

A second version will assist with pain assessment in infants and toddlers not yet able to talk.

The app is based on research and development over the past three-and-a-half years led by Curtin’s Professor Jeff Hughes, who said an injection of capital was needed to gain momentum and this acquisition would go a long way to doing that.

“We needed more funds and this will allow us to bring the dementia app to market earlier, and in parallel start work on the app for infants,” Professor Hughes told Technology Review. “All trials will be progressed and brought to conclusion more quickly,” he said.

The app will be marketed as a medical device and is on track for TGA approval by no later than June 2017, he said.

Tunstall welcomes new manager

Di Hobson
Di Hobson

Assistive technology provider Tunstall Healthcare has announced the appointment of Di Hobson as the new customer care manager for its Australian emergency monitoring centre.

Ms Hobson, who has been working with Tunstall since October 2013, will continue in her current role as Tunstall’s customer care manager for New Zealand.

Her additional responsibilities focus on leading the 24-hour monitoring centre that looks after Tunstall’s connected care service to support older Australians and those with long-term conditions.

“Over the last two years with Tunstall, I have supported the expansion of our New Zealand monitoring centre and worked with our team to enhance our customer experience,” said Ms Hobson.

“My new role will mean that I am hands-on, leading the Australian response team and ensuring they have the correct tools to deliver a first class service to our clients,” she said.

National privacy consumer forum launched

Security safety privacy online piracyThe office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has recently established a Consumer Privacy Network to assist the commissioner further understand and respond to privacy issues affecting consumers.

The group will meet twice a year for in-person forums, in addition to providing advice to the OAIC throughout the year on key areas of work.

Acting Australian Information Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said privacy continued to be an issue of growing concern for the community particularly with the rapid increase in the range of technology and consumer goods that accessed and relied upon personal information.

“When consumers understand their rights, they can make informed choices about how their personal information is handled,’ Mr Pilgrim said.

Privacy-related information for health service providers, which includes aged care organisations, is available on the OAIC website in response to frequently asked questions.

It includes:

  • resources for service providers
  • use of personal information for marketing purposes
  • considerations before taking a photo of a client on a mobile device
  • using the My Health Record system

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Tags: curtin-university, di-hobson, epat, jeff-hughes, news-tr-3, telehealth, timothy-pilgrim, tunstall-healthcare,

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