Metro South Health’s Occupational Therapy Department and Division of Rehabilitation has partnered with The Hopkins Centre and Menzies Health Institute Queensland at Griffith University to create HabITec, a new clinical setting at Princess Alexandra Hospital integrating life-enhancing technologies into the rehabilitation programs of patients with disability.
Occupational Therapist and HabITec Clinical Lead Ms Soo Oh said patients engaging with HabITec are able to learn about and trial different kinds of technologies to help them with their recovery and ongoing daily living requirements.
“We are very excited about this partnership because it is the first time we have had the IT support that is needed by our clinicians to deliver innovative rehabilitation solutions for patients with different types of illnesses and injuries using mainstream technologies,” Ms Oh said.
“Through the HabITec lab we have been able to investigate and implement virtual assistants for patients to support their self-management, identify and source different types of switches and mouse options to facilitate mobility and communication, and provide accessibility features on people’s smart devices. In the clinical setting we are supporting the use of virtual reality and other mixed realities for provision of home modifications.”
Ms Oh said the HabITec project was motivating work because of its potential to have a significant positive impact on patients’ lives.
“Technology connects people in society and being able to access it and participate in that dialogue can make a huge difference to someone who has gone through a lot of grief and loss through their illness or disability.
“We are now collecting data that will allow us to track the impact of HabITec and the change in both practitioner and consumer-driven demand for technology in the rehabilitation setting so we can improve our existing model of care.”
Ms Oh said future research would explore the experience of all stakeholders in the process of coming together to close the technological gap in rehabilitation and disability services.
For more information on HabITec, visit the project’s microsite on The Hopkins Centre website.