Cisco Blogs

Addressing the challenge of healthcare down under

October 6, 2009 - 23 Comments

Healthcare is clearly rising up the public agenda in multiple countries around the world, and Australia and New Zealand are no exceptions.  Last week during the deluge of Cisco Networkers activities in Brisbane, the media were taken to see one of Cisco’s healthcare customers in action – Mater Health services. Mater Health Services is Queensland’s largest not-for-profit hospital group, and is making significant strides in achieving its Smart Hospital strategy with a roll-out of an expanded suite of business applications on its Cisco Medical-Grade Network across its seven modern hospitals.

Here, Ken Boal, director of Public Sector, Cisco Australia and New Zealand talks to us outside the Mater Hospital in Brisbane, immediately after our media conference on site.

Mater Health Services is continually developing new methods and practices to improve outcomes for the more than 500,000 patients it cares for annually and to enhance the medical working environment of more than 6,000 staff.

Around the world, Cisco has been working with a number of key organisations to pioneering new approaches to health care that make services more readily available to patients in convenient locations. New Zealand’s West Coast District Health Board has been piloting HealtPresence as a way to extend the natural reach of its services.  We’ve been gathering clinical data from trials of this solution in Aberdeen in Scotland and San Jose in California and the results indicated that 90 percent of participants felt satisfied with a remote care experience and would recommend it to others.  You can read more about the trials here and see a demo of the solution in action. 

We have a wealth of written and video content from Cisco Networkers last week – if you haven’t already please check out our Newsroom in ANZ – (click through to the Cisco Networkers section).

And we also need your help for a final push from the Aussies to get to 100 followers for our ANZ vice president Les Williamson – Les is almost there with 90 followers now: Get a feeling for attendees perspectives on the show here as well via the Cisco Networkers twitter feed #cnw09. We hope you enjoyed the experience and look forward to seeing you next year!

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  1. Health care has moved all the way to the forefront of American society. With the new bill proposed it is hard to ignore it. I can only hope the best outcome can be achieved.

  2. I appreciate and i really liked the idea of remote video as it really help ful to take suggestions of the experts

  3. Any way that a hospital can reduce the cost,without affecting care, is a step in the right direction.

  4. First, very well researched article, thank you!A good healthy diet is essential for internal health as well as external body.Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging.

  5. It would be nice to see affordable health insurance available to people that need it anywhere in the world. I hope cisco would make it a reality.

  6. having worked in medical research most of my working life I can tell you there is a very good reason why the industry is so risk (and innovation) averse: the slightest hiccup and you end up with potentially disastrous consequences for the patient.take the non-medical example that's happening at the moment: Toyota recalling millions of cars. Although expensive, it's ok as you can remove individual cars. But when you've got that kind of scenario in a totally integrated and interlinked hospital system, you can't just 'recall' one component and the rest continues to work just fine.

  7. Wow. I was just referred to this page by a friend and can't actually believe that I like the idea. It is a huge problem in my area to get to actual experts in their medical specialty. This is a solution that will make such expertise more accessible. Remote video is a good way to get to international experts too.

  8. Hey yup! Its really one of the nice tips on health care.For your health we should have to take time so Keep up post and share this kind of valuable tips.Thanks a lot.

  9. The health care system in the US is over burdened and over priced. It is great to see that strides are being made in other countries to help keep health care cost down while maintaining the standard of care.

  10. Free health care should be available to all. It's unfortunate that not every can see the benefits available.

  11. It's the best thing for support network . I like cisco device for use in the network

  12. It should be discuss with multiple countries,and the agenda take a very wise decision for which many peeps are benefited with this so its one of the nice informative post Thanks for the nice post. Keep up post continue........Thanks

  13. What do we have to do to bring Ken to the states? My wife just got pregnant :) and to say the US healthcare system is a complete disaster would be an understatement.

  14. This is good for accuracy of work in Healthcare Department. Good job!

  15. It is indeed a great news for the Citizens of Australia and New Zealand. I am happy some of my families are there. I just hope that this will spread all over the world.

  16. Hi MarcI have always loved technology and what is capable in terms of stream lining processes without reducing the quality of care in the health care system. Of course using a plateform from Cisco is a smart move in my opinion. They are definitely one of the leaders in pioneering systems and technology for the health care industry. As a home based business owner, I am aware of the ongoing debates here in the US and abroad on public vs private health care because it can affect me as a small business owner. Any way that a hospital can reduce the cost,without affecting care, is a step in the right direction. Look forward to following this up via your twitter link.Thanks and make it a great day

  17. It's quite interesting to note the Medical Grade Network. Healthcare is about lives - the standards for technology in healthcare are extremely high and IT in the healthcare industry is very risk-averse.

  18. yes i'll follow on twitter.. keep posting :)

  19. Yes, this is a challenge and probably in it for the long haul, but there is progress being made, and it can be done. Its impressive just how much of a concern this is all over the world.

  20. I'm so glad Cisco is pioneering the drive to modernize how health care is carried out. 90% of satisfied patients is probably as high as your going to get. I can't wait till this Ohio. Just a question but are these studies funded by the Government in anyway or is it all Cisco R&D?

  21. growing up in canada i have been blessed with free healthcare my whole life, this system really works and should be implemented everywhere, its unfortunate that a lot of americans don't belive in it, they don't know what they are missing.

  22. It is good to see that significant strides are being made in achieving Smart Hospital strategy with a roll-out of an expanded suite of business applications using its Cisco Medical-Grade Network across its seven modern hospitals.Hopefully others around the world can start as well? I would be nice to see affordable health insurance abvailable to people that need it anywhere in the world.Heres to Cisco. Now if more companies can start helping as well.

  23. For those interested in the subject, there is also an interview with Mal Thatcher, CIO of Mater Health Services, on News@Cisco at