Throughout her talk, Solomon will highlight several of the ways the Health Transformation Lab is already connecting with partners across RMIT and the health and technology sectors to bring about those dynamic solutions, including a wearable, brooch-like device, that may detect loneliness, and the RMIT-Cisco sandbox that enables a virtual healthcare experience to be modelled within the lab.
“With the sandbox environments, we can collaborate with researchers, health professionals and even other technology providers to explore a whole range of issues, such as how can you better use technology to transform the waiting experience into a more effective part of health delivery?
“We’re also doing some really important work with Cisco where we are exploring some of the imaginative opportunities for using technology to address some of The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommendations, in a way that designs for dignity, respect, empowerment and life enjoyment.
“We want to discover how individuals who live in this environment can use technology to increasingly — and safely — personalise and choose what their day-to-day life and experiences look like,” she said.
Early next year, the Health Transformation Lab will also receive the Boston Dynamics robot dog, Spot, and will invite industry partners and researchers to take part in a range of trials and experiments to discover what useful deployment of a robot dog could look like for health.
“It could be a new way of doing telehealth, or a new way of automating certain tasks for carers, or an opportunity for non-intrusive monitoring, for example,” Solomon said.
The Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, developed in response to the significant impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Victorian universities, has supported several of the Lab’s current initiatives.
Solomon said health was an important topic for this year’s Newkind conference.
“I think it’s both interesting and scary to witness the extent to which younger generations’ health and wellbeing are linked to issues of climate and sustainability and inclusion, to the point where we see the existence of conditions like climate anxiety,” she said.
“The Health Transformation Lab believes it has an important role to play in being the voice for the conversations that should be had, but perhaps may not have been had, and to be bold enough to have those conversations and advocate for change, right now.”
In keeping with this, the Health Transformation Lab is now accepting applications for a new ‘Writing the Future of Health’ Fellowship, which will see a Melbourne writer produce a creative and imaginative perspective on ‘what does the future of health look like?
Nithya Solomon is the Deputy Director of the RMIT Health Transformation Lab. Her talk, ‘The future of health is now,’ will be held as part of the Newkind Conference at RMIT’s Storey Hall and online on Friday, 26 November at 2.30pm.
Story: Rachel Wells