Can technology make a difference in aged care?

Can technology make a difference in aged care?


Technology is seen as having a potentially transformative effect on aged care. New technologies can connect care and service providers, offer new ways of providing direct care and of doing business.

Technology can also provide data to understand how aged care is performing. Importantly given the workforce pressures confronting aged care, technology that can automate and streamline non-care duties would be able to release carers time to focus on caregiving and improving the quality of care for older people. To benefit the sector needs to know of current and emerging opportunities in aged care for technologies and innovations including those associated with palliative care and having potential to improve care and outcomes.

Addressing Technology Reform

The Aged Care Royal Commission in 2021 found the aged care system to be well behind other sectors in the use and application of technology and in urgent need of government investment. Further, many of the recommendations in the Commission’s final report will rely on ICT and digital enablers to implement them. The Department of Health and Aged Care has initiated a digital transformation program which aims to create a better-connected aged care sector by simplifying, digitising and automating points of connection between clients, providers, the software industry, and government. The program of work that would harness digital capabilities to solve ongoing aged care challenges.

The Department’s 2022-2025 Data Strategy (1.40MB pdf) seeks to harness the power of data to improve outcomes. It recognises that we can enhance Australians’ health, aged care, and wellbeing when data is appropriately linked, shared, and used across these various service settings. This depends on appropriate technology and systems to capture, share and analyses the data to realise knowledge and policy benefits.


Technology, Aged Care and Palliative Care

In 2020, CareSearch produced an InFocus on Digital Health. Since then, there has been an acceleration of digital activity driven not only by Covid-19 but by rapid advances in technology such increases in computing power, datafication, extended realities including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Fortunately, there are good quality resources and a growing evidence base that can help aged care in the implementation of technology and digital solutions. There is also an emerging set of technology based and digital resources specifically addressing palliative in residential aged care and home care.

palliAGED has always provided access to digital resources including online evidence, practice tools and learning resources, and the palliAGED apps. CareSearch and palliAGED have also partnered with others in the sector to ensure that palliative care and end of life resources for older people, aged care staff and the health workforce are available. This InFocus provides us with the opportunity to profile our technology research and resources for aged care as well as the technology focus of our partner projects working in aged care.


palliAGED is a core palliative care evidence and practice information resource for the Australian aged care sector. In addition to providing summaries of the best available evidence it houses a specific set of technology tools and digital resources.

  • The palliAGED apps provide nurses and GPs with easy and convenient access to information to help them care for people approaching the end of their life.
  • Modules for aged care nurses act as a gateway to training and understanding in palliative care including symptoms and care issues. The modules can also be licensed for use on an individual aged care service’s Learning Management System.
  • palliAGED has developed a suite of electronic Practice forms to support care for older people.
  • palliAGED search provides people working in aged care with easy and rapid access to the latest peer-reviewed information on issues in aged care.


CareSearch is an online repository of palliative care evidence and resources. Many resources have been created as downloadable and interactive forms and tools to support direct care.


ELDAC is a partner project to CareSearch/palliAGED and is a change program supporting aged care capability in palliative care and advance care planning. It is host to a Technology and Innovation Stream.


ARIIA is set up to lead the advancement of the aged care workforce capability by promoting and facilitating innovation and research to improve the quality of aged care for all Australians.

  • The Technology in Aged Care topic has gathered evidence of best practice, along with learning and practical resources, on two critical issues relating to technology in aged care: testing frameworks and human factors.


Read some of our Palliative Perspectives blogs: