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Prescare Braces for ‘Baby Boomer Crisis’ with Surecom and Emerson Network Power

  • 12 May, 2009 12:00

<p>Brisbane-based aged care provider, Prescare, is bracing itself for Australia’s looming ‘baby boomer crisis’ by investing $5 million in new technology to support the critical healthcare and communications services it will offer in the coming years.</p>
<p>A new data centre and communications network supplied by service provider Surecom with the help of Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE:EMR) and the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity™, will enable Prescare to deploy sophisticated real-time tracking technology to safeguard the welfare and security of its residents, and to introduce lifestyle-enhancing communications and entertainment services such as videoconferencing and video-on-demand at its new residential site at Carina in Brisbane.</p>
<p>“Australia is facing a crisis over the next decade and beyond, with an increasingly large percentage of the population – the so-called ‘baby boomer generation’ – racing towards retirement,” says Prescare’s chief financial officer Greg Skelton. “Currently in Australia there are five people of working age for every person older than 65, but in 10 years’ time that will drop to four, and in 20 years less than three. Aside from the dire implications this will have on Australia’s productivity, it also means demand for more advanced aged-care facilities will increase dramatically.</p>
<p>“Just because we’re dealing with an economic recession doesn’t mean the crisis has been averted – far from it,” says Skelton. “We need to prepare ourselves for a situation that can very quickly spiral out of control if we don’t make the right investments in real estate, technology and infrastructure today.”</p>
<p>Skelton says Prescare’s computer network “is an extension of our very capable workforce, their ‘eyes and ears’ in an environment that has to be closely monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”</p>
<p>“We’re trialing new technology, based on commonly-used package tracking RFID technology, that will accurately alert and direct us to a resident’s location in case of emergency,” he adds. “We’re also upgrading our communications infrastructure with internet-based security cameras, audio and video communication tools, and entertainment services. Not only do we regard these services as mandatory for a more technologically-proficient clientele, but also as absolutely necessary to maintain the security, high quality of life and social networking our residents will be looking for.”</p>
<p>“The solution we’re putting together for Prescare is raising the bar for aged care technology in Australia in terms of the depth and breadth of services they’ll be able to offer their residents,” says Surecom managing director Ash Hanna.</p>
<p>“It’s a fairly large build, with 2,500 data points, Power-over-Ethernet switches and IP cameras all routed to centralised communications cupboards and connected to the main data centre over fibre cables,” says Hanna.</p>
<p>“We’ve then gone for the industry’s premier infrastructure support from Emerson Network Power, with Knurr racks and Liebert power protection solutions to house the equipment and ensure 100 per cent uptime which, for aged care, is a critical requirement. The end result is a network that easily supports and delivers advanced services such as video-on-demand, touch screen internet access, IP telephony, broadband data, RFID tracking and roaming Wi-Fi access – to name a few.”</p>
<p>Prescare currently manages six residential and seven community sites in Queensland, with 465 residents and 400 clients in residential and community care respectively. The group generates approximately $36 million in revenue and employs more than 700 staff across its facilities.</p>
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<p>About Emerson Network Power</p>
<p>Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE:EMR), is the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity™ from grid to chip for telecommunication networks, data centers, health care and industrial facilities. Emerson Network Power provides innovative solutions and expertise in areas including AC and DC power and precision cooling systems, embedded computing and power, integrated racks and enclosures, power switching and controls, monitoring, and connectivity. All solutions are supported globally by local Emerson Network Power service technicians. Learn more about Emerson Network Power products and services at</p>
<p>About Emerson</p>
<p>Emerson (NYSE:EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies, and appliance and tools businesses. Sales in fiscal 2008 were $24.8 billion and Emerson is ranked 94th on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest companies. For more information, visit</p>

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