Not better or worse. Just different.

October 30, 2012

This is great summary of a keynote I gave this morning in Perth to LASA (Leading Age Services Australia) Congress on the Future of Aged Care.

Written by Yasmin Noone of Australian Aging Agenda

Aged care organisations still equivocal about embracing new technology are basically committing business “suicide”, falling out of touch with the stakeholders they wish to engage and falling way behind their competitors.

This is the view of founder and head futurist at Futurevation, Morris Miselowski, who attempted to convince a 700-strong audience of the revolutionary power of present-day technology, at the Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) Congress in Perth this morning.

Mr Miselowski said that although individuals are free to choose to adopt or reject social media networks and technological developments, businesses that want to exist beyond 2012 are not.

“We are living through the equivalent of an industrial revolution,” Mr Miselowski said.

“We don’t know it yet as we are going through it step-by-step. But one day your grandkids will ask, ‘were you around when they developed the internet?’

“So step aside and look, not just at the ordinary and the mundane, but to the extraordinary,” said Mr Miselowski.

“Social media is not just a fad. It’s a fundamental change in the way we communicate.…The conversation about whether to be in it or not doesn’t exist any more. To not be ‘in it’ now is basically committing [business] suicide.”

Mr Miselowski drew on personal and professional experience to further demonstrate his argument that the world is on the path of massive technological change.

He said he has worked in 148 different industries in more than 30 years and in that time, “not one of those industries has stayed the same”.

“The future of aged care will drastically change, not because of machines but because of the way that people will interact with machines. It will have a positive impact on care, staff and stakeholders…

“This online reality is where the evolution and revolution is.

“The next 10 years are going to be significantly different to now. It won’t be better or worse, just different.”

Historical perspective

Urging the audience to consider what life was like 10, 60 and 200 years ago, Mr Miselowski also demonstrated how technological innovations have previously evolved society.

Methods of communication have developed over time since time actually began: from drawings on cave walls, to the invention of the first-ever newspaper, to Morse code, the radiogram and the black and white television set.

Social media and technological innovations are now pushing the world forward with what are simply “new methods of communication”. And so, this social and industrial change the world currently finds itself caught within, is not really anything different to what has happened in the past.

Mr Miselowski showed a series of videos to demonstrate technological innovations over the years and how each generation had always thought that its social change experiences were original.

Two clips resonated particularly strongly with the audience. One, dating back to 1947, was an advertisement of sorts for the nursing profession. The tone, colour and style of the advertisement was extremely ‘old fashioned’.

“We saw the nursing profession in that way, back then. But I doubt we would see it that way now…With the times, we have evolved.”

The older film was set in contrast to a more recent clip with nurses singing and dancing to a promotional hip hop/rap song.

“Who are we?” the nurse rappers sung. “We will be the future of nursing.”

Mr Miselowski commented on the two eras of nursing and how sometimes, history repeats itself in the way that it evolves: “They are not better or worse than the other. They are just different.”

“Your future has not yet been written. It only exists when you create it but hopefully this will give you some breadcrumbs along that journey.”

Facing realities

Mr Miselowski stressed that the reality today is technologically advanced: it is social media. It is mobile phones. It is a series of nursing care apps, which form part of the everyday work practices of community care staff. It is telehealth, telecare and mobile technology. And it is Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and a heap of other social media communication channels.

He said the future is aged care facilities built with virtual environments that change according to how a person wants them to change: a virtual lobby wall might turn into a virtual meeting room wall, and what seems like a pot plant on the side of the table could turn into a virtual bookshelf.

“There’s 23 million people in Australia. And there’s 30 million connected SIM cards.

“Around 60 per cent of the world’s population already has a mobile phone. In the next five years, it’ll increase to 80 per cent.

“Mobile phone [adoption] will allow developed countries to play catch up with us…So don’t take it for granted.

“Devices will drive, audit, inform and allow us to have conversations and do the care that we need to do. In our profession it will be a ‘game changer’.

“Again, it’s not better or worse. It’s just different,” said Mr Miselowski..

“When we decided to go to the moon in the 60s, there was no idea [at that stage about how specifically] to make it happen…

“The future is yet to be made.”


What’ll it be like when we get there?

October 30, 2012

Everyone loves a chat about Robots and how and when we’re going to see them in our lives and when you match this up to the other topic we are all concerned about – Aged Care you have the basis for my chat this morning with Steve Mills of 6PR Perth.

Topics included Robots that wash hair, carpets that monitor your movements, fridges that know what you’ve taken out, bathrooms that test your bodies vital signs from your ablutions and clothing that can monitor that your breathing OK and if not can call for help, are all part of the future of aged care.

Have a listen now:


The Future of Aged Care

October 28, 2012

In 2047 25.3% of Australians will be over 65 years old and many of us will be living to 100 and beyond. With this reality on our horizon it’s no surprise we are now seeing research that shows 64% of Australians are willing to pay more tax if it means the money goes towards ensuring they can stay in their homes for as long as possible when they get older.

With a future backdrop where medical care shifts from curative to preventative; many of today’s ravaging diseases and ailments better understood and treated and a scarcity of nurses and health workers in aged care (and many other industry’s) we are going to have to be smarter in how we allocate resources and provide care.

One of the ways we will be able to do this is by using more stay at-home technologies including robots to take care of health surveillance, monitoring and routine care and assistance.

The impacts and ramifications of this world of tomorrow is what David Dowsett of ABC Bay Wide and I chatted about in our regular fortnightly segment, have a listen and let me know your thoughts:


Physically Aged, Virtually Young

October 27, 2012

In 2050 25.3% of Australia’s population will be over 65 years of age, with many of us living routinely to 100 and preferring to remain in our own homes, as long as possible.

How will the Australian government and the Aged Care industry cope with this?

Given that we will have fewer people in our workforce and more demands on those that are; an employment landscape that is less 9 -5 and more project and task driven, where will Aged Care workers come from?

This is the start of my chat this afternoon with 2UE’s Clinton Maynard and Trevor Long as we looked at technology in institutional, residential and at-home aged care.

This included magic carpets that monitor a persons walking and movements, homes that monitor residents for vital signs, robots that wash hair and sit with dementia patients to ensure their safety and much more.

Have a listen now:


Inventions and Innovations

October 22, 2012

Australia’s future in many ways will be determined by its ability to innovate and invent. Innovate being taking what we already know and doing more or different with it and inventing being to bring about something we have not know before.

Both of these are great and we need to continue our long history of giving the world the Hills hoists, Cochlear implants, airplane black boxes, wine casks, electronic pacemakers and so much more and this morning Belinda King of ABC Radio Tasmania and I chatted about where innovation and invention have come from and where it may be headed.

Listen now and then let me know what you think are Australia’s greatest inventions and innovations and what you think may be ahead.


Tomorrow’s Shopping

October 17, 2012

The retail industry is dealing with an economic downturn and simultaneously going through a revolution, the problem is that we are over hyping the economic and under valuing to the revolution.

We are definitely facing difficult economic times and pragmatically we have do everything we can to keep the doors open (that makes short-term sense), but unless we understand that retail is going through its greatest upheaval in the last 60 years, when we moved from strip shopping centre to malls and forever changed the way we shop, the where, the why, the how and the what we shop for we are missing the medium to long-term profitable possibilities.

There are great retailers large and small coming to terms with this new retail landscape and finding innovation and profit amongst the emerging possibilities.

This week David Dowsett of Radio ABC Wide Bay and I pick up on this and chat about the future of retail, what it might become, how we might shop and what new technologies are on the horizon.


Find Your New Career Here

October 15, 2012

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well, I never thought I’d make it into Cleo, except for the Bachelor of the Year contest – but given that I’m not a Bachelor and past my prime I’d say that ship has sailed also, but in this month’s magazine, I chat about with Edwina Carr about Future Careers, where the job market is headed and some of tomorrow’s growth sectors including Health Services, Financial Planning, Digital, Community Managers, Gamification and the notion of becoming a Solopreneur and doing it your way.

Have a read of the article and share with us what you think are tomorrow’s big careers and industry’s.