Cardiac care comes home in first for regional Queensland

05/Apr/2023     Cardiac ServicesMater Group

Hundreds of cardiac patients living in remote and regional Queensland will now be able to receive expert rehabilitation services in their own homes thanks to Mater’s partnership with Advance Queensland. 

The pioneering virtual cardiac rehabilitation program has been created by Brisbane-based digital health company Cardihab, which uses smartphone apps and web portals to ensure patients receive the rehabilitative care they need from the comfort of their own home. 

Following a successful pilot program based at Mater Private Hospital Townsville, the service will now be offered to patients statewide thanks to a $250,000 grant from Advance Queensland. 

Mater Group Chief Executive Dr Peter Steer said the Cardihab program is part of a wave of innovative projects resulting from Mater’s high-tech partnership with Advance Queensland.  

“Mater is connecting with Queensland businesses to discover, adopt and adapt new technologies to ensure we’re at the forefront of health,” Dr Steer said. 

“The Advance Queensland funding allows us to expand our successful pilot program at Mater Private Hospital Townsville across the state – supporting up to 300 patients over the next 12 months.  

“By providing access to healthcare innovation and treatments, we are able to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in remote and regional communities.”  

Home Hill cane farmer Stephen Fabbro joined the Townsville pilot program after he underwent a triple bypass heart operation.  

“I didn’t like the idea of driving to Townsville twice a week to have the rehab done – it’s a three-hour round trip,” said Mr Fabbro.  

“Doing the virtual rehabilitation sped my recovery up – it was twice as fast – and it was very easy. 

“It has made a big difference to my recovery and quality of life. If you were to ask me how I’m feeling today I’d say 100 per cent.” 

Mater staff are also benefitting from a virtual reality training package developed by Brisbane business People Tech Revolution, which has received $40,000 of matched funding from Advance Queensland, Mater Education and Mater Foundation. 

The virtual version of Mater’s Speaking with Good Judgement course presents employees across the state with a range of sensitive and challenging workplace scenarios and provides them the opportunity to respond and provide feedback to others constructively and positively. 

“Speaking with Good Judgement has become a core part of Mater’s culture by encouraging our people to work more effectively and respectfully together,” Dr Steer said. 

“Creating a virtual reality module of the course has taken the learning experience for Mater People to a new level. It’s a great example of innovation supporting employees as well as patients.”    

The partnership with Advance Queensland has also led to enhanced support for Mater’s Diploma of Nursing students. 

Professional development software and training company Eduvidd is developing an immersive student experience, which simplifies course data and even incorporates chatbots into learning. 

The project has received $47,345 of matched funding from Advance Queensland.    

Minister for Innovation Stirling Hinchliffe praised Mater for helping to create a stronger future for Queensland by seeking cutting-edge solutions to real-world challenges.   

“We’re continuing to reverse the brain drain, and this partnership with the Mater allows us to train and retain skilled staff in Queensland while also supporting growing tech businesses, creating jobs for the future economy,” Minister Hinchliffe said.  

Mater’s partnership with Advance Queensland has seen more than $864,000 injected into Queensland’s innovation economy.  

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