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Support for In-Home Telemonitoring for Veterans Trial participants

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Who can I contact if I have questions or concerns about the trial?

For questions about medical issues contact your nurse coordinator or GP, or in the event of a critical health incident ring 000 as you would normally. For questions about the telemonitoring equipment contact the service provider for the trial:

Tunstall Healthcare
Free Call: 1800 603 377
customerservice@tunstallhealthcare.com.au  

If you want to discuss the trial with DVA you can contact the DVA Telemonitoring Trial Project Manager at HealthInnovation@dva.gov.au or telephone:

DVA General Enquiries 133 254 (metro)
or Freecall 1800 555 254 (regional callers).

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How long will the trial run?

The trial is scheduled to end by December 2016. The length of your participation will depend on when you joined the trial.

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Do participants have to be involved for the full length of the trial?

Participation is voluntary and you are free to leave the trial at any time you wish. However, the longer you can be on the trial the greater the potential health benefit to you. The most valid results of the success of the trial will be obtained if as many participants as possible complete the full term of the trial.

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What if I want to go on holiday while participating in the trial?

If you are away from home for more than a few days, you may not be able to self-monitor as per your care plan, so you should let your nurse coordinator know how long you are likely to be away. Several trial participants have successfully used their telemonitoring equipment while travelling around Australia. If you expect to be away for more than 90 days, you should discuss this with your GP as you may need to withdraw from the trial.

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Will I get support in using the telemonitoring equipment?

Yes. During the trial, you will be supported in the use of the technology by your nurse coordinator and Tunstall Healthcare. Full instructions for use of the equipment and who to contact in case of difficulties will be given to you during installation. Ongoing support will be available as you need it and you should mention to your nurse coordinator if you experience any difficulties.

If you have a carer or legal guardian, they are also invited to participate in the initial training with you, or you are welcome to nominate any other person you may wish to help support you. That person will be provided with the same information you have received, will have an opportunity to ask questions, and will be asked to provide their consent to participate.

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Can I get a print out of my readings?

No. You can see readings on the telemonitoring device as you take them but it is not possible to print the readings out at home because they are not stored permanently in the tablet and it cannot be connected to a printer. You will need to approach your doctor or nurse coordinator if you want this information for your own records.

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Is there any cost to me to take part in the trial?

DVA will arrange the installation of all the necessary equipment needed for telemonitoring in your home. DVA will arrange for the internet service provider, and pay the service provider fees related to the telemonitoring equipment while you are on the trial.

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What if I change GPs?

If you change to a new GP you may no longer be able to take part in the trial. This will depend on whether the new GP is in a practice that is in a trial site and is willing to participate. You will need to speak to your new GP about this.

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What if I see more than one GP?

Only one GP can supervise your participation in the trial. If you choose to see more than one GP while on the trial, you should make them aware that you are participating in the trial under the supervision of your preferred doctor.

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Is my personal information secure?

Yes. All data is transmitted securely and not stored outside Australia.

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Are there any health risks in participating in the trial?

Research from Australia and overseas has not identified any health risks associated with the use of in-home telemonitoring equipment. Completing the requirements of your care plan will result in your vital health signs being monitored more regularly. You can continue to visit your GP whenever you wish.

Can I use telemonitoring equipment in an emergency?

No. Telemonitoring equipment is designed for daily monitoring of existing chronic conditions, and is not an emergency rapid response system. It will not replace your emergency medical alarm service. If you have an emergency pendant, you must still wear this at all times.

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If I pass out will alerts be set up through the telemonitoring equipment?

No. The telemonitoring system does not function as an emergency device. There is no way for the telemonitoring device to detect if you have passed out.  Telemonitoring is not intended to be used for emergencies, but regular telemonitoring can help your GP better manage your health and will help prevent future emergencies.

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What if I no longer want to be on the trial?

You can withdraw from the trial at any time by speaking to your GP or nurse coordinator. DVA will organise for Tunstall Healthcare to contact you and arrange a time to remove the telemonitoring equipment from your home.

What happens at the end of the trial?

At the end of the trial, DVA will arrange for the collection of the telemonitoring equipment from your home and organise for the removal of the internet service associated with the telemonitoring equipment. The trial outcomes will be evaluated and your participation and experiences of the trial will be critical in determining the value of in-home telemonitoring as a health care option.

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How will the telemonitoring equipment be installed?

Tunstall Healthcare will organise installation of the telemonitoring equipment in your home on behalf of DVA. There are three stages:

  • connection to the National Broadband Network (NBN) or next best broadband technology, i.e. 3G/4G, ADSL
  • connection to an internet service provider
  • installation of the telemonitoring equipment.

If you are connected to the NBN in order to participate in the trial, you will need to consider where you would like the NBN connection boxes located (inside and outside your home) and obtain consent for the installation from your landlord if you are not the owner of the property.

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Is the telemonitoring equipment mine to keep?

No. The supply and use of equipment is similar to a rental arrangement but there is no charge to you. The equipment will be replaced, upgraded and repaired as needed. At the end of the trial the equipment will be returned to Tunstall Healthcare, the service provider for the trial.

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What if the equipment breaks or malfunctions?

You should report any issues or problems with the telemonitoring equipment to Tunstall as soon as possible.
Tunstall Healthcare
Free Call: 1800 603 377
customerservice@tunstallhealthcare.com.au  

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Do I have to pay for connection to the NBN or an internet service provider?

No. You will not have to pay any NBN or internet service expenses relating to the use of the telemonitoring equipment, neither initial connection, nor ongoing costs while you are on the trial. If you want an internet service for personal use, you will have to arrange and pay for this separately.

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Will installation of the telemonitoring equipment require me to put extra cables/wires into my home?

Only if you are connected to the NBN in order to participate in the trial because your home will require wiring. NBN Co will install a fibre connection into your home via two equipment boxes, one on the outside and one on the inside, as well as a power supply unit.

The telemonitoring device will be either wireless or connected directly into the NBN equipment box inside your home and will not require any additional wiring. The telemonitoring device is an interactive touch-screen tablet and will be plugged into a standard power socket. There will also be other pieces of equipment, such as a blood pressure monitor, to be stored in your home depending on your individual health needs. The telemonitoring equipment is lightweight and portable.

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If I already have an NBN connection and an internet service provider, can I still take part in the trial?

Yes. As part of the trial, DVA will provide an internet service for telemonitoring. This will not affect any existing internet service that you have for personal use. It is possible to have both connected simultaneously.

If you already have an internet service you will remain responsible for your own personal usage costs and DVA will cover costs for the use of the telemonitoring equipment. When the trial ends, the internet service provider will only remove the connection associated with the telemonitoring equipment.

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Will my NBN and internet service be disconnected if I stop participating in the trial?

If you are connected to the NBN, the connection will remain after the trial ends, but the internet service provided for the telemonitoring trial will be disconnected. If you also have an NBN connection for personal use, this will not be affected.

If you did not already have an internet service for personal use and you would like one, you can contact your preferred telephone or internet service provider to order services over the NBN at your own cost. For more information refer to the ‘Getting Connected’ brochure on the NBN Co website.

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