COTA SA welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the discussion about the use of surveillance and monitoring technology in aged care. We congratulate the Minister for Health and Wellbeing and the Office for Ageing Well for creating this opportunity to engage older people and other stakeholders in considering what the future of surveillance and monitoring technology might be in aged care.
In 2021/22, COTA SA supported the CCTV Pilot Project which involved the trial of an artificial intelligence (AI) monitoring system in the bedrooms of consenting residents living in two aged care homes. It was the first trial of its kind in Australia. We are especially grateful to the people living and working in the two CCTV trial sites - Northgate House Older Persons Mental Health Service and Mount Pleasant Aged Care – for taking part and bearing with technology which proved, at this stage, not to be fit for purpose. Notwithstanding the limitations of the technology, the trial has enabled some important direct learnings and has also set up this opportunity for a broader look at the use of different types of technology in aged care homes.
Surveillance and monitoring technology must be used with high justification that its benefits will outweigh the costs, including financial cost, and residents’ privacy and agency.