Here are a few I have come across this week.
Note: Each link is followed by a title and a paragraph or two. For the full article click on the link above title of the article. Note also that full access to some links may require site registration or subscription payment.
There is virtually no e-Health news that I have come across and of course all eyes and thoughts have focussed on the floods that seem to have engulfed virtually the whole of Eastern Australia.
Such events - still ongoing - certainly assist in preserving perspective on what is important and what it not.
My best wishes and hopes for rapid resolution of all this go to all involved.
Below are a few slightly relevant tit bits I have spotted.
January 10, 2011 - 8:44AM
Queensland's flood crisis will severely strain the state's health system for months, the Australian Medical Association has warned.
AMA Queensland President Dr Gino Pecoraro says health workers are already dealing with an increase in injuries and illness from the floods.
But he says the peak in health pressures is still weeks away, with the crisis still unfolding.
The most common injuries so far include cuts, sprains, dislocations, concussions and neck and back injuries resulting from people caught in flood waters, slipping or trying to clean up the mess the dirty tide has left behind.
Disaster Relief Australia continues legacy of Victorian bushfire appeal
- Lisa Banks (Computerworld)
- 13 January, 2011 14:54
The legacy of the tragic 2008 Victorian bushfires has come to the aid of Queensland flood victims with the launch of online community registry, Disaster Relief Australia.
The registry, based on the same model used to assist hundreds of families in Victoria, acts as a noticeboard for victims seeking goods and services.
Established by the Fitzroy Oxfam Group, chair Brian Moran said the site is a voluntary project and aimed at easing the load on logistics during the crisis.
“There’s an outpouring of support from Australians wishing to help, but often the emergency organisations don’t have sufficient resources to cope with either the communications or the organisation and logistics of accepting them,” he said in a statement.
Other data centres and telcos prepare for worst
- Hamish Barwick (Computerworld)
- 12 January, 2011 14:44
AAPT has confirmed it is the latest telco to close its Queensland data centre following floods.
A notice distributed to customers on Wednesday states that due to the flooding of the Brisbane region, AAPT will power down the equipment at the 167 Eagle St, Brisbane site as a safety requirement.
“We are currently investigating the issue and will provide further information once it becomes available,” said the statement.
The action follows electricity supplier Energex’s decision to cut power to the Brisbane CBD. It could affect up to 100,000 homes and businesses, but the utility stated the scale of the operation prevented it from notifying individual businesses before they lose power.
Personally controlled electronic health records are a step closer with the closing of applications for the second round of lead implementation sites.
7 January 2011
Personally controlled electronic health records (PCEHR) are a step closer today following the closing of applications for the second round of lead implementation sites.
The Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, said the strong response demonstrated a keen interest to get PCEHR up and running.
“The high number and quality of applications has sent a clear message that people want to be a part of the Gillard Government’s investment in revolutionising our health system”, Ms Roxon said.
“After the outstanding success of the e-health conference in Melbourne earlier this month, there is strong momentum behind delivering the Government’s $466.7 million PCEHR system by July 2012.”
All Brisbane based NEHTA staff please be advised that due to expected flood peaks predicted for Wednesday 12 January 2011, please do not attempt to travel into the NEHTA Office in West End unless safe to do so.
We encourage you to check road closures via national media links and emergency services before travelling.
Compliance and cost the major risk factors with offshore Cloud providers
- Hamish Barwick (Computerworld)
- 14 January, 2011 09:58
Australian Cloud providers have been given a boost following warnings from a legal expert on the risks associated with hosting data offshore.
Connie Carnabuci, a partner of law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer said data stored offshore remained subject to the laws of the country in which it is stored, requiring local customers to submit to a US court, for example, in the event of litigation.
“Hosting data in the US can also make domestic legal and regulatory compliance difficult because it has no national privacy regime that is similar to the Australian National Privacy Principles,” Carnabuci said.
Thursday, 13 January 2011 00:00
James Thomson & Patrick Stafford
Patchy. That was the word that defined the Australian economy in 2010, and could well be the best description again in 2011.
While most economists are predicting Australia's economy will grow at a rate of about 3.75% in 2011 – that's just above the longer-term trend – much of this growth will be driven by the second coming of the resources boom.
Technology research firm Gartner predicts IT spending in Australia will increase by just 2% in 2011, to just over $50 billion.
While that looks like something of a slowdown given last year's spending growth of 2011, Australia can take comfort from the fact it is in the fastest-growing IT region in the world – Asia Pacific, where total spending is tipped to rise 7.6% in 2011 to $312 billion.
Gartner says software is likely to be the best performing part of the IT sector, with spending in this category tipped to increase 10%.
Against this slow-growth backdrop, it's not surprising that Australia's listed IT companies have quite different outlooks.
Brisbane's Technology One, which posted a 15% increase in profit in 2009-10, is expecting sales to grow during the current financial year, but has described the operating environment as "challenging and uncertain".
However, Perth-based IT service provider ASG is particularly bullish about the year ahead, having made a number of acquisitions in 2010. Those takeovers are expected to list revenue by 40% during the 2010-11 period, with the company saying it will be looking to chase aggressive growth in the 2012 and 2013 financial years.
On the other hand, health software company iSoft remains locked in a battle to restructure its operations as it battles against a large debt load caused by expansion into the patchy British market.
January 11, 2011 - 12:24PM
People who spend more than two hours per day of leisure time watching television or sitting in front of a screen face double the risk of heart disease and higher risk of dying, a new study said.
Researchers said the effect was seen regardless of how much people exercised, indicating that how we choose to spend our free time away from work has a huge impact on our overall health.
"It is all a matter of habit. Many of us have learned to go back home, turn the TV set on and sit down for several hours -- it's convenient and easy to do," said Emmanuel Stamatakis, expert in epidemiology and public health at University College London.
Peter Martin and Lucy Battersby
January 10, 2011
VODAFONE faces compensation payments to up to 4 million customers after confirming it is investigating a security breach that has put billing and call records on a publicly accessible website protected only by passwords that change monthly.
It also faces the prospect of privacy concerns being added to a lawsuit being prepared on behalf of 12,500 customers over quality of service issues.
The Justice Minister, Brendan O'Connor, yesterday raised the matter with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, which will speak to Vodafone today. The commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, has the power to conduct an ''own motion'' investigation on behalf of affected customers and direct that compensation be paid.
Comment: There is a lesson here about the risk of staff behaving badly!