A couple of recent articles prompted me to start joining a few dots and realising that the vision for an internet enabled patient driven PCEHR may be a lot further away than the spruikers think.
First we had this:
August 10, 2011 - 3:49PM
More than 670,000 online census surveys failed to submit on Tuesday night due to users missing a crucial step.
Around the nation last night, Australians sat down to fill out their census forms but among those who opted for the internet option there has been a problem.
Paul Lowe, head of the Population Census Program, said many people completed all the questions but neglected to hit the all important send button.
"We have got over 670,000 households that have logged on but haven't hit that submit button. I encourage people to log back on and hit that submit button," he told reporters in Canberra.
In all other areas, the census officials are billing this five-yearly gathering of national data from 9.8 million households a rousing success.
Mr Lowe said more than 2 million households logged on to the online census form with more than 100 census submissions arriving every second at peak time.
Despite apprehensions that the online census system would be overwhelmed, Mr Lowe said it did not go anywhere near capacity.
He said there was still plenty of time for people to complete a paper or online form.
Then the same day this popped up.
By AAP on August 10th, 2011
More than 40 per cent of older Australians say that the internet is too expensive, leaving them at risk of being shut off from health and other online services.
A new survey suggests that seniors, and particularly pensioners, risk being left behind as businesses and governments shift more services online.
Queensland University of Technology researcher Dr Sandra Haukka interviewed 149 seniors aged 50 or older across the nation.
Haukka found that 53 per cent of participants had a moderate or above interest in the internet, while 46 per cent put their interest as low or nil.
Two thirds of respondents rated their internet skills as very low, and more than 40 per cent said that cost is a barrier to using the internet.
One third said that the internet would improve their daily life.
Haukka's work included in-depth interviews with seniors who did not use, or rarely used, the internet, including those in urban, regional, rural and remote areas.
"With the government and private sector spending billions on the National Broadband Network [NBN], we have to make sure that the internet can be used by all those who need it the most," Haukka said.
She said that society's increasing reliance on the internet for commerce and services is leaving older Australians with low web skills unable to conduct business transactions, access services, find out about community events or use the internet to communicate with friends and family.
So what we have had here is a bit of a community internet IQ test - and a good few failed. We also have some evidence (and I acknowledge the small size if the study) that a key target demographic thinks that internet access is either not interesting or too expensive.
More evidence I would suggest for the build of national e-Health to address the providers first and then build out to consumers as costs fall (if you believe that might happen with the NBN) and more of the population are properly ‘internet literate’.