Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 11th February, 2013.

Here are a few I have come across the last week or so.
Note: Each link is followed by a title and a few paragraphs. 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.

General Comment

What an interesting week. We have the Tax Office being hacked, Qld Health facing up to reality, controlled drug monitoring seemingly  being rather too hard and NEHTA wondering if the NEHRS is going to cost a lot more than expected.
To cap it off we have the NEHRS reaching out as far as Dungog..I am really impressed.
Lots to chew over!
-----

Criminals breach Australian tax system

Date February 8, 2013

Ben Grubb

Deputy technology editor

Fears have been raised about the security of Australian taxpayers' information after four tax agents' account details were illegally used by third parties.
A warning of the breach was sent in a note to tax agents nationwide on February 5 urging them to log-in to the Tax Agent Portal to see if criminals had signed up for their own log-in under the agent's business name.
The note was not posted on the Tax Office website.
With an agent's log-in, a criminal gains access to an agent's existing clients. Some tax agents warned a fraudster could also potentially access every Australian taxpayer's information if they knew four pieces of information about a person. They said a criminal could potentially lodge a fake tax return on behalf of someone else and claim the money themselves, or use the information to steal someone's identity.
-----

Register for eHealth

Feb. 5, 2013, 9:02 a.m.
Dr Brendan Chaston from The Medical Practice in Dungog is urging everyone to register for an eHealth record.
Dungog residents are urged to register for an eHealth record which will allow them to access a summary of their important health information online and share that information with healthcare professionals.
Until now, health records have usually been stored in different locations with little connection to each other, your general practitioner, specialist or hospitals.
-----
Friday, February 08, 2013

Unable to Register for a e-Health Record

A letter from the last hospital I was in invited me to register for an e-health record. After going to www.ehealth.gov.au I was directed to australia.gov.au where I filled in some more details, until I got: "A previous session has been started and has not completed. Please try again later."
-----

Qld Health considers legal action over payroll bungle

Published 12:47 PM, 7 Feb 2013
AAP
The Queensland government has conceded it may write off nearly $27 million in overpayments from the Queensland Health payroll bungle.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says the government is considering legal action against former staff who've refused to repay the money.
"We might have to be prepared to write it off," he told ABC Radio.
-----

Qld Health may write off AU$27m in payroll overpayment

Summary: The Queensland government has admitted that it may have to write off overpayment made under Queensland Health's failed payroll system.
By AAP | February 6, 2013 -- 23:03 GMT (10:03 AEST)
A week into its three-month inquiry into the Queensland Health payroll bungle, the state government has conceded that it may have to write off nearly AU$27 million in overpayment.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the government is considering legal action against former staff members who have refused to repay the money.
"We might have to be prepared to write it off," he told ABC Radio.
-----

Triple-0 emergency service to accept text messages

New Internet-based relay services to roll out in second half of 2013.
People with hearing or speech disabilities will soon be able to contact triple-0 emergency services through SMS messaging on mobile phones, the government has announced.
The Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency signed contracts with Australian Communication Exchange and WestWood Spice to deliver the enhanced national relay service (NRS), Communications minister Stephen Conroy said today.
In addition to the ability to send SMS to emergency services, the deaf and hard of hearing will be able to make and receive phone calls through a new Internet-based relay service, access a video relay service, and use a Web-based service for captioned telephony. All relay services can be accessed through a new app for smartphones and other Internet-enabled devices.
-----

Say goodbye to your doctor's waiting room

  • By Daniel Piotrowski
  • news.com.au
  • February 04, 2013 1:03PM
THE days of sitting in a doctor's waiting room next to spluttering sick people are coming to an end, according to experts.
Technology researchers believe it will soon be common to receive a virtual doctor's diagnosis from the comfort of your own home.
And if you have to see a GP in person, you won't be at the doctor's surgery for long. Online services, such as the website 1stavailable, are doing for the medical profession what Wotif did for the hotel industry, by letting people book a doctor's time online.
"It's quite an exciting stage - the world's about to change," said Professor Jeffrey Soar, chair of Human Centred Technology Innovation at the University of Southern Queensland. "We'll be able to collaboratively manage our health.
-----

Patients distrust IT decision support

6 February, 2013 David Brill
Patients look down on doctors who use computerised decision support tools, perceiving them to be less diagnostically capable than their peers, a study suggests.
Doctors who reach for the keyboard in deciding whether to order an X-ray on an ankle injury or refer suspected appendicitis for surgery also received lower professionalism and overall satisfaction scores than those who would make these decisions unaided.
The effect appears specific to the use of computer aids; no such negativity was directed at doctors who sought the advice of a colleague in making these decisions, the researchers found.
-----

Bionic eye gives hope to the blind

  • From: AFP
  • February 06, 2013 10:37AM
AFTER years of research, the first bionic eye has seen the light of day in the United States, giving hope to the blind around the world.
Developed by Second Sight Medical Products, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System has helped more than 60 people recover partial sight, with some experiencing better results than others.
Consisting of 60 electrodes implanted in the retina and glasses fitted with a special mini camera, Argus II has already won the approval of European regulators. The US Food and Drug Administration is soon expected to follow suit, making this bionic eye the world's first to become widely available.
"It's the first bionic eye to go on the market in the world, the first in Europe and the first one in the US," said Brian Mech, the California-based company's vice president of business development.
-----

ADSL broadband slows remote medical education

Faster upload and download speeds critical for telehealth, says GP Synergy CEO John Oldfield
Australia should invest in faster broadband for regional areas to promote telehealth and clinical education, according to the head of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that trains general practice doctors.
“One of the biggest challenges for Australia is the fact that we don’t have the sort of reliable and robust broadband connectivity that fully meets the needs of videoconferencing,” GP Synergy CEO John Oldfield told Computerworld Australia.
Broadband limitations have held back telehealth and remote clinical education, he said.
-----
SOURCE: MMRGlobal, Inc.
February 05, 2013 09:25 ET

MMRGlobal Investigates Possible Infringement of Company's Patents and Intellectual Property

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Feb 5, 2013) - MMRGlobal, Inc. (OTCQB: MMRF) ("MMR") today announced that it has been brought to the Company's attention that Governments, both state and federal, in Australia, through the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), appear to be infringing on patents (including Australian patent numbers 2006202057 and 2008202401) and other Intellectual Property (collectively, the "MMRIP") issued to MyMedicalRecords.com, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of MMRGlobal. NEHTA has reportedly spent an estimated one billion Australian dollars on a Personal Health Records program which is the subject of the potential infringement and which appears to broadly incorporate numerous portions of the MMR IP.
-----

MMR Global sues Walgreens for patent infringement

February 5, 2013 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
MyMedicalRecords, Inc. a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based MMR Global, has sued drugstore giant Walgreens for patent infringement pertaining to its personal health record patent. Its lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that its patent is "built on proprietary, patented technologies" and claims that Walgreens has infringed on the patent by "making, using, offering for sale and/or selling" its methods and systems.
MMR has sued Walgreens for both damages and a permanent injunction.
The company appears to be vigorously defending its patents against possible infringers, stating in an announcement about the lawsuit that it is "pursuing efforts to monetize its patent portfolio and other IP by investigating potential infringement of MMR's patents by entities such as retail pharmacies, EHR and PHR vendors, laboratory systems, hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare professionals."
-----

PCEHR faces patent probe

US software firm MyMedicalRecords.com is investigating a possible infringement of its patents by the National E-Health Transition Authority (Nehta), which is spearheading the rollout of the national personally controlled e-health records system.
In a statement, MyMedicalRecords.com, a subsidiary of MMRGlobal, said that "both state and federal governments in Australia, through Nehta, appear to be infringing on patents and other intellectual property issued to MyMedicalRecords.com".
The PCEHR allegedly broadly incorporates numerous portions of the company's intellectual property, MMRGlobal said in a statement.
-----

Real-time Schedule 8 monitoring stalls

THE rollout of a proposed national reporting initiative to help curb “prescription shopping” and opioid misuse seems to have stalled, with experts calling for action on a real-time monitoring system of Schedule 8 drugs.
A Perspectives article in this week’s MJA says the introduction of a national real-time reporting system promises health professionals “better information for decision making”, despite the mixed benefits of prescription monitoring programs operating in the US. (1)
The authors wrote that the number of opioid prescriptions in Australia had increased by about 300% between 1992 and 2007, with growing professional concern about the appropriateness of prescribing these drugs for people with chronic non-cancer pain.
-----

Curbing the abuse

5th Feb 2013
Can digital systems like DORA help GPs combat the rising tide of doctor shopping and drug abuse?
WHEN Dr Bastian Seidel received a call during an after-hours shift from a woman with metastatic breast cancer, who had run out of oxycodone, he was able to accept her pleas for an emergency prescription with new confidence.
“She had used her last tablets because of an exacerbation and was unable to get an appointment to see her own GP for the next three days. And it would have been impossible for her to get to an emergency department.
Typically, it would have been a ‘no go’ because I would not have had the necessary information and she could have been a doctor shopper,” the GP at Tasmania’s Huon Valley Health Centre explains.
Instead, Dr Seidel was able to log into DORA (Drugs and Poisons Information System Online Remote Access), a real-time prescription (PBS and private) monitoring and reporting tool on trial in Tasmania, which provides secure online access to selected patient history (dates, doses, quantities of drugs dispensed, authorities issued or pending and any alerts) for health professionals treating patients with Schedule 8 drugs (opioids and psychostimulants) and other identified drugs of concern (alprazolam).
-----

'Doctor shopper' scheme funding concerns

4 February, 2013 Jo Hartley and AAP
The adequacy of the Federal Government's $5 million funding commitment to tackle doctor-shopping has been called into question by a group of experts.
Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia they say doctors will need access to extra resources in order to respond appropriately to patients found visiting different GPs and pharmacists to obtain Schedule 8 drugs under the proposed national script-tracking system.
They warn that the benefits of real-time reporting (RTR) could be short-lived if increased access to alternative treatments, therapies and health professionals is not built into the system, they said.
-----

Free and fun: social media changes the fitness game

Date February 5, 2013

Kate Wilcox

NATALIE FULLER is one of an increasing number of people who are leaving gyms to keep fit with strangers outdoors - all organised through social media.
She said having a personal trainer was ''costing me a fortune,'' so she signed up for the free Sydney Fitness Boot Camp group at Hyde Park.
Why would people pay when they could do the same for free or a lot less? 
She signed up online and had her request approved by the group's organiser before joining the regular Wednesday night session. The sessions are so popular the group's trainer, Ben Winegarden, often has to turn people away.
-----

Scientists print 3D object with stem cells

Date February 6, 2013 - 11:23AM
Scientists say they have printed 3D objects using human embryonic stem cells for the first time, furthering the quest to fabricate transplantable organs.
Once fine-tuned, the technology should allow scientists to make three-dimensional human tissue in the lab, eliminating the need for organ donation or testing on animals, they reported.
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can replicate indefinitely and become almost any type of cell in the human body.
They are touted as a source of replacement tissue, fixing nearly anything from malfunctioning hearts and lungs, to damaged spines, Parkinson's disease or even baldness.
-----

Microsoft Office pricey, but good value

Date March 3, 2013

Anick Jesdanun

Microsoft Office 2013 embraces the company's new touchscreen philosophy.
Review
As much as I like Google Docs for word processing and spreadsheets, I find the online software clunky at times. So I was sceptical when I heard Microsoft is trying to sell its new version of Office as an online subscription.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the subscription gets you the same software you'd get buying it at a retail store. In fact, I'm using the new Office 2013 to write this review, and it feels as smooth as the customised version of Office 2010 I regularly use.
With an online subscription, you keep paying Microsoft to use the latest version of the software, rather than pay the company once for software that gets outdated over time. It's pricey, at $119 a year, compared with the traditional way of paying a one-time fee that starts at $169 and is good for years. Nonetheless, households with several computers will find subscriptions good value, as one subscription is good for up to five Windows or Mac machines.
-----

If the PC dies, Windows 8 will be its killer, says analyst

Monitors migration of entertainment activities from PCs to tablets, smartphones; bets on the PC's demise only if Windows 8 succeeds on tablets
In another illustration of the diminishing importance of the PC, a research firm today said that more than a third of surveyed consumers who once used personal computers to access content said they had switched to tablets and smartphones.
But unlike others who, noting the same trends, have said it signals the death of the PC, John Buffone of the NPD Group argued that PCs aren't going anywhere for the moment.
"There is a significant amount of functionality that is best conducted on computers," said Buffone in an interview. That work, often collectively dubbed "content creation," could remain the provenance of PCs for a long time to come.
-----
Enjoy!
David.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Triple-0 emergency service to accept text messages". Great news for those caught in remote areas with poor reception and the 000 operator has no idea what you are saying. In the brief moments that the signal can get through the SMS will be sent with minimal battery drain. Also good for when you are kidnapped or in a situation (breakin/holdup/attack) where talking would give your actions/location away to a perpetrator. Just make sure the phone is on silent & no vibrate before sending.
--- Tim C