Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Talk About Putting A Rosy Spin On The State Of Health IT In Australia. The Old Government’s Last Gasp.

This appeared a few days ago.

Austrade releases Health IT Capability report

Australia’s health IT industry has its roots in a long history of using innovative communications technology to improve healthcare delivery. Back in 1929, the invention of an affordable pedal-powered radio gave people in isolated areas access to advice and emergency medical services from the newly founded Royal Flying Doctor Service.
More here:
Here is the official description from the web site.
Australia’s health IT industry has its roots in a long history of using innovative communications technology to improve healthcare delivery. Back in 1929, the invention of an affordable pedal-powered radio gave people in isolated areas access to advice and emergency medical services from the newly founded Royal Flying Doctor Service. Today, the Australian Government and industries are investing strongly in health IT, ensuring that Australia is at the forefront of best practice. Supported by a highly skilled and technology-driven workforce backed by leading research institutions, Australian expertise in a range of health-related disciplines is in international demand. This industry capability statement provides an overview of Australian capability in the health IT industry, including examples of some of the many Australian companies with specialist expertise.
Here is the link.
The report direct link is here:
The Industry Overview makes really wonderfully cheerful reading!

Industry Overview

“While much of Australia’s health IT development has been led by the private sector, the Australian Government’s National Health Reform Agreement, launched in 2011, lists eHealth as a key area of focus.
A number of initiatives and large-scale programs, such as the national personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) program and integration of services provided by government departments involved in healthcare delivery and funding, will continue to boost IT investment in
the sector, delivering opportunities for enterprises to develop systems and solutions for both the domestic and international markets.
Total IT expenditure by the healthcare industry was estimated to be over A$2 billion in 2010, including spending on telecommunications, services and software.
Australia’s growing health IT capabilities are underpinned by a strong commitment to research and development in the health and biomedical sectors.
Companies involved in the biomedical industry invested an estimated A$610 million on research and development in 2012, in addition to A$750 million invested by the National Health and Medical Research Centre (NHMRC) in medical research.
Within Australia’s nationally coordinated approach to health IT, there are multiple semi-independent sectors, including:

  •  integration of healthcare-related services delivered by multiple government departments
  •  the national PCEHR (personally controlled electronic health record), implemented by the national eHealth Transition Authority (NEHTA)
  • medical training and simulation
  • mobile computing platforms for data analysis
  • medical imaging
  • clinical analysis of patient data
  • patient flow, demand management and operational management
  • treatment scheduling, prescribing,reporting and diagnosis
  • management systems solutions
  • telehealth, telemedicine, assistive technologies and mobile health for remote delivery of health services
  • medical software.”

----  End Extract
This is an official Government report that was apparently finalised in August 2013, despite only being released a little while ago.
Talk about a glass 99% full description of where we are. Clearly there are some very good companies battling away in this sector but the rosy description of just what the Government is doing is pretty fanciful in my view.
I am just thrilled to note that “Australia (has a) nationally coordinated approach to health IT." I wonder who is co-ordinating and how we get to have a chat to him / her? There are a few things I suspect a few people might like to say!

It is good to see that it is NEHTA that has implemented the PCEHR
David.

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