This blog is totally independent and has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.
Monday, February 03, 2014
Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 3rd February, 2014.
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.
A very quiet first week back in the real world with still no word on the PCEHR Review outcome. Surely they have had enough time to consider a six week three man review?
Other than that a really quiet week. So back to sleep till next week!
Diabetes Australia and eftpos announced a mobile app providing resources on how to prevent and manage the disease.
The free e-health app, which will be released in mid-2014, lets users enter information about their personal healthcare, lifestyle and dietary requirements. It also provides the latest news, research and medical product information related to diabetes.
Diabetes Australia plans to release the app on all smartphones.
The app will be supported by a diabetes community awareness program, particularly targeting healthy eating, lifestyle and prevention.
There is an app, available for phones and tablets, called Touch Surgery. Marketed directly to surgeons, the app uses hyper-real interactive animations to facilitate virtual practice across a range of common operations.
The app, one specialist review remarked drily, means surgeons ''can repeatedly try the procedure without causing harm to patients''.
It is perhaps best deployed in combination with another app, called Surgical Risk Calculator, which aims ''to calculate the risk of death in the operating room''.
These products are part of a large and increasingly competitive mobile-device software market aimed squarely at doctors, nurses and other health professionals. There are now thousands of specialist apps that provide instant access to medical literature databases, dosage calculations, clinical notes, patient data, diagnostic aids, virtual demonstrations and pharmaceutical information.
Australia's Department of Human Services (DoHS) is working to re-instate redirects from some of its legacy websites.
The DoHS is the umbrella agency for delivery of the Australian government's health insurance, income support and child support services. The Department's site offers access to all of those services, but many users of those services would be more familiar with the old web addresses for the agencies responsible for their delivery: Medicare (health insurance) and Centrelink (income support) are far more recognisable brands that the Department's. It therefore makes a lot of sense for traffic to those agencies to automatically redirect to the relevant page on the DoHS site.
ORGANISATIONS have been urged to closely examine their cloud computing contracts, especially with overseas suppliers, to avoid breaching new privacy laws that could see fines of up to $1.7 million.
It will be incumbent on Australian organisations to ensure their overseas suppliers - who handle or manage personal customer data on their behalf - comply with the regulations as well, says Matthew McMillan, a partner at law firm Henry Davis York.
Mr McMillan, who specialises in technology and privacy, said some outsourcing or offshoring contracts would potentially have to be reworked to cater to a "new accountability principle" as part of the revised Privacy Act.
One of the most impressive technologies that are ramping up interest right now is Cloud for Health, or more specifically cloud solutions tailored to health businesses in Australia.
Cloud for Health solutions enable businesses to have their IT and eHealth environments hosted in a data centre, all without the need of servers or complex technology solutions.
Before you consider ‘going on the cloud’, we have compiled the 10 most important tips in this article. There is obviously so much more to cloud computing and there are specific questions for specific health sectors however, the top 10 tips below will be enough to set you on the right path.
Australia’s former Chief Medical Officer Professor John Horvath AO is currently overseeing the Australian Government’s review of Medicare Locals announced by Health Minister Dutton on 16th December 2013. Professor Horvath is expected to provide his report to Government by March 2014.
Australian healthcare costing and billing software vendor PowerHealth Solutions has partnered with United Arab Emirates technology company Superior Business Solutions to bring the Patient Billing & Revenue Collection software to the Middle East. PowerBilling & Revenue Collection (PBRC) is the first fit-for-purpose healthcare billing system in the world, and is already used by hundreds of hospitals throughout Australia and Hong Kong.
Back in November I ran a clinical safety workshop for the MSIA in Sydney. I had several requests for follow ups in Melbourne and Brisbane, so I will be holding follow up workshops on March 11 (Melbourne) and Mar 13 (Brisbane). I’ll do more if there’s sufficient interest.
Australia is late to the party when it comes to online health resources.
When an international health information authority, Professor Sir Muir Gray, told a conference in Sydney a few months ago that a new revolution in healthcare was being driven by three forces - citizens, knowledge and the internet - he could have added that Australia was somewhat late to the party.
In Britain, where Professor Gray was formerly chief knowledge officer for its National Health Service - and one of the creators of the Cochrane Collaboration that systematically reviews healthcare research - the revolution is under way.
The days of the trusty stethoscope are numbered, with portable ultrasound scanners poised to usurp medicine's most iconic diagnostic instrument, according to a prominent US cardiologist.
Smaller and more accurate, the new generation of hand-held ultrasound devices now threatens to banish the stethoscope to the dusty vault of medical history, says Professor Jagat Narula, editor-in-chief of the World Heart Federation's journal Global Heart.
In an editorial, he says there is "mounting evidence" that ultrasound is better equipped to accurately diagnose heart and lung conditions, assist in emergency procedures and avoid complications.
When Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane appeared in the Parliament House Blue Room to announce that, no, the government wouldn’t be giving fruit canner SPC Ardmona $25 million, they somehow felt it necessary to mention David Gonski no less than nine times.
“Coca-Cola Amatil [SPC’s parent company] is a very good business; a very, very good business,” Mr Abbott purred on Thursday.
“Its chairman is David Gonski – David Gonski AC – one of our best known business people, [who is] also the incoming chairman of one of our leading banks, [and] former chairman of the Future Fund.
Google has purchased British start-up DeepMind, an artificial intelligence company founded by a 37-year old former chess prodigy and computer game designer.
The American tech giant's London office confirmed a deal had been made but refused to offer a purchase price, which is reportedly more than $US500 million ($571 million). The company was founded by researcher Demis Hassabis with Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman.
Hassabis, who is on leave from University College London, has investigated the mechanisms that underlie human memory.
What made Google dig so deep to buy out a shy and secretive computer mastermind from north London?
Tony Corfe still remembers the time he first saw Demis Hassabis play chess. He was in charge of the primary schools team in Barnet, north London, and looking for new recruits when one week a slight six-year-old boy turned up.
"He was very small," recalls Corfe, "so we had to sit him on a telephone book and a couple of chairs just to get his head up to table height so he could see the board."
Once Hassabis was settled at the table, however, he needed little else. "He was sparkling," Corfe says. "He was determined, and he definitely wanted to win. Of all the schools that I had contact with, he was the best player. He was top of the infants."
It may sometimes be a breeding ground for pornographers, bullies and hateful extremists, but the internet has received an official blessing from Pope Francis, who called it a "gift from God".
"The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity, a network not of wires but of people," said Francis, adding: "The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God."
However, in a speech marking the Roman Catholic Church's World Communications Day, the pope warned the internet also had the power to "isolate" people from their neighbours.