Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 14th May, 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.

General Comment

All the news this week would seem to be all about the Budget. By the time you read this a lot more newsprint will have been turned into fish wrappers and we will be able to decide what we will do next.
Other than that it is interesting to see how many new apps are coming out these days and how little we are hearing about the e-Health, NEHTA and the PCEHR.
Maybe the Budget will change this - or not!
Note - Coverage of the Budget Outcomes will come next week when the dust settles.

Govt blocks PCEHR review release

news The Federal Department of Health has moved to block the public release of a report reviewing the troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records project, stating that there are not sufficient public interest reasons for the report to be released, despite the fact that Health Minister Peter Dutton has stated the document contains “a comprehensive plan for the future of electronic health records in Australia”.
The PCEHR project was initially funded in the 2010 Federal Budget to the tune of $466.7 million after years of health industry and technology experts calling for development and national leadership in e-health and health identifier technology to better tie together patients’ records and achieve clinical outcomes. The project is overseen by the Department of Health in coalition with the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA).
However, in July last year the Government revealed it had failed to meet it initial 500,000 target for adoption of the system, with only close to 400,000 Australians using the system at that point.

Ownership of patient records, just one challenge in e-health

Date May 7, 2014 - 12:17PM

Cynthia Karena

From wireless to wearables, Australia’s health care system is on the cusp of a digital technology revolution, but issues of privacy, ownership of patient records and cyber security need to be ironed out first.
That's the view of Kenneth Morgan, special advisor to the vice chancellor of Flinders University on cyber security and resilience, who discussed the future of e-health at CeBIT’s eHealth conference in Sydney this week.
"People will have more control over their health. This is the digital health revolution," he said.

Software saves GPs from guideline overload

7 May, 2014 Michael Woodhead
A decision support tool embedded in practice software can help GPs who are overwhelmed by guidelines on how best to manage cardiovascular risk in their patients, Australian research has shown.
GPs increased their screening and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors when they had decision support embedded into Medical Director or Best Practice software, a study carried out in 60 GP practices found.
In a review of management of more than 10,000 patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease, practices using the decision support tool increased screening for risk factors such as smoking, lipids and BP by 10% (63% vs 53% in a usual care group).

Australians with Hearing Loss to Have Faster, Easier Access to Hearing Services

Page last updated: 05 May 2014
PDF printable version of Australians with Hearing Loss to Have Faster, Easier Access to Hearing Services - PDF 260 KB

5 May 2014

A new website will help thousands of people with hearing loss receive the support they need sooner by making it easier to find information and apply for services, the Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash said.

The website gives eligible Australians better access to services available through the Australian Government Hearing Services Program. One in six Australians experience hearing loss.

“With just a few clicks, people can check their eligibility and apply for services online. It gives Australians better access to up-to-date information about hearing, what services are available and who provides them,” Minister Nash said.

Streamline your Supply Chain

Australia’s health sector is embracing supply chain reform and making significant progress towards an interoperable system that delivers substantial quality and efficiency benefits for providers and consumers.

Streamline your Supply Chain

Underpinning this interoperable system are unique identification of trade items and locations, as well as the National Product Catalogue (NPC), and an eProcurement solution designed to streamline the electronic purchasing process. Download the brochure for more information.

3D-printer hearts ‘in 10 years’

  • Chris Smyth
  • The Times
  • May 08, 2014 12:00AM
A human heart made with a 3D printer will be implanted in a patient within a decade, claim scientists who have made a “bio-assembly robot” to build the organ.
Children born with a hole in the heart will have the defect fixed by parts printed from their own cells in half that time, says a team that has already printed networks of blood vessels.
Stuart Williams, of the University of Louisville in Kentucky, believes the 3D printing technique that has been used to create noses and facial implants will lead to custom-made organs and could even remedy some “design flaws” in the human heart.

Ausmed app to educate nurses on-the-go

Monday 12 May marks International Nurses Day (IND) and also the launch of an app that will allow Australia’s 350,000 nurses and midwives to top up their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) registration requirements online.
The app - Ausmed On-the-Go - is being launched by Melbourne-based nursing education and technology company Ausmed Education, which next Monday will begin streaming 168 hours of lectures via its new app.

Ausmed Founder and CEO Cynthea Wellings said the app was designed to help nurses access high quality professional education “anywhere and at any time”, regardless of their shifts and other commitments.

Queensland technology ranks in disarray

Date May 8, 2014 - 6:27PM

Sylvia Pennington

Queensland's plans to overhaul the way it purchases and implements technology within government have been thrown into disarray, following the resignation of two top bureaucrats responsible for the state's IT reform agenda.
Handpicked to replace former executive director of ICT renewal Glenn Walker, who left suddenly in January after just nine months in the role, Jenny Beresford lasted four weeks before throwing in the towel this week.
Ms Beresford’s deputy, Tom O’Neill, who joined the department last November, after stints with UXC and several Queensland government agencies, has also resigned.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How to fix the PCEHR and salvage eHealth
Fixing the PCeHR is entirely possible, all that is required is wherewithal to bite the proverbial bullet.
It can be done with 5 simple steps.
It can also be cash flow positive in the first year.
Step 1
Accept that the basic PCeHR concept is fundamentally flawed. It is flawed for all of the following reasons:
A) No average patient wakes up in the morning and goes "Gee, what I want today is a jolly good PCeHR".
Because of this fundamental reality there is no driver for "opt in" from the patient perspective, and, for better or worse, there never will be.
No amount of advertising will ever fix this because most patients will never really know what a medical record does, or why they need one. There is nothing wrong with that. They don't need to.

Here comes Apple Health - excess cash to fund major new initiative

Apple’s shares have again broken the US$600 barrier, their highest in over 12 months. The company’s market capitalisation now exceeds $US 500 billion and a new hiring spree has signalled that Apple is moving into healthcare in a big way.
It is the wealthiest company the world has ever seen. It is spending up to US$30 billion on a share buyback scheme, which makes its existing shareholders even wealthier and concentrates that wealth in even fewer hands.
The company is awash with cash. It has more than it knows what to do with. But it is finding ways of spending it. And it’s odds on that a major health initiative is on the cards. Not just gimmicky wearable monitoring – a serious new Apple Health strategy is looming

Museum app puts disease on your screen

BACK in the 1980s, a night at the museum wasn’t a schlock movie franchise but a reality for medical students boning up on diseased tissues.
Gary Velan spent hours at the University of NSW’s Museum of Human Disease. “Some people even slept in the museum because there was so much to learn,” says Dr Velan, now the head of UNSW’s pathology ­department.
Three decades on, medical students can sleep in their own beds, thanks to what may be a world first in mobile technology. In a digital exodus that took 20 years, the museum’s 2000-plus images have migrated — first on to a database, then a CD-ROM, then a website and now iPhones, iPads and iPods.
Complexity or Cost of Interoperability a Barrier to EMM Deployment, 60% of Respondents Said

SYDNEY, Australia, May 7, 2014 –
InterSystems, a global leader in software for connected care, today announced the results of a recent survey of 30 Australian hospitals, finding that 100% expected electronic medication management (EMM) to lead to increased patient safety.  However, 60% cited complexity or cost of interoperability as a significant barrier to deployment.
InterSystems conducted the survey at the Third Annual Electronic Medication Management Conference in Sydney from 25-26 March 2014. Twenty-six public hospitals and four private hospitals participated in the survey, highlights of which include:
·         Among the 30 surveyed hospitals, all but one were deploying or planning to deploy EMM systems.
·         In addition to increasing patient safety, 79% expected EMM to improve productivity and efficiency.
·         Lack of funding was cited as a key barrier to EMM deployment by 60% of hospitals.
         EMM systems needed to interoperate with another 12 systems on average.
  • May 7, 2014, 8:20 a.m. ET

MMRGlobal Names Health IT Insurance Executive Joseph Gonzalez and Leading Australian Physician and eHealth Innovator Dr. Joseph Grace to Advisory Boards

MMRGlobal Names Health IT Insurance Executive Joseph Gonzalez and Leading Australian Physician and eHealth Innovator Dr. Joseph Grace to Advisory Boards
LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - May 7, 2014) - MMRGlobal, Inc. (OTCQB: MMRF) ("MMR"), a leading provider of patented Personal Health Records (PHRs), MyEsafeDepositBox storage solutions, and MMRPro document management and imaging systems for healthcare professionals, today announced the appointments of Joseph Gonzalez to the MMR Board of Advisors and Dr. Joseph Gracé to the Company's Medical Board of Advisors. Mr. Gonzalez co-founded Secure EDI Health Group and has served as the primary consultant for initiatives with the nation's leading companies in the financial, healthcare, and clinical data verticals for over 15 years. He will assist the Company in forming strategic relationships with major Health Information Technology solution providers. Dr. Gracé will assist MMR with the Company's ongoing licensing and sales initiatives in Australia in advance of scheduled meetings with MMR executives and strategic partners later this summer.

Phone app to detect mood changes in bipolar patients

9th May 2014
A SMARTPHONE app that monitors qualities of a person’s voice during phone conversations has shown promise for detecting early signs of mood changes in people with bipolar disorder.
Bringing together the expertise of mental health researchers, computer scientists, and sound engineers, the app could help people with bipolar disorder predict mood swings with enough time to receive help from their treating doctors. 
Participants in the pilot study all had a rapid-cycling form of type 1 bipolar disorder and a history of being prone to frequent depressive and manic episodes.

Apnea app aims for dream run

THE backers of a planned ­e-health biotech float have targeted the $7 billion global market for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, the potentially fatal form of heavy snoring.
The proponents of Appian Medical claim that, rather than spending an uncomfortable night at a sleep clinic, sufferers can self-diagnose via a mobile-phone app that records and interprets the unwanted nocturnal noise.
Through his private company Appian, the American e-health entrepreneur Michael Thomas has licensed SnoreSounds, a mathematical formula developed by University of Queensland researcher Udantha Abeyratne.

Heart device to send alert to doctor

  • May 04, 2014 9:00PM
  • Brigid O’Connell
  • Herald Sun
VICTORIANS with potentially fatal irregular heart rhythms will be the first in the country to access the world’s smallest cardiac monitor, which alerts their doctors if they need medical help.
The implantable device, a third the size of a AAA battery, will continuously monitor the patient’s heartbeats for up to three years and wirelessly download the data on to their doctor’s computer.
St Vincent’s Private Hospital electrophysiologist Dr Uwais Mohamed will today implant the device in a Victorian patient when it is launched as part of the World Congress of Cardiology in Melbourne.

Summary of #FHIR progress at the HL7 WGM in Phoenix

Posted on May 10, 2014 by Grahame Grieve
Well, another HL7 Working Group Meeting (WGM) has come to an end. It was a big week for FHIR, so here’s a summary of the more significant outcomes:
  • The “FHIR” track was the single biggest track (at least, that’s what was reported). Though I did wonder whether that simply reflects that we’re better at keep track – next meeting the way that works will change slightly. But certainly this meeting had the broadest participation in the development of FHIR yet
  • This reflects that solid interest through out HL7 in leveraging the FHIR specification

Three good ideas before breakfast

The Digital Lifesaving Project is a new collaboration between data scientists, mental health support agencies, professionals and the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (The RSA), who are working to identify social-media based cues to assist with suicide prevention.
Interested parties include Dr Helena Christenson from the Black Dog Institute, Susan Beaton and the Suicide Prevention team from beyondblue, Sue Murray, the chief executive of Suicide Prevention Australia and also representatives from R U OK.
The project is the brainchild of workplace change consultant Paul Vittles, who is chair of the Australian branch of The RSA and came up with the idea for the Digital Lifesaving Project last year, at the fifty-year anniversary of Lifeline.

Long distance patient care: Diabetes specialists treat sufferers via the internet

By Kaitlyn Opie

May 10, 2014, 3:30 a.m.
DIABETES specialists based at Alfred Hospital will now have a direct link to Sunraysia patients via an eHealth initiative.
The Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute has 12 diabetes specialists, with four involved in the Tele-health project.
The institute’s diabetes services manager Neal Cohen was in Mildura this week to speak to health care providers and iron out any service delivery issues.
“The idea is to be able to provide specific services to the region, in partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service,” Associate Professor Cohen said. 

What is an ‘open platform’?

The word ‘platform’ is starting to reach the same status as the word ‘internet’ – part of the bedrock, but many have no idea what it really is. In e-health particularly, ‘platform’ is often mixed up with ‘open source’, ‘APIs’ and ‘standards’ in ways that don’t always make sense. Regardless, public policy in the NHS, US ONC and in other countries is being formulated without necessarily a clear common understanding. I’m going to try to address some of the ambiguities here.
The key thing to understand about a platform is that it represents progress away from being locked-in to a monolith of fixed commitments, toward an open ecosystem. This is true both technologically and economically. Any platform operates in two environments: development, and deployment, and these need to be understood distinctly to understand how to use the platform concept properly.
Before going further, I will point readers to Ewan Davis’ blog post on the same topic, in which he articulates some of the same conclusions as I do here, but via different reasoning – particularly about the difference between open source and open standards. Well worth a read.

Patient privacy slows healthcare sector's cloud adoption: EMC

Summary: Across the world, the healthcare sector is facing the challenge of protecting patient privacy while trying to keep up to date with technological innovations.
By Aimee Chanthadavong | May 6, 2014 -- 03:55 GMT (13:55 AEST)
The potential use cases of patient data within the healthcare system can be invaluable, according to Andy Crowne, senior director of EMC Industry Solutions Information Intelligence.
Speaking with ZDNet at EMC World 2014, Crowne said that big data — the data that is captured through patient information — can play a large role in helping the healthcare sector find cures and eventually prevent illnesses, but believes there's still a long way to go before it becomes a reality.
According to Crowne, while healthcare systems worldwide still need to make notable infrastructure developments to support data capture, such as moving to the cloud, the main challenge the sector faces is handling patient privacy.

Sydney Children’s Hospital Network looks to COTS

SCHN CIO looks at federating Lync with Skype for telemedicine
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) on 05 May, 2014 14:18
The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network has been looking at how to employ more commodity software for telemedicine, the SCHN chief information officer, Bill Vargas told the CeBIT eHealth 2014 conference this morning.
The SCHN includes the Westmead and Randwick children’s hospitals, Bear Cottage, the Newborn and Paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS), the Pregnancy and Newborn Services Network (PSN), and the Children's Court Clinic.
“Telemedicine is probably one of the things we’ve been looking at,” Vargas said. The SCHN has “invested very heavy into telemedicine specifically for areas like telepsychiatry,” the CIO added.

The Best Way to Manage All Your Passwords

Rating Secure Password Managers Dashlane, LastPass, 1Password, PasswordBox

By Geoffrey A. Fowler
May 6, 2014 2:36 p.m. ET
Using a different password for every online site and service is critical to your cyber security. Personal Technology Columnist Geoffrey Fowler shows you how password manager programs can help keep track of all those unique logins.
There's a war raging between hackers and companies, and you're caught in the crossfire. Every time a company gets hacked, you have to change your password. And don't you dare reuse it somewhere else.
Dreaming up a different password for every site and service is the only way to keep your stuff safe online, but it's also a gigantic nuisance. There's one thing you can—and should—do to help: Get a password manager program.

The surprisingly simple way ancient Egyptians moved stones to build the pyramids

Date May 6, 2014 - 10:13PM

Terrence McCoy

Few have travelled to the pyramids of Egypt and not wondered how an ancient civilisation without modern technology could have constructed structures so large they can be viewed from space. Some have theorised they were built inside out.
On the flakier side, some say aliens did it.
Perhaps the most confounding mystery of all involves how incredibly large stones made their way to the middle of the desert without massive mechanical assistance. No camel, even the Egyptian kind, is that strong.

Less was more for dinosaurs

  • Oliver Moody
  • The Times
  • May 08, 2014 12:00AM
IF you want to see a dinosaur, look out of the window. Biologists have long known birds are the last survivors of that lumbering race of lizards but until now no one had worked out how they did it.
Why did the 90-tonne argentinosaurus die out while the bird-like Avialae, weighing about the same as a handful of teabags, thrive? A group of scientists at universities around the world have proposed an answer: it was precisely because they were small.
“Weighing” dinosaurs, usually by measuring the thickness of their leg bones, the paleontologists mapped out how the different sizes had fared throughout their evolution. The species that were lightest, including Qiliania graffini, a bird ancestor weighing 13g and named after the lead singer of the punk rock band Bad Religion, proved to be far more genetically adaptable.

No comments: