Monday, December 01, 2014

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 01st December, 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 in all a very quiet week in e-Health while there has been chaos in the Federal Government on the planned Medicare Co-Payment.
The implications of this are that all this lack of clarity and policy direction is making it very tricky for GP system providers - who have no idea where it all might land and how much work will fall to them. They also wonder who might pay them to do the system changes for the Government?
A total mess as far as I can see!

Telstra gets serious about health, but will the public trust it?

By David Glance on Nov 24, 2014 4:00 PM 

Says unit will grow to $1bn business within five years.

Australian telecommunications company Telstra has last month announced its intentions to significantly develop its health business.
The latest addition to its portfolio of health services will come through a collaboration with Swiss company Medgate. Medgate currently offers Swiss patients the ability to consult with a doctor via telephone or computer and to order prescriptions online for home delivery.
The arrangement with Medgate will launch in Australia as Telstra ReadyCare, some time in 2015. It is unclear what the financial arrangements for this service will be and whether patients will be able to claim the consultations against Medicare or whether they will be required to pay the entire amount privately.
Telstra has spent A$100 million so far on a product and company acquisitions and investments to form the basis of its health services division The collection of companies and technologies were by no means leaders in their individual areas, and it’s yet to be seen whether Telstra, with little background in the health business, can really make a coherent whole out of these disparate parts.

Privacy commissioner Timothy Pilgrim says human rights merger won't work

Experience indicates putting privacy within the human rights commission ‘is not the most effective model’ says Pilgrim
The Australian privacy commissioner has urged a Senate committee to keep his office separate from the human rights commission in anticipation of a significant growth in privacy work.
The federal government introduced legislation in October to abolish the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), which undertakes freedom of information and privacy functions.
As part of the changes the government is seeking to retain only the privacy commissioner, but within the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, said the changes were unworkable because the privacy commissioner would sit within her office but be subject to a different oversight and budgetary regime to the other commissioners.

6 warning signs that online health information may be unreliable

If you are using Dr Google to find information about a health problem – like most people do – you will come across unreliable online information.
Information may simply be outdated or incomplete. But sometimes it is deliberately incorrect or manipulated, for example to make you buy something.
How to differentiate between the good and the bad? I admit, this is not always easy. Here are 6 warning signs that will help you stay clear from quackery sites.

#1: The site wants to sell something

If a website is trying to sell a product, the information provided may not be objective. Be careful if the site is:
  • Showing lots of advertisements or testimonials, difficult to distinguish from the website content
  • Offering a free trial, money back guarantee or special offer
  • Using phrases or words like: Recommended by doctors, used by professionals, scientifically proven, patented technology, or guaranteed results.

St Stephen's Hospital's digital system on show

Carlie Walker | 27th Nov 2014 4:00 PM
UnitingCare Health executive director Richard Royle (right) with National E-Health Transition Authority chairman Steve Hambleton and other delegates at St Stephens Hospital. Alistair Brightman

Popular Stories

DELEGATES from major private and public hospitals throughout Australia are visiting St Stephen's Hospital in Hervey Bay this week, keen to learn the secrets of efficiency and improved care unlocked by the hospital's digital system.
Richard Royle, executive director of UnitingCare Health, said the state-of-the-art facility had impressed those gathered so far during the three-day event, with delegates from hospitals, banks and the CSIRO anxious to see the system in practice.
"It's terrific for the Fraser Coast," he said.
Mr Royle said because information was recorded directly into an online electronic system, it virtually eliminated the chances of the wrong treatment being given to patients.
Because nurses were not tied down with paperwork or trying to decipher handwritten notes, prescriptions or instructions, that freed them up to spend more time with patients, which was a major benefit, Mr Royle said.

Fitness tracking data in courts – persuasive, but not conclusive

Date November 25, 2014

Suneel Jethani, Angela Daly

Beyond simply counting steps, fitness tracking technology creates personal black boxes that archive everything we do – even sleeping.
So it's not surprising to see that a Calgary law firm, representing a fitness instructor injured more than four years ago, announced last week it will use data taken from the plaintiff's FitBit as an "objective" measure of activity in a personal injury lawsuit in order to show a reduction in physical activity post-injury.
With the inevitability that self-tracking data, like social media profiles, will become accessible to courts, there's a range of issues that self-trackers, legal professionals and others will need to consider. Deborah Lupton touched on the topic of privacy before, but should fitness data be treated as conclusive evidence?
In this particular case the data is being given over voluntarily. But data from your FitBit, Apple watch or any number of other devices and apps used to measure and log information about yourself could be subpoenaed by courts in a range of different circumstances including some where the data could be used against the wearer.

The AMT v20141130 November release is now available for download

Created on Friday, 28 November 2014
The AMT v20141130 November release is now available for download from the NEHTA website.

Global Health (GLH)

Our speculative “buy” recommendation for Global Health (GLH) has not gone in our favour with the current price at 38 cents versus 55 cents at our initial recommendation.
Late on Friday the company announced that its earnings will be negatively affected by the conclusion of a contract with the South Australian government in March 2015. This has been known for some time with the US-based software company Allscripts due to roll out the state’s electronic patient administration system (EPAS).
In an interesting turn of affects GLH went into a trading halt this morning, due to a claim that the South Australian government contacted them over the weekend in an attempt to renegotiate the contract with GLH past March 2015.
Post Trading Halt Announcement is here:

ResolutionMD® Receives Certification for Web and Mobile Diagnosis in Australia

Calgary, AB – November 26, 2014 – Calgary Scientific Inc., a company known for creating transformative technology for the medical industry and beyond, announced today that ResolutionMD® has received certification from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for diagnosis on both web and mobile devices for all imaging modalities. This certification enables medical practitioners to take advantage of the benefits of mobile diagnosis to improve patient care as they can now access a range of image storage systems and diagnostic tool sets from any location.
“Our customers have been talking about moving to mobile viewing for some time, the release of ResolutionMD® for the Australian market should be the opportunity for hospitals to move into an effective mobile solution that will substantially improve patient care,” says Scott Wilson, Siemens Business Manager for Syngo in Australia.
Obtaining the certificate from the TGA means healthcare organizations in Australia can feel confident using ResolutionMD®, the world’s leading enterprise image-viewing solution, to perform a clinical diagnosis using web, iOS or Android devices. The TGA certificate follows ResolutionMD’s FDA Class II clearance, CFDA certification, CE marking and Health Canada license.

Google's shake-proof spoon helps those with tremors and Parkinson's disease

Date November 27, 2014 - 7:36AM

Martha Mendoza

Google is throwing its money, brain power and technology at the humble spoon.
But these spoons (don't call them spoogles) are a bit more than your basic utensil: Using hundreds of algorithms, they allow people with essential tremors and Parkinson's disease to eat without spilling.
The technology senses how a hand is shaking and makes instant adjustments to stay balanced. In clinical trials, the Liftware spoons reduced shaking of the spoon bowl by an average of 76 per cent.
"We want to help people in their daily lives today and hopefully increase understanding of disease in the long run," Google spokesperson Katelin Jabbari said.
Other adaptive devices have been developed to help people with tremors - rocker knives, weighted utensils, pen grips. But until now, experts say, technology has not been used in this way.

NBN plans to roll out a quarter of Labor’s model

Annabel Hepworth

THE company rolling out ­Australia’s super-fast internet plans to deliver fibre-to-the-premises to one in four homes, ­setting the scene for a fresh political storm over the nation’s biggest infrastructure project.
NBN Co’s 18-month rollout plan estimates that 24 per cent of premises across the country will be getting FTTP, the model at the heart of Labor’s plan.
The rollout plan also forecasts 68 per cent of premises will get pay-TV cable, fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) and, in the case of ­apartment blocks, fibre-to-the-basement.
The plan will be released as early as next week and the figures are largely in line with the ­estimates in NBN Co’s strategic ­review released last December.

Orion Health debuts on ASX and NZX

Summary: Early trading sees shares in the health software developer lift from NZ$5.70 to NZ$6.60 after its NZ$125 million IPO.
By Rob O’Neill | November 25, 2014 -- 22:13 GMT (09:13 AEST)
Healthcare software company Orion Health Group began trading on Wednesday on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) and Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) following an initial public offering (IPO) of NZ$125 million, including NZ$120 million in new capital.
Strong demand saw the shares priced at NZ$5.70, at the top of the pre-IPO indicative price range. However, shortly after opening, they were trading as high as NZ$6.60.
Orion undertook the offer to raise funds for further research and development.
"We are now funded to significantly increase our research and development efforts to expand our capability and solutions for customers, and I am very excited that many of these great new roles will be in the New Zealand IT sector," founder and chief executive Ian McCrae said.

Orion, the pitch and the expanding globe...

Following 21 years of business, a successful IPO pitch and global expansion - Orion Health has today began trading on the NZX Main Board and ASX.
Shares of Orion Health Group Limited today began trading on the NZX Main Board and ASX following a successful IPO that raised $125 million including $120 million in new capital.
Strong demand for the shares from eligible institutions and the clients of NZX firms saw the shares priced at $5.70, at the top of the indicative price range of $4.30-$5.70.
Orion Health Chairman Andrew Ferrier says the Company is delighted to have attracted the strong support of all its new shareholders.
“Both our new shareholders and those who have supported the company over the last 21 years clearly understand the dynamics of the health data expansion and Orion Health’s ability to deliver world class solutions that will provide better outcomes for patients, providers and those who fund healthcare services," he says.

NBN Co to charge thousands for fibre-on-demand broadband connections

Date November 27, 2014

Hannah Francis

Consumers who miss out on a high-speed fibre connection to the national broadband network (NBN) will be offered the option to pay thousands of dollars for one when NBN Co rolls out its fibre-on-demand product early next year.
In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow gave the strongest indication yet that prices here would be comparable to those available in the UK.
NBN Co will finalise two wholesale fibre-on-demand products, likely around mid-January 2015 and on market shortly thereafter, Mr Morrow said.
The options include a "bespoke" product for individual homes or businesses, and a "co-funding" product for councils, communities or local business groups that wish to pool their resources to pay for fibre.

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