Monday, December 08, 2014

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 08th 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

Quite a busy week heading into Christmas. We saw a detailed review of the PCEHR from Karen Dearne and more news from Telstra in its ongoing quest to take over the e-Health world.
Very interesting to see the Health Eating web site come back after being canned by the minister a little less than a year ago.
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Just seven specialist letters on PCEHR

4 December, 2014 Paul Smith
It has cost $40,000 for every shared health summary currently in existence on the billion-dollar PCEHR system, a new report reveals.
The system, which holds a grand total of seven specialist letters and six e-referrals, has been virtually moribund as the Federal Government embarks on the latest revamp to allow the uploading of pathology and diagnostic imaging results.
But the number crunching suggests doctors believe the system is clinically useless, despite the fact it's been running for two years and has cost in excess of a $1 billion.
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Telstra sees health benefits in internet-enabled devices

Date December 2, 2014 - 4:29PM

Max Mason

Business Reporter

Smart watches, driverless cars and internet enabled fridges may grab headlines, but the internet of things has the potential to transform healthcare and save lives, Telstra chief scientist Hugh Bradlow says.
The move to wireless technology has rapidly changed the way people live their lives and further advances are enabling more and more connected devices, creating an ecosystem of machines able to communicate not only with users but with each other, known as the internet of things (IoT).
Dr Bradlow, speaking at the IoT Connect 14 conference in Sydney, said there was huge potential in combining internet-connected health devices on a persons body with data analysis to help react faster to, or even pre-empt, a medical emergency.
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A shirt can warn you of a heart attack

Max Mason
Smart watches, driverless cars and internet enabled fridges may grab headlines, but the internet of things has the potential to transform healthcare and save lives, Telstra chief scientist Dr Hugh Bradlow says.
The move to wireless technology has rapidly changed the way people live their lives and further advances are enabling more and more connected devices, creating an ecosystem of machines able to communicate not only with users but with each other, known as the internet of things (IoT).
Dr Bradlow, speaking at the IoT Connect 14 conference in Sydney, said there was huge potential in combining internet-connected health devices on a person’s body with data analysis to help react faster to, or even pre-empt, a medical emergency.
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Oh shirt! I’m having a heart attack

I wish my Dad had a shirt that could warn him of an impending heart attack, seeing as one cruelly took him 8 weeks ago, but Telstra’s Dr Hugh Bradlow, speaking at the IOT Connect 14 conference says they’re available and are part of the Internet of Things revolution.
A shirt that can detect your heart rate and transmit that ECG data via Bluetooth to your doctor?
Such shirts have already been made with ECG (electrocardiogram) monitoring, according to Telstra’s Chief Technology Officer, who spoke at Informa’s IoT Connect 14 Conference, which was on today and still on tomorrow (2 to 3 December 2014) at the Park Royal Darling Harbour, Sydney.
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e-Mental health for mood and anxiety disorders in general practice

Link to Resource:

3 December 2014
Familiarises general practitioners (GPs) with the range of online programs in Australia that have demonstrated efficacy and are currently available for use by patients with mental health problems.
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Robots readied for dementia care

25 November, 2014 Kate Aubusson
Companion robots are almost ready to be "rolled out" for dementia care in aged care facilities, say Queensland researchers at the heart of international efforts to develop and test robots to help in the care of the elderly.
Professor Wendy Moyle, director of Griffith University's Centre for Health Practice Innovation, made the prediction to Australian Doctor on Tuesday at the launch the centre's Social Robotics and Assistive Technology Laboratory.
Professor Moyle and her team are conducting one of the largest ever companion robotic studies and have received enormous interest from the international community.
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Software glitches: Are you keeping your head cool?

Healthcare around the world is plagued by software problems. To give just a few examples:
Issues with the Obamacare website caused user frustration, but also security breaches. Personal information was disseminated over the internet, affecting millions of people.
Closer to home, the Australian PCEHR has difficulties getting off the ground because of concerns at various levels. Major security problems with the Australian MyGov website – which also gives access to our eHealth records – were exposed by a researcher who was able to hack into the secure part of the website.
Queensland Health has an unfortunate track record of software problems, most recently with Metavision, an intensive care software package that created medication errors.
Why is the healthcare industry prone to these software debacles?
I caught up with Australian health IT experts to get some answers. In this post I’m talking to Sydney professor Enrico Coiera, who has extensive experience in the field of health informatics and bioinformatics. He’s got interesting things to say about eHealth, the PCEHR, and Telstra’s plans to enter the healthcare market.
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UNSW researchers aim to secure smartwatches for e-health

Australian Research Council awards $322,800 grant for three-year project
Fitbit watches could be used for e-health if properly secured, say UNSW researchers.
Researchers at the University of New South Wales have been awarded a $322,800 grant to conduct research into boosting the security of wearable technology.
The UNSW engineers received a three-year Discovery grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC) for a project that will commence in 2015.
The researchers hope to develop technology that can be incorporated by device makers into popular wearable fitness devices like Fitbit and smartwatches from Google and Apple. The technology would make these devices secure and trusted enough to feed their data into mainstream health systems, a UNSW statement said.
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For Immediate Release on the 4 December 2014

MedicalDirector Publishing and Knowledge launches the new digitised version of the Paediatric Injectable Guidelines 4th Edition

MedicalDirector Publishing and Knowledge is excited to be launching The Paediatric Injectable Guidelines 4th Edition for the first time in digital format.
This unique Australian publication has been created by a leader in paediatric healthcare, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne (RCH).
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Media Release
4 December 2014

Melbourne innovators win the $100,000
Janssen Health and Technology Challenge (HaTCH) 2014

A team of Melbourne health tech innovators has won the inaugural Janssen HaTCH challenge – and will receive a $100,000* grant to accelerate the development of their idea ‘Footprints’ with Janssen Australia. The announcement was made at an awards dinner held in Sydney yesterday evening.
Footprints, a sensor system developed by Quanticare Technologies,  has the ability to predict falls in the elderly before they occur. The intention is that the device, when affixed to a walking frame, will continuously monitor a senior’s walking quality, informing doctors when interventions may be needed.
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Dumped health food rating site relaunched

Published: 2:23 pm, Saturday, 6 December 2014
A healthy food rating website has been reinstated by the federal government 10 months after it was pulled down.
The 'Health Star Rating' website was initially launched by Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash in February but was pulled down shortly after.
It was relaunched on Saturday to provide a system of rating food based on energy, saturated fat, total sugars and sodium content.
The website take down sparked claims Senator Nash's former chief of staff was a junk food lobbyist.
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Health Star Rating System website re-launched after controversy

Date December 6, 2014 - 7:12PM

Dan Harrison

Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent

Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash has launched a system for rating the healthiness of foods 10 months after shutting down a website to promote the scheme.
In February, Senator Nash demanded a website for the Health Star Rating system be taken down a day after it was published. The controversy sparked claims of conflict interest that ended with the resignation of Senator Nash's then chief of staff, Alastair Furnival after Fairfax Media revealed he was the co-owner of a lobbying firm which had represented junk food clients.
On Saturday, health groups who had been critical of Senator Nash's earlier decision to pull the website appeared beside her outside a Canberra shopping centre to celebrate its rebirth.
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Telstra’s Shane Solomon on the potential for ehealth

One of telecommunications giant Telstra’s most intriguing new investments is in the ehealth area, with its business, Telstra Health, headed up by respected healthcare identity Shane Solomon.
According to Solomon, speaking with eHealthspace.org in an exclusive interview, he became intrigued with the possibilities a Telstra-owned healthcare business would open up when he was KPMG’s National Partner in Charge of Healthcare.
“Basically when I was at KPMG Telstra ran a process to identify adjacent businesses that it might move into,” he says. “We put up a few ideas, and I put up one about ehealth. I believed at the time, and still believe that the future of healthcare is not about people in hospitals, it’s about how people are cared for at home. The labour intensive model we have at present is simply not sustainable.”
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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.

FHIR and Healthcare Informatics Education

Posted on December 3, 2014 by Grahame Grieve
One of the interesting things about FHIR is how it offers new prospects for real practical hands-on education.
This is about much more than that it’s much easier and more accessible than other health informatics standards. These are the reasons why:
  • the technology base of the implementation is much more open (browsers, etc)
  • there’s a great abundance of open source tools
  • the community’s focus on examples means that there’s already lots of examples
  • the general focus on patient access to data will mean that students are much more easily able to get access to real data (their own, and others – by permission, of course)
But so far, this has remained just a prospect.
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Queensland government to sue IBM over health payroll disaster

THE Queensland government will serve technology company IBM with court documents over the state’s health payroll disaster, Premier Campbell Newman has confirmed.
Thousands of health staff were overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all when the system was implemented under the former Labor government in 2010.
A five-month inquiry, headed by former Supreme Court judge Richard Chesterman QC, was highly critical of IBM, which won the tender for the failed $1.2 billion system.
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Queensland to sue IBM over Health debacle

Queensland premier Campbell Newman is belatedly making good on his promise to take IBM to court over its handling of the bungled Queensland Health payroll program, a major factor in his Government’s resounding election victory in 2012.
Newman first announced his intentions nearly a year ago – it has taken this long for him to act. It is now 18 months since Newman banned any agency of the State Government from doing business with IBM, citing problems with the company’s ‘governance and contracting practices’.
Last year a Commission of Inquiry into the project, led by former Supreme Court judge Richard Chesterman, censured IBM and recommended it be banned from further government work. But it also apportioned blame to the Government for negligence in its management of the relationship with IBM.
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Queensland government 'blame shifting' on health payroll: IBM

Date December 1, 2014 - 10:59AM
The Queensland Government is attempting to rewrite history by launching legal action against IBM over the failed health payroll system, the tech giant says.
Premier Campbell Newman confirmed on Sunday that the government will this week serve IBM with court documents over the system which was implemented under Labor in 2010.
Thousands of health staff were incorrectly paid when the system malfunctioned after its rollout by IBM, in a debacle that is expected to ultimately cost taxpayers $1.2 billion.
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Queensland government 'blame shifting': IBM

Premier Campbell Newman has confirmed that the government will this week serve IBM with court documents over the failed health payroll system
The Queensland government is attempting to rewrite history by launching legal action against IBM over the failed health payroll system, the tech giant says.
Premier Campbell Newman confirmed on Sunday that the government will this week serve IBM with court documents over the system which was implemented under Labor in 2010.
Thousands of health staff were incorrectly paid when the system malfunctioned after its rollout by IBM, in a debacle that is expected to ultimately cost taxpayers $1.2 billion.
"Queenslanders were wronged, we believe, in the pay affair," Newman told reporters on Sunday.
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To relieve 'password fatigue', Intel buys identity management company

Passwordbox offers one-click login to multiple sites
Intel is strengthening its effort to reduce what it calls the "pain of passwords" by acquiring PasswordBox, a Canadian company that offers an online identity manager designed to let users log on to a range of websites and services with just one click.
PasswordBox lets users store login credentials in what the company calls a virtual safety deposit box. When surfing the Web, users can click on the sites they want to login to and PasswordBox handles the login.
The tool, which has over 14 million downloads, will become a part of the Safe Identity organization within Intel's Security Group, the company said.
Intel Security is planning to use PasswordBox's one-click login system for mobile devices and browsers to reduce what it calls "password fatigue."
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AMA Victoria congratulates new Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy

Thursday 4 December

AMA Victoria congratulates newly appointed Minister for Health Jill Hennessy and Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley.

Big tasks ahead, incl. public hospital bed count and building the Western Women’s + Children’s Hospital and the Victorian Heart Hospital
AMA Victoria congratulates Jill Hennessy and Martin Foley on their respective ministerial appointments.
“AMA Victoria looks forward to working closely with Health Minister Hennessy to secure the long-term future of the Victorian health system. We are particularly supportive of the new Government’s commitment to undertake a public hospital bed count and expand health services in the western and eastern growth corridors,” President of AMA Victoria, Dr Tony Bartone, said today.
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HFC suburbs still in NBN no man's land

Date December 1, 2014 - 11:03AM

Adam Turner is an award-winning Australian freelance technology journalist with a passion for gadgets and the "digital lounge room".

If HFC pay TV cable runs through your suburb then you're still last in line for the NBN.
The next phase of the NBN rollout still doesn't bring pay TV cables into the mix.
Having abandoned efforts to run fibre to 97 per cent of Australian premises after the change of Federal government, NBN Co's plans for the multi-technology mix network are gradually taking shape. While retaining the fibre already laid down, the new-look NBN will rely heavily on Australia's existing copper phone lines and HFC pay TV cables along with satellite and fixed wireless in remote areas.
More than 12 months after the change of government, the next stage of the rollout map has finally been unveiled – covering scheduled construction work up to June 2016. It will be updated every three months with "further detail to reflect ongoing variations brought about by process and technology improvement," according to NBN Co chief Bill Morrow.
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NBN Co announces first rollout map for Coalition's multi-technology NBN

Date December 1, 2014 - 12:15AM

Hannah Francis

NBN Co has published an ambitious new schedulefor rolling out the national broadband network (NBN) to an additional 1.9 million premises in 19 months, ahead of an imminent announcement on its long-awaited re-negotiation with Telstra.
The list details 400 cities, suburbs and towns across Australia where homes and businesses will be connected to the network by June 2016 - or 100,000 connections per month.
Just over 300,000 premises have been connected to the NBN in the four years since the rollout began.
It is the first time fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology has been included in a forecast. It connects copper telephone lines from multiple premises to a single node that then connects to fast broadband fibre.
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Rural towns run into internet 'brick wall'

SALLY CRIPPS
05 Dec, 2014 03:00 AM
Maranoa's Bruce Scott says he is urging Telstra to increase capacity to towns in his electorate to ease internet congestion headaches.
WHILE recent visits by political figures to remote parts of Queensland have shone a light on diabolically inadequate internet and mobile phone capacity there, many small western towns that would normally expect a reasonable service are also finding their internet is grinding to a halt.
Social media posts are full of complaints from people in places such as Hughenden, Blackall and Thargomindah, who once had reasonable speeds but now experience as much difficulty loading pages or connecting to services online as their out-of-town cousins.
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NBN releases construction plan

NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow says the forecast follows a number of successful multi-technology trials
NBN Co has named the next 460 suburbs and towns to get the new-look National Broadband Network.
About 1.9 million homes and businesses across all states and territories are set to be connected by June 2016, the company says.
The latest rollout phase, unveiled on Monday, is the first to reflect the company's new 'Multi-Technology Mix, which includes fibre-to-the-node as well as fibre-to-the-premises.
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Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end humankind

  • The Times
  • December 03, 2014 11:07AM
ARTIFICIAL intelligence is a threat to human existence, Stephen Hawking, one of Britain’s best known scientists, has warned.
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” he said in an interview.
His warning came in response to a question about a revamp of the technology he uses to communicate, which incorporates a basic form of AI.
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NASA's Orion successfully completes historic test flight

Date December 6, 2014 - 3:59AM

Irene Klotz

Cape Canaveral, Florida: A NASA spacecraft designed to one day fly astronauts to Mars has made a near-bullseye splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, wrapping up a flawless, unmanned debut test flight around Earth.
The uncrewed Orion capsule blasted off aboard a Delta 4 Heavy rocket, the biggest in the fleet, just after dawn on Friday (about 2am on Saturday AEDT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Three hours later, it reached peak altitude of 5800 kilometres above the planet, a prelude to the most challenging part of the flight, a 32,000 km/h dive back into the atmosphere.
Orion survived a searing plunge through the atmosphere, heating up to 2200 degree Celsius – twice as hot as molten lava – and experiencing gravitational forces eight times stronger than Earth's.
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Enjoy!
David.

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