Monday, April 06, 2015

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 6th April, 2015.

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

Another busy week, with buzz and change both in and outside the Government sector. Outside we have more Telstra news with the Empire growing at an amazing pace.
Inside it seems IBM and Accenture are out and Datacom is in and there is ongoing bad news from South Australia’s ePAS.
Additionally it is looking like the HFC network is going to be an increasingly useful part of the NBN infrastructure.

Doctor exodus over new e-health system rocks Defence

Fran Foo

The Department of Defence has been rocked by the abrupt resignation of about 30 doctors who hold grave fears for the new e-health system that they believe compromises patient safety.
The Joint eHealth Data and Information, or JeHDI, project started in early 2011 but was beset with a multitude of problems that led to a $110 million cost blowout.
Funding was approved in June 2009, with the project delivered three years past its original deadline.
The Australian has been told that many problems remain despite the system going live late last year.

Improving mental health using technology

27 March 2015

World-first program launched at the Black Dog Institute will develop and deliver effective mental health programs using technology such as apps, social media, online gaming and Smartphone sensors.
Statistics show that less than half of all Australians reporting the symptoms of mental illness seek formal treatment. Despite increased investment and strong evidence showing prevention and intervention save lives, factors like geography, stigma and social circumstance make it hard for people to get help.
According to Black Dog Institute Director, Professor Helen Christensen, we need to take treatment to the population, not just sit back and hope that they act.
“Research has firmly established that evidence-based digital mental health programs can provide immediate access to effective mental health programs anywhere in Australia.

Datacom scores $242 million Department of Health contract

Health department signs "outcomes as-a-service" contract
Datacom has signed a five-year contract with the Department of Health. Under the $242 million contract, which replaces existing agreements the department had with IBM and Accenture, Datacom will provide ICT infrastructure and support services.
The department approached the market in May last year with the view of signing a non-traditional IT outsourcing contract.
"This new agreement is structured to provide an outcomes-based fully managed service, with consumption-based pricing, and a strong focus on service delivery," a statement from the department said.

Appointment of new ICT provider for Health

The Department has signed a five-year deal with Datacom to provide ICT infrastructure and support services.
Page last updated: 01 April 2015
The Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Health, Martin Bowles, today announced that, following a competitive tender process, the Department has signed a five-year deal with Datacom to provide ICT infrastructure and support services.
This follows a Request for Tender for the provision of ICT infrastructure and support services (RFT163/1314). The department signed a contract with Datacom for these services on 31 March 2015.
Mr Bowles said the department approached the market on 30 May 2014 seeking a departure from traditional IT Services outsourcing models. This new agreement is structured to provide an outcomes-based fully managed service, with consumption-based pricing, and a strong focus on service delivery. This approach empowers Datacom to determine the best way to deliver the services, offering autonomy but also responsibility for the achievement of the outcomes.
This contract will replace the current ICT Services contracts with IBM Australia and with Accenture for the support of the Enterprise Data Warehouse, both of which expire on 30 June 2015. Consistent with a fully managed service, the contract includes the full provision, maintenance and refresh of all hardware and software assets necessary to deliver the contract outcomes. The contract is estimated to be valued at approximately $242 million inclusive of GST.

SA’s e-health rollout delayed further

 Bension Siebert | 2 April 2015
Adelaide | The rollout of the State Government’s troubled $422 million electronic health records system has been delayed again.
The Government revealed today that the Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS) will not be implemented at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) before the transition to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.
In June last year, Health Minister Jack Snelling announced that the statewide rollout of EPAS would be halted, following complaints from doctors that the system caused threats to patient safety, “rage attacks” and resignations, and the May announcement of federal funding cuts to health.
Snelling told InDaily at the time that the government would ensure the system is functioning properly at the RAH before the transition to the new hospital, so as to avoid clinicians having to adapt to a new physical environment and changes to work processes required by EPAS at the same time.

Telstra grows telehealth portfolio with Medibank business

Adds to growing ehealth portfolio.

Telstra today further bolstered its portfolio of electronic health offerings with the acquisition of Medibank telehealth business Anywhere Healthcare.
Telstra has been actively pushing into the ehealth space since teaming up with HCF and Healthways to offer telemonitoring of health devices in July last year, ahead of formally launching its standalone health division Telstra Health the following October.
It has also previously partnered with Swiss provider Medgate to deliver ‘ReadyCare’, a telephone-based GP consultation service.

Telstra buys Medibank e-health business

Date April 1, 2015 - 3:20PM

Max Mason

Business Reporter

Telstra is adding to its e-health arsenal, striking an agreement to acquire Medibank Private's Anywhere Healthcare network as Australia's largest telecommunications provider looks to grow profits outside its traditional businesses.
Anywhere Healthcare was established in 2013 and is designed to help people in regional and remote areas, or those with mobility issues, get access to specialist doctors and healthcare over video conferencing.
The network has over 1600 general practitioners and aged-care partners as well as 26 specialists, currently offering around 600 to 700 consultations per month.
"It's an emerging and growing business, but it is still quite small. That's okay," Telstra group executive retail Gordon Ballantyne told Fairfax Media.

Telstra Health goes Anywhere with new acquisition

Telstra Health has signed a deal with Medibank that will see it pick up Anywhere Healthcare, a specialist tele-medicine product.
Established by Medibank in 2013, Anywhere Healthcare is aimed at giving people in regional and remote areas of Australia or people with physical difficulties access to specialist medical practitioners and allied health professionals over video conference. 
Telstra is fully acquiring Anywhere Healthcare’s business assets from Medibank.

Telstra inks deal for Medibank's Anywhere Healthcare business

Summary: Telstra has added another notch to its healthcare division's expanding portfolio, entering an agreement for the purchase of the business assets of Medibank's telehealth service Anywhere Healthcare.
By Leon Spencer | April 1, 2015 -- 02:51 GMT (13:51 AEDT)
Telstra's healthcare division Telstra Health has inked a deal to purchase the business assets of telehealth service Anywhere Healthcare.
Anywhere Healthcare was established by Medibank Health Solutions in 2013 in a bid to give people in regional and remote areas of Australia, or those with physical constraints, access to specialist medical and allied health professionals via video conference.
Telstra said that Anywhere Healthcare has an established reputation for delivering high-quality clinical care through a network of more than 1,600 general practitioners and aged care referral partners, along with a panel of 26 specialists who provide services across a range of specialities.
Under the terms of the deal, announced on Wednesday, it is expected that the Anywhere Healthcare business will transfer to Telstra Health ownership in early May.

The rise of David Thodey, outgoing Telstra CEO

Leadership Technology  01 Apr 2015
In 2009, David Thodey rose to be CEO of Telstra. He steps down next month, having rescued the telco’s flagging share price and put smiles and service back into its culture.
CPA Australia chief executive Alex Malley spoke to outgoing Telstra CEO David Thodey in early February, just two weeks before he announced his shock resignation from the A$80 billion telecommunications company. When word spread of his departure, staff, shareholders and the broader business community were united in praising Thodey as an effective and easygoing CEO who has built a formidable legacy. Telstra’s current chief financial officer, Andy Penn, will succeed him on 1 May.
Thodey was group managing director, mobiles, and later group managing director, Telstra enterprise and government, before assuming the captain’s chair in 2009. There he oversaw a steady and sustained climb in Telstra’s share price to a 14-year high. He implemented a company-wide cultural shift towards better customer service and resurrected negotiations with the Australian Government over the A$11 billion National Broadband Network (NBN).

Ten apps for rheumatologists and their patients

2 April, 2015 Bronwyn Walenkamp 
It’s early days, but iphone and android apps for rheumatology conditions are gradually making their way onto the market. Here are ten which are proving popular with both rheumatologists and their patients:
Mediquations – Displays over 200 medical equations. Incudes specialised rheumatology calculators, including DAS scores, the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index, and the SLE Disease Activity Index.
RheumaHelper – A toolbox of classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, peripheral spondyloarthritis and inflammatory back pain.

1.1 million Aussies have never accessed the Internet

Most adults who are not online are aged 65 or over
An estimated 1.1 million Australians — most aged over 65 — have never been online according to a new report released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
Australians’ Digital Lives is based on Newspoll Research conducted in May 2014 with 1800 Australians and Roy Morgan research conducted in June 2014 with 20,000 participants.
Age and income were the main reasons why people had never accessed the Internet. According to ACMA, 70 per cent of adults who hadn’t gone online were aged 65 years or over while 83 per cent had an annual income of less than $30,000.
However, the figure has improved from June 2010 when an estimated 2 million adult Australians said they had never accessed the Internet, the report said.

Prescription drug deaths trigger monitoring call

Sean Parnell

GPs and pharmacists have called for more advanced monitoring of legal drug dispensing to stop Australians becoming addicted to common painkillers and tranquillisers.
After a Victorian coroner warned legal drugs were killing more people than illicit drugs or alcohol, two health groups urged governments to finally implement a national Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs (ERRCD) system.
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners president Frank Jones said prescription drug overdoses contributed to more deaths in some states each year than car accidents.
“Across Australia far too many people are dying from prescription drug overdoses and the real tragedy is that a large number of these deaths could be avoided if GPs had access to a drug database,” Dr Jones said.

More consultations are being secretly recorded

30 March, 2015 Amanda Davey
Doctors should be aware that patients may be surreptitiously recording their conversations, say a group of medical ethicists who take a benign view of the practice.
Writing in JAMA, they suggest doctors should “embrace this possibility” rather than resent it.
They say anecdotal evidence and isolated reports suggest that secret recordings are taking place using smartphones, whether doctors like it or not.
This means doctors would be wise to refine their skills accordingly and accept the practice is probably here to stay, say the authors from  University of Texas.

New South Wales to spend additional US$46 million on e-health

Liberal Party victory also means new open data policies, digital driving licences, body worn police cameras.

The re-elected government of New South Wales will spend an additional US$46 million (AU$60 million) on e-health initiatives, on top of the AU$400 million (AU$308m) already budgeted for the next decade.
The money will be spent primarily on e-health systems in rural areas, with 100 additional telehealth sites, and more laptops, mobile devices and in-home monitoring devices.
The victory of the Liberal Party also means that the government will now enact other pledges made by the party during the campaign.

Flying doctor welcomes $300 million eHealth commitment

By Gavin Coote, Jacqueline Breen
March 31, 2015
The Royal Flying Doctor Service's says remote communities stand to benefit from an e-health election commitment from the Baird Government.
In the lead up to the poll Health Minister Jillian Skinner said a re-elected Coalition would invest $300 million into eHealth projects over four years.
Linda Cutler from the RFDS South Eastern Section sits on the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Rural Health.
"To see Mr Baird's announcement about eHealth certainly mirrors one of three key strategies in the rural health plan, which was to improve rural eHealth," she said.

Swiss broadband example shows way forward for NBN

NBN Co’s recent announcement of a vendor for its hybrid-fibre-coaxial cable network upgrade brought predictable criticism it was adopting a second-rate technology.
Far from being second rate, HFC has a bright future as a high-speed broadband technology. That much ought to be obvious from HFC’s dominance of the broadband market in the US, and its ability to hold its own in fibre-rich markets such as South Korea.
Nor are HFC operators sitting still. Recent advances in technology mean HFC can support download speeds of up to 500Mbps, and more symmetric upload-download speeds. Cable operators are offering up to 250Mbps speeds.

Dark matter is even less like 'regular' matter than we thought

Date March 31, 2015 - 9:11AM

Rachel Feltman

Dark matter is even stranger than previously thought, a new study published in Science suggests.
Dark matter might be able to zip through the universe without slowing or dragging because particles of it don't even interact with each other, a new study published in Science suggests.
Based on what we can observe about the universe, galaxies should be tearing themselves apart. That's where so-called dark matter comes in: It's a term for the as-of-yet unobserved matter that must be bulking up the cosmos, giving galaxies the gravity they need to spin at the rates they do without falling to pieces. But even though we haven't caught dark matter (so named because it doesn't interact with light the way normal matter does - not absorbing or reflecting it - though it does bend light with a weird lensing effect) in a straightforward observation, scientists can learn about it based on the effects it has on more typical, observable forms of matter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

STRUTH - Has the Department of Health told IBM yet?

This DATACOM contract will replace the current ICT Services contracts with IBM Australia and with Accenture for the support of the Enterprise Data Warehouse, both of which expire on 30 June 2015.