Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 13th July, 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

A very quiet week again.
The big issue over the next month or so will be just what the DoH does with the very thoughtful submissions on the updated PCEHR Legislation.
These links get a good range of views.
If you know of others let me know!

Defence medical records sent to China in security breach

Date July 7, 2015 - 8:00PM

David Wroe

National security correspondent

Eye test records and personal contact details of hundreds of military personnel including soldiers posted overseas were sent to China in a significant data security breach, Fairfax Media has learnt.
The records, which included in many cases mobile phone numbers of personnel, were sent to a processing facility in China's Guangdong province by a health contractor, Luxottica Retail Australia.
The personnel affected are understood to have included soldiers posted overseas to Afghanistan and special forces commandos who went on to be deployed to Iraq.
Luxottica had its contract terminated last year, a fact both Defence and its principal healthcare contractor, Medibank Health Solutions, announced in statements, admitting that records had been sent offshore. However, neither of those statements acknowledged that China was a destination for the data.

Patients turn to electrical implants to relieve chronic pain

Date July 11, 2015 - 1:20AM

Julia Medew, Health Editor

Electricity a 'game changer' in pain management

Jeanette Ryan has suffered from chronic, debilitating pain in her back and legs since a car accident four years ago. For two weeks back in March, doctors managed to give her significant relief.
More people are having electrical implants put into their spines to try to control debilitating pain as "bioelectrics" start to rival drugs for many afflictions.
Last year, about 1000 Australians with chronic pain had neurostimulation treatment, which involves an implant delivering electrical pulses to their spinal cord to disrupt the way their nerves process pain.
While the technology has been used for decades, anaesthetists who specialise in pain medicine say the devices have improved dramatically in recent years, providing life-changing results for some people with fewer side effects.

Healthcare needs more IT security pros – stat

Technology is bringing amazing changes to the healthcare industry, but it’s also bringing the need for more IT security professionals. What’s causing this lack of talent and if you’re a security pro, how can you land a job in this growing field?

The healthcare industry is in need of IT security experts to help manage the fast-paced growth of technology in the field. With the implementation of electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHR), data analytics, wearables, and health-monitoring devices, healthcare facilities are scrambling to catch up with the demand for staff to manage and support these technological advances.
While technology is delivering more effective and streamlined healthcare, it also increases the need to focus on privacy and security.
"EMR installations at U.S. hospitals, fueled by federal incentives, have been a major catalyst for IT job growth in healthcare. Many of our hospital and health system clients have seen their IT departments grow by 50 percent in the past few years," says Brad Elster, president of Healthcare IT Leaders.

Mater Health stabilises application environment with VDI upgrade

Mater Health Services has launched into several projects, including working with Citrix to upgrade its virtual desktop infrastructure, and moving from Windows XP to Windows 7.
By Aimee Chanthadavong | July 9, 2015 -- 02:30 GMT (12:30 AEST) | Topic: Enterprise Software
When Microsoft announced that it was going to end support for Windows XP, many enterprises using the platform were left scrambling. One of these was Mater Health Services, which is currently approaching the halfway mark of moving its 2,200 desktops across to Windows 7.
Mater Health Services CIO Steven Parish told ZDNet that if it weren't for Microsoft's decision, the business would likely have continued using XP.
"Healthcare is traditionally quite behind the times when it comes to the adoption of technology, especially with upgrades. We would only upgrade from XP to Windows 7 because we have to, otherwise it's still working; if it's not broke, don't need to fix it," he said.
With many of the Australian hospital's 2,000 applications being custom, Parish said a key challenge has been trying to work with vendors to ensure that the applications would be compatible with Windows 7, such as some existing web-based applications that will only work on Internet Explorer 8.

Online blog exposing culture of bullying in NT health department

  • July 11, 2015 1:57PM
  • NT News
AN online blog has emerged highlighting bullying in the NT health department.
The website claims to be run by a group of employees who refer to themselves as the “mister men” and is made up of “clinicians from different ­disciplines”.
“We have been cataloguing incidents of injustice and bullying by the management at the Department of Health for just under a year,” the group said via email.
“For clinicians to take this kind of action reveals a breakdown in confidence with the management of the health department ... we have seen many good colleagues attacked and destroyed by the health department management. It is time for affirmative action.”
The site recorded more than 7000 hits in 10 days.
Department of Health HR director Raelene Burke said there was nothing wrong with employees engaging in online commentary.

BaptistCare looks to future with networking rollout

Aged care provider signs limited lifetime warranty with HP
New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory aged care provider BaptistCare is rolling out networking switches and dual radio access points across three new sites to provide gigabit mobile connections for staff and residents.
The first site in Point Clare on the NSW Central Coast will be completed in stages, with the first stage finalised in 2015. A site in Griffith, ACT opens in mid-2015 followed by a Kellyville, NSW site in 2016.
BaptistCare selected HP networking switches and dual radio access points. Approximately 4000 staff and 1800 residents will have access to the mobile connections.
The aged care provider was already using HP servers and decided to look at the vendor’s networking offerings.
The contract includes a voice management system that allows the nearest carer or nurse to respond to a resident by clicking a badge worn around their neck.

Clinicians come together to tackle the problems of an aging population

IBM is set to host a Hackathon in conjunction with HealthXL in a bid to come up with innovative solutions for an aging Australian population.
Around 150 people are involved, said Annette Hicks, IBM Health Industry Lead. “It’s definitely over-subscribed,” she told in an interview.
“There is a lot of interest, from clinicians to people working in ICT who see that healthcare has some complex problems that technology can help address,” she said.
The Hackathon is being held between July 10 and 12, and is located at the Carlton Connect Initiative in Melbourne. The CCI is an innovation precinct anchored by the University of Melbourne, and is designed to being people working in different disciplines together to help solve difficult challenges across a range of scientific disciplines.
The aim of the Hackathon is to address several specific problems associated with aging in Australia. These include dementia, social isolation, physical inactivity and social isolation. According to statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s aging population is expected to increase significantly over the coming decades. The population aged over 75 is expected to rise by 4 million between 2012 and 2060, increasing from 6.4 per cent to 14.4 per cent of the population.

A bad reaction

6 July, 2015 Chris Brooker
Almost all medication-related adverse drug reactions are preventable and predictable and could be avoided with better reporting and e-health systems, experts believe.
Pharmacy researchers from Charles Darwin University, NT and Charles Sturt University NSW, examined 150 recorded hospital admissions for adverse drug reactions in which patients had a National Inpatient Medication Chart.
Almost all (97%) of these admissions were judged by the authors to be preventable. In addition, 82% of the 150 admissions were regarded as being predictable.

Telstra's new CEO: Customers must be at the heart of everything we do

Andrew Penn, the telco's former CFO and the new CEO following the departure of David Thodey, reiterates his commitment to customer through technology and services innovation and announces more investment into network infrastructure
Telstra’s newly installed CEO, Andrew Penn, has reiterated the telco’s commitment to putting the customer at the heart of everything the company does during his first official speech since being appointed.
The CEO, who is speaking at today’s Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) lunch, used the opportunity to outline his priorities as Telstra’s new chief, as well as announce further investment into the telco’s core network infrastructure over 2016 and 2017.
Penn, Telstra’s former CFO and group executive for international, was appointed CEO following the departure of David Thodey earlier this year. Thodey was credited as the man driving the telco’s customer transformation and turnaround over recent years.

Telstra telehealth scheme a rival to all GPs: AMA

Serkan Ozturk | July 8, 2015 | 30 comments
The AMA has accused Telstra of setting up in competition with every GP in the country following the launch of its new telehealth system.
There are no Medicare rebates for the service at present.
The 24/7 service is staffed by doctors taking calls in a dedicated telehealth centre in the Sydney suburb of Alexandria.

GPs and Oz Doc top list of Twitter influencers

9 July, 2015 Serkan Ozturk
A number of individual GPs and Australian Doctor have been highlighted as among the most influential Twitter users in the health and medical fields. 
A list analysing the top 10 Australian Twitter accounts in health and medicine has been compiled by University of Sydney public health researchers Professor Simon Chapman and Dr Becky Freeman.
The researchers took a look at the leading Twitter accounts and spilt them into four subgroups:  
  • individuals with a multifocus on health, such as GPs
  • individual with a single health focus, such as fitness or sugar
  • politicians, official agencies and health-related charities
  • journalists and the media who report on health issues

Why Analytica Limited shares were slammed 29% today

By Ryan Newman - July 8, 2015 | More on: ALT
Shares of Analytica Limited (ASX: ALT) have been smashed by the market today after the company emerged from a trading halt, announcing a material capital raising. The stock plunged 29.4% to a low of 1.2 cents, compared to a 1.1% decline for the benchmark ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO).
Analytica is a micro-cap business whose lead product is the PeriCoach System – an e-health treatment system designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscle for women who suffer Stress Urinary Incontinence. It then gives feedback to the user via a smart phone.
Although the potential for such a system is enormous, there are also a number of challenges including the difficulty of marketing (it’s unlikely to gain traction via word-of-mouth) while smart-phone usage is also far less prevalent amongst older generations.


1stAvailable (ASX: 1st) and Digital Health Ventures (a company 50% owned by NIB) have partnered to provide an online booking engine. Under the partnership, 1stAvailable’s online healthcare search and appointment booking service will be used by healthcare providers through - an online directly of healthcare providers and moderated customer reviews.


TeleMedC is developing the next generation ophthalmic diagnostic imaging systems for face-to-face and virtual medical consultations, screening, monitoring and health prevention purposes for remote & urban communities.
During its first phase of the development TeleMedC will focus, primarily, on building low cost multipurpose ophthalmologic imaging hardware and smart grading systems for anterior segment and retinal diseases.
TeleMedC's long term goal is to become a leader in providing consumer based ocular image reading for sight treating eye and chronic diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
After achieving successful results in Australia, CSIRO has licensed their Remote-I technology to a Silicon Valley spin-off TeleMedC, who plans to take the technology to the US and world market as part of its 'EyeScan' diagnostic solution. The Remote-I platform works by capturing high-resolution images of a patient's retina with a low-cost retinal camera, which are then uploaded over satellite broadband by a local health worker. Remote-I has been used with over 1000 patients from the Torres Strait Islands and southern Western Australia where 68 patients at risk of going blind were identified, including those with macula odema.

IBM claims prototype for tiny computer chip

Date July 10, 2015 - 8:51AM

Michelle Davis

International Business Machines has developed a computer chip that's smaller and has more capacity than anything currently on the market, the company said on Thursday.
The 7 nanometre test chip with working transistors is the industry's smallest, the company said in a statement. The microprocessors that power servers currently being used are made with 14 or 22 nanometre production.
IBM no longer manufactures its own chips. The company has in the past made prior claims of technical leadership in semiconductors. Those assertions, however, haven't produced positive business results. IBM's chip unit lost money forcing the company to pay Globalfoundries to take over its production operations.

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