Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 21st March, 2016.

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 an interesting week, with issues in South Australia and with the mHR getting some air-time.
For the second week in a row we have had a registry operated by DoH (Immunisation Register) seemingly not being satisfactory.
I wonder what will break out next week. The problems in WA maybe?

No end in sight for loathed electronic record system

18 March 2016
SA HEALTH is ploughing ahead with a much-maligned platform for electronic records that has been blamed for inducing “rage attacks” in clinicians.
Doctors remain concerned that the $422 million Electronic Patient Administration System (EPAS) remains user-unfriendly, despite assurances that bugs have been ironed out.
“The EPAS system will continue to evolve and improve over time and SA Health remains committed to working closely with our clinicians’ support (for) the roll out of EPAS”, SA Health told Medical Observer in a statement.
The Flinders and Far North Doctors Association (FFNDA) wrote to the department in January arguing that the system should be overhauled or junked.

NSW Health hires new CIO

Acting chief wins role.

By Paris Cowan
Mar 18 2016 4:17PM
Zoran Bolevich has secured his spot at the top of NSW Health’s IT wing after winning an open selection process to take over as CEO of eHealth NSW.
Bolevich has been acting in the role, notionally the CIO of the health department, since his predecessor Michael Walsh was tempted back to the sunshine state to take over as director general of Queensland Health in July last year.
The government began taking applications for the role in January.
5:57pm March 19, 2016

Time-poor Aussies turn to online health

Time-poor Australians juggling caring for their children and elderly parents are among the most likely to access health services from home, a new report has found.
The study, commissioned by the National Broadband Network (NBN), found that 90 per cent of those "sandwiched" between caring for the two generations delayed trips to the GP in a bid to save time and money and avoid days off work.
The Digital Health at Home report found convenience was king among half of respondents using services including GP video conferencing and in-home monitoring for the elderly.

App lets carers share a cache of information

18 March 2016
CareMonkey is aimed at parents or carers who want to share health information, care instructions and what to do in an emergency.
It is similar to other apps available on the market, although this one allows access to be shared with trusted individuals.
Users create a profile containing emergency contacts, health and safety alerts, allergy details, medications, asthma plan, immunisations, family history, organ donor details, health and ambulance insurance details. 

CSIRO and Dell supercomputer to mothers’ rescue

  • The Australian
  • March 15, 2016 12:00AM
CSIRO is harnessing a supercomputer made by Dell to help combat post-childbirth complications experienced by mothers.
In a partnership forged with Melbourne’s Monash University, CSIRO and Dell have built a high-performance computer cluster to test mesh supports to counter organ movements women can experience years afterwards.
The weakening of abdominal muscles after childbirth can cause body organs to slip, resulting in a prolapse. This can happen weeks, months or sometimes years later, and can be brought on by a bout of coughing, lifting, bending, exercise or seemingly nothing.

(When) Will #FHIR replace HL7 v2 messaging?

Posted on March 15, 2016 by Grahame Grieve
I’m working in the healthcare domain and has been hearing the FHIR developments for a while. In my hospital setting, we typically have a Patient Registration System, a EMR system, a LIS and RIS system, and some machine interface (Vital Signs, BMI). We are communicating with each other using HL7 V2 standard and is working fine.
My question is, how does the development of FHIR helps in existing interfaces? Do we need to eventually replace these interfaces with FHIR? If yes, all vendors of the respective systems needs to be FHIR ready.
I like to believe that FHIR is for a future expansion packs, and not a move to replace all existing interfaces. Meaning HL7 V2 are expected to stay.  Another question: In HL7, we dealt with messaging in asynchronous mode. But the FHIR standards, we are moving from the messaging world?

eHealth Pathology Report and eHealth Diagnostic Imaging Report - My Health Record Conformance Profile now available

Created on Friday, 18 March 2016
The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has published updates to the following specifications.
The consent management section of these conformance profiles (Section 3.4) has been rewritten to better reflect implementation requirements as a result of feedback from early adopters. Section 3.5 has updates to record keeping requirements to allow greater flexibility in how records are kept.
The related template package libraries and the template package directory have been updated to refer to the new versions of the conformance profiles.

Thousands at risk of unfairly losing welfare benefits because of "no jab no pay"

Date March 14, 2016 - 6:44PM

Julia Medew

Health Editor

Thousands of Australians are at risk of having their welfare payments unfairly slashed because of inaccuracies in Australia's immunisation register, which is being used to process the Turnbull government's new "no jab, no pay" rules, health care workers say.
There are also fears that children are receiving unnecessary vaccinations, or doses at times when they shouldn't be because of errors in the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR), and problems with how GPs and nurses upload information onto the database.
While the government plans to save $500 million through its new policy of cutting welfare payments for families whose children are not fully vaccinated, immunisation policy expert Julie Leask said research suggested 18 to 50 per cent of children who are listed as not fully vaccinated on the register, may in fact be fully vaccinated. A previous audit of records in Western Australia also pointed to this problem.

Human Services Dept renews $484m contract with IBM

news The Department of Human Services (DHS) has renewed a contract with IBM for the delivery of new technology that is aimed to drive new products and services.
The deal, worth $484m over five years, “will enable the DHS to realign hardware, software and services to critical areas of need”, Alan Tudge, Minister for Human Services, said in a statement. “This will ultimately achieve savings for the taxpayer while delivering better outcomes for Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support recipients.”
The department’s investment is aimed to provide better IT services for the millions of Australians that a range of DHS online services for payments.

Sneaky health apps share private information

15 March 2016
MANY diabetes apps collect and share patients’ private information without their knowledge, US researchers warn.
An analysis of 211 Android diabetes apps has found 81% don’t have privacy policies. Of the 19% with a privacy policy, most of them state that they share user data with third parties without seeking express permission from the user.
Data collected by diabetes apps includes insulin and blood glucose levels, usually captured by tracking cookies.
“Patients might mistakenly believe that health information entered into an app is private (particularly if the app has a privacy policy), but that is generally not the case,” the researchers write in a letter to JAMA.

Scalextric experiment paves way for willpower-driven wheelchair

  • Tom Whipple
  • The Times
  • March 15, 2016 9:45AM
How do you revamp a toy designed for a 1950s world where simulating a racetrack involved two small plastic cars on rails, and where the only power you had was to make them go fast or slow? Well, you make it mind-controlled, of course.
Engineers at Warwick University have built a Scalextric set on which the speed of the cars is determined by an electrode on your skull that measures how relaxed you are.
While mind-controlled slot car racing may not be the first application that springs to mind for such technology, and while trying to make a toy Le Mans car go fast may not seem like an obvious relaxation therapy, that is not really the issue. The point is more to show that the technology works, is not prohibitively expensive — and could soon be applied to uses such as wheelchairs for paralysed people.

3D ‘dementia-friendly home’ app to assist carers and empower people living with dementia

Wednesday 16 March 2016
The Dementia-Friendly Home app has been launched by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic today. Using interactive 3D game technology Unreal Engine, the tablet app provides carers with ideas to make their home more accessible for people living with dementia.
Maree McCabe CEO Alzheimer’s Australia Vic said most people are not aware that people with dementia may experience spatial and visual challenges as well as the more commonly understood memory issues.
“Changes in the brain can impact on day to day functions and potentially confuse people living with dementia. Identifying ways the home and environment can be modified to ameliorate any challenges will make a difference to the person living with dementia,” Ms McCabe said.

Game tech applied to making homes 'dementia-friendly'

"There's an app for that" is a cliche, and the phrase "ageing population" often turns up in political discourse. But even if there's a person with dementia in your family, would you have thought of an app that can make their home more accessible for them?
Launched by Alzheimer's Australia Vic, the Dementia-Friendly Home app uses the Unreal Engine interactive 3D game technology Unreal Engine provides carers with ideas to make their home more accessible for people living with dementia.
Alzheimer's Australia Vic CEO Maree McCabe pointed out that people with dementia may experience spatial and visual challenges as well as memory issues.


A ‘digital health’ industry is taking shape

By Tim Kelsey, Strategy & Commercial Director, Telstra Health | 2016-03-15
Healthcare around the world is characterised by fragmented and complex systems, but the sector is changing as technology opens up new ways to tackle critical challenges like ageing populations, chronic disease and stretched budgets.
Last year, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, a Japanese life sciences company, and its US-based partner Proteus Digital Health applied for regulatory approval of an anti-depressant drug incorporating an ingestible sensor. The sensor will measure how patients keep to their prescriptions, and the treatment’s effects, the data being transmitted to care providers. If approved, it will mark the first mass-market commercialization of a ‘smart pill’, and will be an important manifestation of the promise of digital health. 
This is just one example of the numerous alliances being forged between health and life sciences organisations and technology companies. Healthcare providers are emerging as active practitioners of digital partnering. 

Why we need to get over the Medicare Locals disappointment

Many people are still getting over the disappointment of Medicare Locals. I get that. Although some MLs were able to make a difference, too many were not. The new Primary Health Networks (PHNs) may be a different kettle of fish. One thing is for sure: they are here for the long haul.
There is an enormous opportunity for PHNs to add value where they support quality primary healthcare services to the community. For that reason the RACGP is keen to work with the new organisations. I believe there are at least three areas where grassroots support from local PHNs can make a big difference.

Working together

The first area is relationship building and teamwork. We all know there are too many silos and tribes in healthcare. On the other hand, long-term relationships positively influence knowledge exchange, understanding and trust.

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Friday, March 11, 2016

Australia’s digital revolution begins in Brisbane hospital

Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital has become Australia’s first public digital hospital, heralding a revolution in the way healthcare will be delivered in Queensland.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick today announced that implementation of the digital hospital project was successfully underway.
“This digital hospital project will transform healthcare delivery in Queensland and allow clinicians to focus on the patient, not paperwork,” he said.
“This means improved safety and quality of care for patients and faster treatment to get them home sooner.”

Using digital technologies to tackle chronic pain for rural Australians

March 17, 2016
Digital online systems are being used more widely to assist remote, rural and regional Australian access medical help. Babs McHugh speaks with Red Witham, a chronic pain sufferer, on his experiences, Dr Helen Slater about the painHEALTH online resource in WA and Jenni Johnson on an online program in NSW.
Babs McHugh
Source: ABC Rural | Duration: 4min 17sec

Government Ignores Flaws In E-Health Push.

15 Mar 2016
The Federal Government is pushing ahead with mass trials of its My Health Record e-health system despite concerns that fundamental shortcomings are yet to be addressed.
Health Minister Sussan Ley has announced that the personal health information of more than one million people will be automatically uploaded to the internet from July as part of a large-scale test of My Health Record prior to a nationwide roll-out of the scheme.
Under the plan, 700,000 people living in North Queensland Primary Health Network (PHN) and 360,000 covered by the Nepean Blue Mountains PHN in western Sydney, will have until the end of June to opt-out or have a digital health record containing details of their health status, medicines and allergies automatically created and uploaded to the system.

Telstra backs out of $1b Philippines wireless joint venture

Telstra has abandoned its negotiations with San Miguel over forming a wireless joint venture in the Philippines.
By Corinne Reichert | March 13, 2016 -- 23:17 GMT (10:17 AEDT) | Topic: Telcos
Telstra has cited the lack of an acceptable "risk-reward balance" as the reason for abandoning negotiations with Filipino giant San Miguel Corporation over a $1 billion equity investment in a wireless joint venture in the Philippines.
Telstra said the two companies were "unable to reach commercial arrangements" over the joint venture, announced at the end of last year, to form a wireless provider.
San Miguel, which generates approximately 6.2 percent of the Philippines' GDP through its infrastructure, fuel, oil, power, and mining, food, and beverage business, would have been its partner in the joint venture.

NBN needs radical rethink

17 March 2016 | There are calls for the network to revert to an all-fibre NBN for future-proofing.

Network problems

Last updated: 17th March 2016
The plan for the national broadband network (NBN) needs a radical overhaul and should revert back to an all-fibre network, according to Internet Australia (IA), the peak body representing internet users. 
IA delivered the blunt message that the national network should deploy fibre and just do it now at last week's hearing of the NBN Senate Select Committee, which is investigating the NBN.

Nbn™ leaks question viability of multi-tech NBN

It comes after a series of leaked documents show that expanding the use of high-speed fibre is now a cost-effective option for the national broadband network (NBN). It raises questions about the viability of the current network that is repurposing technically inferior copper and pay TV cables and linking to fibre at nodes, at significant cost. 

Computer's Go victory is a warning about the AI in our lives

Date March 17, 2016 - 8:35AM

Nello Cristianini

The victory of a computer over one of the world's strongest players of the game Go has been hailed by many as a landmark event in artificial intelligence. But why? After all, computers have beaten us at games before, most notably in 1997 when the computer Deep Blue triumphed over chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov.
We can get a hint of why the Go victory is important, however, by looking at the difference between the companies behind these game-playing computers. Deep Blue was the product of IBM, which was back then largely a hardware company. But the software – AlphaGo – that beat Go player Lee Sedol was created by DeepMind, a branch of Google based in the UK specialising in machine learning.
AlphaGo's success wasn't because of so-called "Moore's law", which states that computer processor speed doubles roughly every two years. Computers haven't yet become powerful enough to calculate all the possible moves in Go – which is much harder to do than in chess. Instead, DeepMind's work was based on carefully deploying new machine-learning methods and integrating them within more standard game-playing algorithms. Using vast amounts of data, AlphaGo has learnt how to focus its resources where they are most needed, and how to do a better job with those resources.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Regarding the latest article denigrating EPAS - journalists trot out the same old click bait phrases and regurgitate the same story over and over - it's old news and incorrect in many aspects.
Perhaps look at the latest issue of medicSA for a balanced article on EPAS. I'm guessing the newspapers and scaremongers will not pick up that story or if they do they will ignore the bulk of the balanced and positive comments.
The amount of biased and downright incorrect information printed about this implementation has completed destroyed my confidence in most journalist and publications.