Monday, August 15, 2016

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 15th August, 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 a busy fortnight  and lots of headlines to follow up. I hope you enjoy the browse!

Appointment of CEO for the Australian Digital Health Agency

Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, has announced the appointment of Mr Tim Kelsey as the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Digital Health Agency which is responsible for all national digital health services and systems.
 Page last updated: 01 August 2016
1 August 2016
Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, today announced the appointment of Mr Tim Kelsey as the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Digital Health Agency which is responsible for all national digital health services and systems, with a focus on engagement, innovation and clinical quality and safety. 
“Most importantly, the new Agency is the system operator for the Government’s recently launched My Health Record System which is a secure, online summary of people’s health information that can be shared with doctors, hospitals and healthcare providers with the permission of patients. This gives people more control of their health and care and with access to new digital apps and online services the Australian community is benefiting from the modern information revolution,” Minister Ley said.

Can UK digital whizz resurrect eHealth?

By Marie Sansom on August 3, 2016
The new agency responsible for e-health records has secured the services of the man who oversaw the design of a new digital health strategy for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).
Tim Kelsey, who was the first National Director for Patients and Information in NHS England, will head up the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA), which came into being on July 1 this year.
He will lead national digital health in Australia, including resuscitating the troubled My Health Record system, where patient’s health records are shared between doctors, hospitals, healthcare providers and specialists, with permission from patients.
Kelsey’s CV shows a long-term commitment to transparency and forcing up healthcare quality by using data for public good but he has also been embroiled in some controversy in the past.

Australia hires former head of controversial UK plan

Tim Kelsey to head new Digital Health Agency

3 Aug 2016 at 23:22, Richard Chirgwin
The Australian government's love affair with digitisation experts from the United Kingdom continues, with former National Health Service (NHS) digital head Tim Kelsey made boss of the antipodean Digital Health Agency (successor to the National e-Health Transition Agency).
The leave moves Telstra Health shy a director, since that was Kelsey's destination when he announced his resignation from the NHS in September 2015.
Kelsey quit the NHS after several years in charge of its highly-controversial program, an data sharing operation that was criticised as privacy-invasive.
In 2014, he went on the record saying that “"no one who uses a public service should be allowed to opt out of sharing their records. Nor can people rely on their record being anonymised.”

Editorial: Census disaster dents trust in digital future

The Editor, The Courier-Mail
August 11, 2016 12:00am
A FUNNY thing about Australians is how cheerfully willing they are to participate in collective governance.
The unfunny thing is when that goodwill is completely shattered by something like the debacle of the 2016 Census.
Despite a slew of conspiracy theories about how our deepest secrets would be stolen by the new computerised Census, millions of people gave up their Tuesday evenings, their dinners, their TV shows, their homework supervision, their bedroom rituals, to sit down and fill in a form. That’s not typical of national responses to bureaucracy – the US has (usually largely ineffectually) to prod its citizens to even vote.
All those Australians trying to participate in the Census were rewarded by hours of frustration and of stress about the consequences of not completing that form.

#FHIR is 5 years old today

Posted on August 11, 2016 by Grahame Grieve
Unofficial FHIR project historian Rene Sponk has pointed out that it’s exactly 5 years to the day since I posted the very first draft of what became FHIR:
Five years, on August 18th 2011 to be precise, Grahame Grieve published the initial version of FHIR (known as RFH at the time) on his website. The date of the initial version was August 11th – which is the reason for this post today. Congratulations to all involved for helping to create a success – FHIR has gained a lot of interest over the past few years, and a normative version will be published in the near future.
Wow. 5 years! Who would have thought that we’d end up where we are? I really didn’t expect much at all when I first posted RfH back then:

#GottaCureEmAll – Pokemon GO teaches healthcare a big lesson

August 1, 2016
If we can believe what we are seeing, Pokemon GO is the world’s most effective, and most widespread, population weight loss intervention. Already, its users spend more time on the game than on other wildly popular mainstream social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. Over the space of a few weeks, it has prompted millions of children and teens to get off the couch, turn off Netflix, leave the laptop in their bedroom, and walk out into the world to breath the fresh air. More than a few adults have done the same.
Healthcare should pay attention. While healthcare researchers are slowly coming to grips with ‘new’ ideas like gamification and social media to defeat obesity, the game industry has jumped the queue and may have already done it. Silicon valley has drawn down on its deep well of expertise in building large and complex software systems, and in embedding such systems into the real world. They have drawn on their deep experience with and understanding of the psychology of online social media, of what makes games ‘fun’, and what makes them ‘sticky’.

Australia’s digital divide is leaving the rural community behind

JIM GALL, The Weekly Times
August 11, 2016 12:00am
THE recent experience of yet another drawn-out, clunky and non-transparent voting process to decide Australia’s 45th parliament has reminded me just how antiquated this country is in respect to our collection and management of data.
If Australia were run like a commercial business with even a modicum of marketing expertise, the election process would be simple, fast, transparent and educative for both candidates and voters.
The Australian Electoral Commission could send out an Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) to the electorate via their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database with a live link to the AEC website profiling candidates in every electorate.

Planning for privacy in health research

Australia August 8 2016
Information is critical to the conduct of health and medical research. Much of the time the information relates to individuals. Higher education institutions regularly collect, use, disclose and hold information, including health information, for research purposes. The richness and availability of information sources for research purposes, including digital data from the public domain, together with the ease with which data can cross jurisdictions, and the ability to mine and analyse it, all require researchers and human research ethics committees (HRECs) to engage directly with a complex range of multi-jurisdictional privacy obligations.
The challenges are even more onerous when health information is involved as it is considered to be more sensitive than other personal information (and is legally defined as such ). It is therefore afforded a higher degree of protection, which means there are more stringent obligations on individuals and entities who collect health information for research purposes. However privacy legislation also makes special provisions to permit the use of personal information in health and medical research where the public interest in the research activities substantially outweighs the public interest in the protection of privacy.
This article provides a recap of the privacy framework that applies to health information that is collected for research purposes and offers some practical insights into preparing for and managing privacy issues.
11 August, 2016

At $42.50 per keystroke, ePIP’s EMR incentive might just bite

Posted by Jeremy Knibbs
Medical Director’s ePIP tool simplifies the new ePIP incentive so much you can earn about $42.50 for each tap of your keyboard
According to Medical Director’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Andrew Magennis, it takes only 200  keystrokes  per quarter for a  GP practice to earn the new ePIP incentive using Medical Director’s new ePIP tool.
In May, ePIP switched focus from practices having the communications capability to upload shared health summaries to them actually sending them to the MyHealthRecord (MHR) database. A practice can earn up to $50,000 per year if they send up to 0.5% of their SWPE (standardised whole patient equivalent) count in shared health summaries to the MHR database per quarter over one year.

Brain-controlled robots and VR help paraplegic patients feel and move limbs again

The team behind the Walk Again Project wanted to teach paralyzed patients how to walk using robotic leg supports, but the results were much better than they expected.
By Kelly McSweeney for Robotics | August 12, 2016 -- 19:01 GMT (05:01 AEST) |
When the Walk Again Project was founded in 2013, an international consortium of scientists had an ambitious goal to teach paraplegic patients to walk using a brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton. But a year into the study, they were surprised to discover that the results were even better than they could have imagined: the patients could feel and move their legs again.
It's hard to say exactly which aspect of the therapy is responsible for the remarkable recovery, because the project involved a combination of three different setups. Additionally, the study only involved a small sample of eight patients. A comprehensive clinical trial will be necessary in the future, but the results are still quite ground breaking nonetheless.
All of the patients had been previously diagnosed as being completely paraplegic, but after long-term therapy with brain machine interfaces (BMIs), they all showed some improvement. After several years of being paralyzed, patients could feel and sometimes even move their limbs again. The treatment also improved bladder and bowel functions. One year after the start of the project, half of the patients recovered enough sensation and muscle control that their doctors upgraded their diagnoses from complete to partial paralysis.

Webinar: Designing a workflow for registering patients for a My Health Record

Created on Tuesday, 09 August 2016
You are invited to attend a new webinar brought to you by the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency), and the Australian Association of Practice Managers (AAPM). This webinar is designed to provide targeted information and training on the My Health Record system to practice staff.
This webinar will take place on Friday 19 August, 1:00pm - 1:45pm AEST.
The webinar will cover the following:
  1. Design a practice system for registering new and existing patients
  2. Share success stories from other practices
  3. Create a practice-specific dialogue for registering patients
  4. Identify privacy and access restrictions for administration staff
  5. Discuss policies, consent, and standards appropriate to My Health Record

Doctor 'TripAdvisor' bothers AMA

29 July, 2016 
A rate-my-doctor website, dubbed the 'TripAdvisor' of healthcare, has been welcomed by the federal government but met with caution from doctors.
Private health insurers Bupa and HBF have agreed to join the Whitecoat doctor directory and customer review website founded by rival nib - expanding its reach to about six million privately insured Australians.
The health funds say Whitecoat will promote competition and improve transparency among high-charging doctors.

Hospitals line up to receive notorious SA health software

By Paris Cowan on Aug 4, 2016 12:21PM

Minister reveals future EPAS sites.

South Australia’s Health Minister Jack Snelling has revealed the list of hospitals next in line to receive the notorious EPAS patient records system under the state’s $421 million metropolitan rollout.
Despite the headaches caused by the electronic patient administration system (EPAS) over the past five years, Snelling told budget estimates this week he was confident the installation at the Lyell McEwin Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide’s suburbs would “probably go pretty smoothly”.
His comments come despite a concession that the health department will almost certainly have to go back to the state treasury in coming years to beg for more money to complete the late-running project.

SA govt settles unlicensed software lawsuit

By Paris Cowan on Aug 4, 2016 4:20PM

Vendor agrees to renew licences rather than go to trial.

The South Australian government has managed to resolve its differences with hospital software provider Global Health, preventing a potentially messy Supreme Court trial set down for the end of this year.
The state has been locked in a legal spat with the Australian distributor of a legacy patient administration solution known as CHIRON since last year, over the health department's refusal to stop using the 1980s, out-of-license software in at least a dozen regional public hospitals. 
SA Health is the only remaining user of the long-unsupported product, and the vendor has complained that the continued installation represents an unwanted drain in its Australian resources.

MedsASSIST hits two million recorded transactions

Monitoring system for medicines containing codeine has reached a significant milestone

More than two million transactions involving OTC medicines containing codeine have been recorded by pharmacists participating in the MedsASSIST program, reports the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
And about 65% of community pharmacies have used MedsASSIST since its national roll out in March, says the organisation.
MedsASSIST is a real-time recording and monitoring system for medicines containing codeine, which was developed by the Pharmacy Guild in response to concerns about patient safety.

What do we do with all this patient-generated health data?

3 August 2016
GEORGE ORWELL would be amused. Modern technology is watching us even more than he predicted — every step we make, every pill we take, every time we wake. And we can’t get enough.
Over one-fifth of Australians now track their health using a wearable device, and almost one-third with mobile phone apps. 
The trend is part of a larger shift towards patients wanting a more collaborative role in their healthcare, says Melbourne GP Dr Nathan Pinskier, who chairs the RACGP’s ehealth expert committee. 

Outpatients’ telehealth program is saving time and money

on August 8, 2016 at 11:20 am
Senior Physiotherapist, Stephanie Carroll, walks us through the successful trial of a telehealth program being used in the Post Arthroplasty Review (PAR) clinic at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne (SVHM).
SVHM is responsible for approximately 700 joint replacements a year with each of these patients requiring routine reviews for up to ten years post surgery. SVHM provides an Elective Surgery Access Service (ESAS) which offers surgery to patients that have endured long wait times elsewhere. Often patients are required to travel long distances to attend their review appointments.
In 2008, a physiotherapy review clinic led by Advanced Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists (AMP) was established to assist with the increasing number of reviews traditionally completed by orthopaedic surgeons.

MyHealth Record limited by quality of GPs’ e-records

Antony Scholefield | 2 August, 2016 | 
We keep hearing about the potential of the Federal Government’s MyHealth Record system, but a GP researcher has warned it will always be limited by the quality of GP software.
According to Dr Graeme Miller (pictured), medical director at the University of Sydney’s Family Medicine Research Centre, MyHealth Record had to be “dropped to the lowest common denominator” to accommodate low-quality systems.
In a bid to boost the system, the Sydney GP is calling for the government or the RACGP to introduce minimum standards for practice-based e-health record systems.
Dr Miller has co-written a policy brief for the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research — a think tank that aims to develop objective publications on evidence-based health policy for policymakers — advocating the move.

The “Uber-isation” of healthcare in Australia

  • Martin Kopp
  • The Australian
  • 11:35AM August 3, 2016
Australia’s healthcare industry is on the cusp of its “Uber moment”.
Smartphones, health apps, and wearables empower users to take more control of their health, and make better informed decisions. The days of simply tracking the number of steps taken have been replaced by analysis of blood glucose levels, heart signals, and automated reminders telling us to do more exercise. The list of new capabilities goes on.
Massive change is also underway in the healthcare industry. Vast stores of data can be mined to tailor treatments to better suit individual patients, and in some instances the cost of analysis and care have fallen dramatically. For instance, the cost of sequencing a human genome is US$99 — down from a cost of US$2billion the first time it was achieved.
Among researchers and life sciences companies, the understanding of genetics and genomics — and how they drive health, disease and drug response in each person — is advancing each day. This gives medical professionals insight into better disease prevention and enables more accurate diagnoses, safer drug prescriptions, and more effective treatments.

Healthcare industry embracing the digital workspace

VMware says the digital workplace, or digital workspace, is making a big impact on the healthcare sector
Stuart Corner (Computerworld) 09 August, 2016 13:17
VMware says the digital workplace, or digital workspace, is making a big impact on the healthcare sector.
The terms ‘digital workplace’ and ‘digital workspace’ might appear synonymous, but Sumit Dhawan, senior VP and GM of desktop products at VMware, makes a very clear distinction. Digital workplace, he says is simply an acknowledgement of the fact that a person’s workplace is no longer a fixed location, but whatever physical location they are working, thanks to digital technology.
Digital workspace, on the other hand, is the umbrella term for all the technologies that make the digital workplace a reality.

Instant digital medical records for every Australian: the future is almost here

Published: 02 August 2016

It’s the sensible step that will make every visit to the doctor a whole lot easier.

With the aim of no longer having to chase up records or re-order expensive tests, Medicare is looking to have a new online database that that will keep all your health records in one place.
The plan to digitize all medical records for Medicare patients is called My Health Record. It’s seen as a huge leap forward in patient care. Doctors and specialists will be able to access your health information from a single location.
The measure means your complete medical history will be on record, including things like all prescription medications, blood tests, scans results, and organ donor preference.
In an emergency, it could mean doctors will be able to make quick, more accurate decisions based on specific health history, even if the patient is unconscious and there’s not an immediate family member to speak to.
1 August, 2016

Courses to raise digital awareness for doctors

Posted by julie lambert
The Health Informatics Society of Australia is offering a suite of new, self-paced online training courses for doctors to learn about the rapid technological changes overtaking the profession
Former society chair David Rowlands, who has developed the courses, stressed the goal was digital awareness rather than academic rigour.
“It’s about telling clinicians that they are now in a digital business, and in a hyper-connected world there are things you need to know.  Otherwise, mistakes can proliferate as quickly as good things can,” he told The Medical Republic.
“We are trying to raise awareness of key stumbling points and the critical success factors in digital health.”
2 August, 2016

Planets start aligning for GP telemedicine

Posted by Jeremy Knibbs  
Telemedicine and tele-consultations might be set for a boom as the technology, commercial interest and doctor acceptance all start to kick in
GPs appear to be shifting their views on  tele-consultations with the technology being identified as the second most important technology that can help them improve patient outcomes in a survey released by Medical Director last week.
The only technology with greater immediate potential, was online booking services and appointment kiosks, with more than 30% of GPs saying this ranked as the No1 technology to engage with, closely followed by telemedicine on 24.65%.

At $6000 a pair talking glasses give hope to the blind

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM August 1, 2016

Rachel Baxendale

Retired teacher Harry Simon, 71, is heartbroken that blindness has robbed him of the ability to read to his four grandchildren, but new technology in the form of a ­wearable text-to-speech device may change that.
The OrCam device consists of a tiny camera and speakers attached to a pair of glasses, ­enabling the wearer to recognise faces and banknotes, or read a newspaper or menu simply by pointing a finger.
Mr Simon tried the glasses for the first time last week at the Royal Society for the Blind Canberra’s annual adaptive technology expo. He said they had the potential to significantly improve his life, giving him the freedom to receive information without ­having to go through the cumbersome process of scanning things with a smartphone text-to-audio app, or with a machine he has at home.

Zebra Technologies: refine traditional asset management to digitise healthcare

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM August 2, 2016

Supratim Adhikari

Healthcare is shaping up as the next frontier for digital technology, but that doesn’t mean we have to reinvent the wheel, according to Zebra Technologies’ senior technology director Wayne Harper.
While Australian healthcare is making strides towards digitalisation, Mr Harper says there’s room for improvement, especially when it comes to the quality and ­efficiency of patient care.
His solution is to repurpose the concepts refined for traditional asset management and make them applicable to the healthcare sector.
“It’s all technology that exists today, it’s proven and used in the enterprise and can be really useful in the healthcare space,” Mr Harper said.

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