This weekly blog is to explore the news around the larger issues around Digital Health, data security, data privacy, AI / ML. technology, social media and related matters.
I will also try to highlight ADHA Propaganda when I come upon it.
Just so we keep count, the latest Notes from the ADHA Board were dated 6 December, 2018 and we have seen none since! Its pretty sad!
Note: Appearance here is not to suggest I see any credibility or value in what follows. I will leave it to the reader to decide what is worthwhile and what is not! The point is to let people know what is being said / published that I have come upon.
Govt unveils $1.2B digital package
6 May 2021
The federal government will spend $500 million on “enhancing” myGov and My Health Record as part of a $1.2 billion funding package aiming to position digital at the centre of Australia’s economy.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday morning announced the significant spending, which will feature in next week’s federal budget. The new money is on top of the $1 billion provided in the October budget six months ago.
The funding package also includes new spending for the Consumer Data Right, digital skills training, tech graduates programs and an expansion of the Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund.
The Morrison government has unveiled a $1.2 billion digital package
Govt to establish $50m national AI centre
6 May 2021
A new $50 million National Artificial Intelligence Centre will be established within CSIRO and $34 million will be provided to projects using AI to address national challenges as part of a federal budget funding package.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday morning unveiled a $1.2 billion digital spending package that will be included in next week’s budget, including $124 million for AI research and grants.
But industry leaders have said this figure should be twice as much, and more needs to be done to ensure the growth of the AI sector in Australia.
The govt will establish a National AI Centre
Next week’s budget will include $53.8 million over four years to establish the National Artificial Intelligence Centre which will coordinate Australia’s AI expertise and capabilities and drive adoption of the technology.
Mr Morrison said this centre will lay the foundation for a local AI and digital ecosystem, and encourage businesses to adopt new technologies.
It will be located within CSIRO’s Data61, and will coordinate AI expertise and capabilities, address barriers that SMEs face in adopting the technology and work on developing AI.
Digital health opportunities in aged care
May 3, 2021 | Nursing & Midwifery Informatics
Nurses working in the aged care sector were anxious for the release of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety report late last year, given the knowledge that this sector is well behind in the use and application of technology and has no clear information and communications technology strategy.
Clinicians working in this sector have not been able to access the right data in a timely manner to support and inform quality care, and clients and carers have been unable to locate relevant information to support their access to care services. Reliable data is integral to informing and evaluating care delivery and supporting the adoption of improved models of care and new technologies. The nursing workforce has been the main contributor to the data collected in this sector, having the additional burden of ensuring the data is high quality, comprehensive, and complete, and the information, knowledge, and wisdom derived from the data is used effectively in decision making and activities for continuous improvement. Compounding this is the increased expectation for higher digital health capability in aged care nurses.
The aged care nursing workforce needs to operate in a technology-enabled environment for efficient clinical, business and operational systems so that person-centred care is enabled. Secure use of data throughout the system and solutions to reduce the administrative burden of data collection are long overdue. Real-time or near real-time data collection and sharing at the frontline of care delivery is also needed, at the governance level for the organisation and amongst organisations when a client is transferred between care provider / clinicians. Lastly, the variable use of digital record keeping for clinical and administrative information management, including My Health Record, need to be consolidated with enhanced system integration/interoperability to reduce duplication and risk of errors.
Despite the report highlighting the need for greater transparency in aged care and the knowledge that digital tools and technology have the potential to transform the aged care system both in the home and in residential aged care facilities, less than ten of the 124 recommendations mention digital health or related concepts such as data and information governance.
The present structure of aged care providers – essentially separate individual predominantly private operators – does not encourage sharing of ideas or improvements. The recommended Aged Care Research and Innovation Fund will provide the much needed funding for innovation, and being government funded, any new innovations and developments will be available to all market stakeholders.
ACIC believes there's no legitimate reason to use an encrypted communication platform
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has said an encrypted communication platform is not something a law-abiding member of the community would use.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) believes there is no legitimate reason for a law-abiding member of the community to own or use an encrypted communication platform.
"These platforms are used almost exclusively by SOC [serious and organised crime] groups and are developed specifically to obscure the identities of the involved criminal entities and enable avoidance of detection by law enforcement," the ACIC declared. "They enable the user to communicate within closed networks to facilitate highly sophisticated criminal activity".
Consistency, at least: Cops are the only ones being lawful on the dark web, AFP declares
The comments were made in a submission [PDF] to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) as part of its inquiry into the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020.
Australia plans to become a leading digital economy by 2030
$1.6 billion investment includes a new National AI Centre, support for digital skills, and enhanced cyber security
by: Zach Marzouk
7 May 2021
The Australian government is investing almost $1.2 billion AUD (£670 million) in its digital future as part of its strategy to transform the country into a modern and leading digital economy by 2030.
The investment, through its Digital Economy Strategy, includes over $100 million to support digital skills, including a pilot programme for work-based digital cadetships that allow workers to build digital skills, investments in the cyber workforce, and scholarships for emerging technology graduates.
The government is also launching a National Artificial Intelligence Centre through a $124.1 million investment, which will be supported by a network of AI and Digital Capability Centres to drive adoption of AI across the economy.
“This transformation is not merely a national one that needs to happen – it’s a global one that is happening,” said prime minister Scott Morrison. “We must keep our foot on the digital accelerator to secure our economic recovery from COVID-19.”
NSW govt unveils data breach notification bill
By Justin Hendry on May 7, 2021 1:31PM
After more than two years of consultation.
The NSW government has published an exposure draft of its long-awaited bill for mandatory data breach notifications, specifying reporting thresholds ahead of the introduction of the scheme.
The exposure draft [pdf], which is open for consultation until June 18, follows more than two years of work by the Communities and Justice and Customer Service departments and the privacy commissioner.
NSW became the first state or territory to pledge to introduce such a scheme in February 2020, more than five years after former privacy commissioner Elizabeth Coombs first called for the change.
The Privacy and Personal Information Protection Amendment Bill intends to fill the gap left by the Commonwealth’s notifiable data breach scheme, which applies to federal government agencies but not state government agencies or local councils.
Opinion: Hi-tech warfare leaves Australia vulnerable
Australia’s connection points to the global internet are vulnerable in this era of concern about increased hi-tech warfare. Undersea cables essentially carry all of the data to and from the country – without them, we go dark losing internet, phone, or other means to connect. Hardly anyone knows this.
While satellites offer some redundancy, it is only a tiny amount of data capability and will not be useful to us beyond a few strategic military and Government users. This makes submarine cables the kind of target hostile nations like China are looking at as they up the ante on grey zone warfare.
Cables are tough, but their locations are well known and unchangeable. Cutting cables by an undersea robotic vehicle is doable and it would be an act of war if committed by a Government agency or its proxies. But it can hardly be responded to conventionally, in the way a missile attack would be addressed.
Earlier this year, China deployed its latest grey zone warfare weapon against Taiwan – the sand dredger. These mammoth ships scoop vast amounts of sand from the Matsu Islands ocean bed for Chinese construction projects, sparking concern for Australia. For Taiwan, this has forced around-the-clock patrols, intimidated Matsu residents, destroyed marine life, and, critically, damaged undersea cables.
Tech Savvy Seniors: myGov and My Health Record
Mon May 10 2021 at 09:30 am to 11:15 am UTC+10:00
TRC Disaster Coordination Centre | East Barron
Publisher/HostTablelands Libraries ADHA Propaganda
· Learn how to use myGov and My Health Record to access key government services and keep your health information safe, secure and organised.
are essential. Phone 4089 2247.
Participants are required to bring their own laptop or device. If you are not able to do so, please phone is (4089 2247) for alternative options.
· This course will be delivered over 4 sessions. You must be able to commit to the entire course to participate.
regulations will apply at this event. If you are experiencing cold or flu
symptoms, please do not attend the class.
Tech Savvy Seniors QLD is a partnership between the Queensland Government, State Library of Queensland and Telstra.
TRC Disaster Coordination Centre, East Barron, Australia
Enhancing Government Service Delivery
Digital technology is changing how Australians and businesses interact with government.
The Government is investing in its own digital service delivery to enhance the services it provides to Australians and to save them time and hassle, committing:
- $200.1 million to enhance myGov to deliver a simpler and more tailored experience for Australians based on their preferences and interactions
- $301.8 million to enhance the My Health Record system, adding support for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, connecting Residential Aged Care Facilities and connecting specialists in private practice and delivering improved telehealth, emerging virtual healthcare initiatives and digitised support across all stages of healthcare. ADHA Propaganda
Streamlined and simpler myGov
The Government is enhancing myGov. The system, which was established in 2013, is the main portal for Australians to access government services online and is currently used by nearly 20 million Australians.
The changes to myGov will deliver a simpler and more tailored experience for Australians based on their preferences and interactions, through streamlined and enhanced digital delivery of the government services they need. The time saved alone from these enhancements is estimated to generate benefits across the economy totalling $3.6 billion over 10 years.
myGov enhancements will include:
- an advanced service dashboard and document upload functionality to allow people to view and manage their upcoming payments, claims, debt status and activities all in one place, saving people time and hassle
- a digital assistant and notification
functionality, making it easier for Australians to find the services that
meet their needs, whether that be seeking childcare providers or disaster
My Health Record
My Health Record is Australia's best-connected clinical information system, providing health care providers with vital information for patients at the point of care.
The Australian Government is working to reduce the reliance on paper-based records and to digitise information from primary healthcare providers, medical specialists, pathology, diagnostic imaging and allied health services. This will allow Australians to easily access more of their information through the enhanced My Health Record. This easy-to-use digital interface will provide an overview of all relevant aspects of a patient's healthcare history and medical information to better support them and their care.
The Government is investing to build the next wave of My Health Record which will:
- provide Australian's with their COVID-19 test result and immunisation status as well as receiving alert notifications about their COVID-19 vaccinations directly from the device of their choice
- connect a consumers My Health Record information with their Residential Aged Care Facility, delivering improvements in medication management and transitions of care between health care settings.
UnitingCare cyber attack claimed by notorious ransom gang REvil/Sodin
By Rory Callinan and staff
Posted 06 May, 2021
Hackers claiming responsibility for an attack on health and community care provider UnitingCare Queensland have been revealed as one of the most notorious cyber ransom gangs in the world.
- The hackers who claimed responsibility are REvil/Sodin
- They have apparently attacked major companies like Apple
- UnitingCare says there's no evidence patients' health and safety has been compromised
Last week, the Queensland healthcare provider fell victim to the cyber attack, which affected its hospitals and aged care homes.
It runs the Wesley and St Andrew's hospitals in Brisbane, St Stephen's Hospital in Hervey Bay and the Buderim Private Hospital on the Sunshine Coast, and dozens of aged care and disability services throughout the state.
A patient last week told the ABC they knew immediatly there was a problem when the wi-fi stopped working on April 25, then they noticed staff struggling with communication and accessing patient records.
The attack has led to UnitingCare Queensland being suspended from the national My Health Record system, which allows patients to view their records online.
Organisation behind Bay hospital still reeling after ‘cyber attack’
The healthcare provider has confirmed it was affected by a cyber attack. These are the steps that are still being taken.
Healthcare waves goodbye to bricks and mortar
Yolanda Redrup Reporter
May 5, 2021 – 11.08am
The healthcare sector is being tipped as the next industry to shift away from bricks and mortar, thanks to technological innovations that allow more services to be delivered digitally.
Speaking at the Macquarie Australia Conference on Wednesday, digital health experts said cloud-based technology enabled healthcare to be delivered at scale for the first time across both digital and live channels.
Key to the change was the use of technology to collect data from patients in their everyday lives, rather than via a visit to a general practitioner or hospital.
Co-founder of epilepsy diagnostic service Seer Medical, Dan Freestone, said the future of healthcare was “wrapping technologies around the clinical practice”, so patients received in-person clinical expertise supported by data that was collected in real-time at home.
The consolidated immunisation view displays details of a patient’s immunisations recorded in the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) and in any shared health summaries or event summaries in their record.
The view shows an immunisation history, including date, disease, vaccine details including batch number and vial serial number (when available), dose, source and a link to the source document.
The immunisation view is available via conformant clinical information systems and the National Provider Portal.
Clinical information systems
The consolidated immunisation view will be included in a patient’s My Health Record Document List available through your clinical information system.
Monday, 03 May 2021 12:52
Workers don’t report privacy issues: survey
A new study by ACA Research released by Mimecast shows that 21% of workers experienced a privacy incident last year and reveals that one in five (19%) did not report it to their employer. The proliferation of privacy issues, Mimecast cites, is due to the increased use of communication tools. The data suggests firms need to be tougher to make privacy a priority.
Coinciding with National Privacy Awareness Week (May 3-7), Mimecast released findings of an Australian-based survey by ACA Research, showing 21% of workers surveyed have experienced a privacy incident over the last year.
However, the data reveals that almost one in five (19%) respondents who experienced a privacy incident did not report it to their employer, with 38% of them stating they didn’t think it was that important when asked why.
Privacy incidents include emailing personal or confidential work information to the wrong recipient, falling victim to a malicious email that allowed unauthorised access to work systems or data, and losing devices containing personal information.
Australians want ongoing GP video telehealth services
Friday, 30 April, 2021
New research finds that 70% of Australians think GPs should offer video telehealth services permanently, with 44% saying they would switch GPs to one that offers the service.
Conducted by Pureprofile in partnership with Coviu, the research surveyed 1000 Australians nationwide to understand people’s satisfaction with current access to GPs and how the experience can be improved. With the use of telehealth becoming normalised as a result of COVID-19, Australians responded positively to the possibility of having ongoing telehealth options available to them.
“As a result of the pandemic, the potential of video telehealth was truly realised when it became essential for people to see their doctors safely. One silver lining of COVID-19 is how Australians have adopted telehealth as they experienced the many benefits first-hand,” Melbourne-based GP Dr Andrew Baird said. “This research reiterates how Australians are eager for their GPs to be more accessible by offering video telehealth as a standard option.”
Key research findings:
- 44% of Australians would switch GPs to one that offers video telehealth. This increases to 63% among adults aged 34–44 and 50% among those aged 18–34 years.
- 90% want telehealth to be billed at the same rate as in-person GP visits.
- 87% of patients who used video telehealth found the experience comparable to or better than an in-person consult.
- 90% of respondents stated that video telehealth helps save time and 67% said it makes health care more accessible.
- Consumer confidence in using video
telehealth for GP appointments was high, even among an older demographic,
with 67% of patients aged 55+ saying they were confident in using the
technology, compared to 74% aged 18–34 and 78% aged 34–54.
Privacy authorities urge greater vigilance amid rise in scams
By Josh Dye
May 3, 2021 — 5.00am
- Use a password manager and unique passwords for every website.
- Be careful what you publish on social media and review your privacy settings.
- Never put personal documents in the recycling bin.
- Enable two-factor authentication to make online accounts more secure.
- Never use public WiFi networks to conduct sensitive business such as banking.
State and federal privacy authorities are urging Australians to take stronger measures to protect their personal information after the number of scams exploded in the past year.
Almost 63,000 people reported a scam to the consumer watchdog in the first quarter of 2021, up 74 per cent on the same period last year.
The amount of money victims said they lost in the March quarter also jumped from $37.8 million in 2020 to $63 million this year, according to Scamwatch data.
Federal Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk is urging people to “make privacy a priority” as she launches Privacy Awareness Week on Monday.
Comments more than welcome!