Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Commentators and Journalists Weigh In On Digital Health And Related Privacy And Security Matters. Lots Of Interesting Perspectives - Week 36.

Note: I have excluded (or marked out) any commentary taking significant  funding from the Agency or the Department of Health on all this to avoid what amounts to paid propaganda. (e.g. CHF, RACGP, AMA, National Rural Health Alliance etc. where they were simply putting the ADHA line – viz. that the myHR is a wonderfully useful clinical development that will save huge numbers of lives at no risk to anyone – which is plainly untrue) (This signifies probable ADHA Propaganda)
Note: I have also broadened this section to try to cover all the privacy and security compromising and impacting announcements in the week – along with the myHR. It never seems to stop! Sadly social media platforms get a large run this week.

Connected care: protecting patient privacy and security

Eve Maler | 21 Mar 2019
After a delay to strengthen privacy and security protections, the expansion of the government’s centralised digital medical records system is complete. The rollout of My Health Record reflects a significant shift towards the digitisation of healthcare and Australia’s vision to make patient records more accessible. 
This has resulted in the creation of new opportunities to improve care across a range of health services. 
The possibilities, while endless, also open up a range of challenges regarding privacy and consent – challenges which nearly 300,000 Australians aren’t prepared to face, having opted out of the system by November 2018.
Connected but secure
Using digitised services ranging from online health records to remote monitoring tools such as wearables or apps, organisations are seeking to improve patient outcomes. 

Europe takes lead on big tech

The Economist
  • 12:00AM March 23, 2019
 “The birthday of a new world is at hand.” Ever since Thomas Paine penned those words in 1776, America has seen itself as the land of the new — and Europe as a continent stuck in the past.
Nowhere is that truer than in the tech industry. America is home to 15 of the world’s 20 most valuable tech firms, Europe has one.
Silicon Valley is where the brainiest ideas meet the smartest money. America is also where the debate rages loudly over how to tame the tech giants, so that they act in the public interest. Tech tycoons face roastings by congress for their firms’ privacy lapses. Elizabeth Warren, a senator who is running for president in 2020, wants Facebook to be broken up.
Yet if you want to understand where the world’s most powerful industry is heading, look not to Washington and California, but to Brussels and Berlin. In an inversion of the rule of thumb, while America dithers the European Union is acting.

Social media giants face regulation as publishers, not just postmen

The big stick of regulation on tech seems to be building up steam.
Max Mason Media & Marketing Editor
Mar 22, 2019 — 12.02pm
As vision of the New Zealand Prime Minister consoling members of the Islamic community and showing her country’s support and sorrow for the victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack was broadcast around the work last week, the 38-year old was already being mocked and slandered on social media.
As a sign of respect and unity, Jacinda Ardern wore a black headscarf as she visited the families of the victims of last Friday’s attack by an Australian white supremacist that killed 50 people at two New Zealand mosques.
On YouTube, people peppered a video of Ardern bringing what she described as a “message of love and support and grief of the people of New Zealand” with sexist and xenophobic comments.
Switch to Twitter and the New Zealand leader was described as "disgusting, fraudulent and nasty" – and that's one of the tamer of the misogynistic attacks on the politician who identifies as religiously agnostic.

Privacy and Security

A study finds that 79 percent of medication-related Android apps share user data, most commonly their device information, browsing history, and email address. Four apps were found to share medical conditions and six sent the user’s drug list. Recipients include social media companies and two private equity firms. The study notes that HealthEngine, Australia’s most popular medical appointment scheduling app, shares user information with personal injury law firms without providing an opt-out option.

ASX 200 not prepared for attacks

  • 12:57PM March 21, 2019
In a worrying sign of Australia’s cyber security preparedness, new research shows more than two thirds of ASX 200 companies have weak or non-existent anti-phishing email defences.
The research, from NASDAQ-listed security automation provider Rapid7, found that even the most mature and well-resourced ASX 200 organisations have trouble sufficiently deploying cybersecurity basics.
It found, on average, ASX 200 organisations expose a public attack surface of 29 servers or devices, with many companies exposing 200 or more.
21 March 2019

The data downside of those medical apps

Patients Technology
Posted by Penny Durham
Before you use a medical app or recommend one to a patient, consider that you are probably the product and not the consumer.
A study published in the British Medical Journal has found that popular health apps routinely share personal and medical information with third parties, and are hiding that activity from users.
An international team funded by the Sydney Policy Lab at the University of Sydney in partnership with the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, collected a sample of 24 top-rated or recommended medicines-related apps.
They simulated real-world use from an Australian perspective using dummy profiles, and used a tool designed to detect privacy leaks in Android apps that have been disguised through encryption or encoding.

Data sharing by popular health apps found to be ‘routine’

It is the type of information a doctor might need: Your age, sex, medical conditions, current symptoms, and a list of any drugs you take.
That is according to a new study, published on Thursday in the British Medical Journal, which found the sharing of user data from health-related mobile apps on the Android platform was routine and yet far from transparent.
Lead author Dr Quinn Grundy said health apps were a “booming market”, but one with many privacy failings.
The study follows a recent report from the Wall Street Journal which found several apps, including period tracker Flo Health, were sending sensitive user data – including weight, blood pressure and ovulation status – to Facebook.
“I think many of us would expect that this kind of data should be treated differently,” said Dr Grundy, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto.

My Health Record: One-on-one information sessions

17 April 2019 ADHA Propaganda
Learn how to link and navigate your My Health Record in this free, one-on-one session.
You are invited to attend a FREE one on one, 20-minute consultation to learn how to use your My Health Record with My Health Record Community Engagement Officer Kirsten Beckingham. Learn how to link and navigate your My Health Record.
Sessions will be running between 9am and 12pm. Bookings are essential, view sessions times and reserve a place online.
Please note, for confidentiality reasons we cannot sign you up to a myGov account or handle your personal information.

Google fined €1.49 billion for search ad blocks in third EU sanction

Search giant slapped with third fine
Reuters (Computerworld) 21 March, 2019 08:59
Google has been fined 1.49 billion euros (US$1.7 billion), its third large European Union antitrust penalty in two years marking the company's decade-long regulatory battle in Europe.
The EU antitrust chief, however, gave a cautious welcome to Google's measures to boost competition and give Android users a choice of browsers and search apps, suggesting the company's regulatory woes may be coming to an end.
The European Commission, which said the fine amounted to 1.29 percent of Google's turnover in 2018, said that the case focused on the company's illegal practises in search advertising brokering from 2006 to 2016.

Understanding My Health Record and Mental Health

ADHA Propaganda
North Coast Primary Health Network invites you to a dinner event for all health professionals who wish to understand how the My Health Record system is used in the sensitive area of mental health.
Mr Jamie Marshall, Clinical Psychologist, will show you how to save time and streamline business processes while improving continuous care for clients. The session will explain what it means for mental health providers to access client information and maintain and protect patient privacy.

Diagnostic information in the my health record

Australian Digital Health Agency, Brisbane, Qld, Australia
A design for including diagnostic reports (pathology and diagnostic imaging) in the My Health Record (MHR) was agreed in 2014 by representatives of key Australian medical colleges and peak organisations. A PDF generated by the diagnostic provider, based on the report that the diagnostic provider produces for the requester of the service is required. An accompanying HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) document is generated by the diagnostic provider, which contains the structured and coded information required for the PDF to be indexed within the MHR1 for subsequent search and retrieval.
Communication of an instruction to not upload reports to MHR was an important part of the model to support circumstances where the patient or requesting clinician did not want information shared with MHR. ‘Do not send reports to My Health Record’ with a check box was agreed to be printed on request forms by requesting software. In 2017 HL7 Australia published a draft HL7 V2 messaging standard2 to include MHR consent within diagnostic order messages.
As at Nov 2018, 171 pathology laboratories (96 private) had connected with MHR with >180,000/week report uploads.3
Samples from three labs indicated the rate of requests to not upload reports as: 434/108,345 (0.4%); 2/9093 (0.02%); and 415/84,718 (0.5%).

The government wants to free up your bank data. Here's what that means for you

ABC Science
By technology reporter Ariel Bogle
20 March, 2019
Every click, scroll and purchase you make creates data. This information, which often has little physical presence beyond the hum of warehouse data centres, is increasingly valuable.
You're the reason it exists, so shouldn't you control it?
The Consumer Data Right (CDR), which begins to come online mid-year, aims to give Australians more agency to access and control parts of their personal information.
The government calls it a "game changer", but critics fear that without careful consideration, it could have serious privacy implications, among other concerns.

Telcos block sites in wake of NZ government plea

Telstra, Vodafone, Optus block sites hosting Christchurch attack footage
George Nott (CIO) 19 March, 2019 15:57
Australia’s major telcos have temporarily blocked a number of sites hosting footage of Friday’s terror attack in Christchurch.
The action follows a plea from New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs for help in stopping the spread of the footage online.
Telstra announced the action on Twitter yesterday evening, adding: “We understand this may inconvenience some legitimate users of these sites, but these are extreme circumstances and we feel this is the right thing to do.”
Vodafone confirmed it had taken similar steps yesterday, with the block involving “dozens of sites known to be still actively hosting footage”. It, too, apologised for any inconvenience but added “we believe it’s the right thing to do in these extreme circumstances to help stop the further distribution of this video”.

Facebook says no one who watched Christchurch attack livestream reported it

By Ry Crozier on Mar 19, 2019 4:22PM

Says multiple techniques used to weed out copies.

Facebook says that none of the up to 200 people that viewed a live stream of the Christchurch attack on the social media platform reported it.
The social media company, which is under pressure to change its live streaming practices in the wake of last Friday’s attack, also says it is using several techniques to keep the video off its platform now.
Facebook - and other social media operators - have faced stern criticism and political pressure over the past few days to prevent access to first-person video of the attack on two mosques in the New Zealand city.
The company said yesterday it had either deleted or killed upon upload about 1.5 million copies of the offending video.

My Health Record update

18 March 2019 ADHA Propaganda
9 out of 10 Australians have a My Health Record and we are seeing a trend of increased usage and adoption from healthcare providers.
We’ve also seen a considerable increase in requests from health professionals who are eager to learn more about the system. The My Health Record Expansion team has been visiting general practices, medical specialists, allied health professionals and pharmacies to ensure providers have the knowledge and resources they need to make use of the numerous benefits the system offers, including improvements in patient outcomes and avoided duplication of services.
We have held and are continuing to hold free workshops which are planned until end June to help practices in our region be ready. We send out My Health Record eNewsletter updates monthly, of which links to previous ones can be found on our website. If you or any providers you work with have any questions regarding My Health Record, please contact the team via myhealthrecord@cesphn.com.au.

Government turns to UK example for data sharing principles

Releases guidelines based on UK’s ‘Five Safes’ while work continues on a legislative data sharing framework
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 19 March, 2019 11:28
A collection of five principles will guide the sharing and release of data held by public sector agencies while a new legislative framework is developed.
The government today released ‘Sharing Data Safely’: A set of guidelines created by the Office of the National Data Commissioner (ONDC) in collaboration with the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
“There is a growing imperative for public sector data to be used more effectively to improve government service delivery and solve complex policy issues that can’t be addressed when data remains in siloes across government,” a best practice guide (PDF) to applying the principles states. “However, for many data custodians, there may be barriers to sharing data easily.”
Those barriers can include concerns around heightened scrutiny or a decision to apply “unnecessary protections to the data” that may reduce its usefulness.

Govt embraces Five Safes in new data sharing guidance

By Justin Hendry on Mar 19, 2019 11:17AM

Tries to improve public trust.

The federal government has released new guidance to agencies on how to use and share personal data while protecting the privacy of Australian citizens.
The Data Sharing Safely [pdf] guidelines, published on Tuesday, are intended to help data custodians navigate through the minefield of data sharing risks before releasing government data.
They are aimed at building community trust around government’s handling of data at a time when public scepticism is at an all-time high due in part to the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal.
The guidelines also serve as a stopgap while the government continues to develop sweeping new data sharing laws, which propose making far more public data available for sharing and release.

ACMA to probe murder footage broadcast on Australian TV

The Australian Communications and Media Authority says it is investigating whether broadcasters breached the rules by some of the material they put to air about the massacre of Muslims in New Zealand on Friday.
The regulator said in a statement that it would look at any content from the streaming video that the killer had put online that was broadcast by Australian TV stations.
Fifty-one worshippers were gunned down in cold blood as they attended the main prayer session of the week at two mosques in Christchurch. A single man, Australian Brenton Tarrant, is charged with the murders.

Better connections: Your health, your say

The Australian Digital Health Agency is facilitating a national conversation to develop a blueprint for a more modern, digitally connected health system.

A national discussion and collaboration

To enable the vision of a better-connected healthcare system, the Australian Digital Health Agency is facilitating a conversation with industry and jurisdictions to produce a shared vision and standards for long term interoperability in healthcare.

This will result in an agreed series of coordinated standards across jurisdictions and industry to improve workflow, accessibility and outcomes within the healthcare sector.
This will result in an agreed series of coordinated standards across jurisdictions and industry to improve workflow, accessibility and outcomes within the healthcare sector.

Cover Story: In the rush to lead the world, Australia’s data sharing frameworks are creating more risks

The Australian Government says the national value of open data could be as high as $25 billion per year. Globally, McKinsey puts the value at $3 trillion. It’s little wonder stakeholders are clamouring for their share, attempting to devise systems which enable the transfer and reuse of that data. 
However, data sharing is fraught with a risk that varies depending on use cases, content and the interpretation of privacy. That much has been underscored by a series of private sector scandals and failed government data initiatives which, without the necessary checks and balances, have eroded public confidence in institutions’ ability to safely share information whilst maintaining users privacy.
But a cohort of Australian public and private sector stakeholders led by the NSW State Government and the Australian Computer Society has developed an initial a framework for the safe sharing of data among government agencies, researchers and industry in controlled environments, with the expectation it could be developed for broader use cases.

The appalling power of social media

Mar 17, 2019 — 6.33pm
I don't want to ever watch those minutes of terror and death but I know millions have and millions more will. This is social media at its most vile and virulent. It allows the instant, global spread of the most appalling deeds and thoughts. It desensitises us to the most grotesque violence and malevolence, first of imagination and then of action.
Brenton Tarrant was a small-town Australian boy who became rightly confident of his ability to ensure everyone around the world would have to pay attention to his views as well as the atrocity in murdering people innocently at worship. That his rambling manifesto on Twitter would become part of the mainstream, that the video of his killings would go viral from the GoPro camera attached to his helmet.
The choreography of this happening in Christchurch in a relatively safe and peaceful New Zealand is the perfect counterpoint to the global reach of the internet into every aspect of our lives. There is no sanctuary possible anywhere, no haven into which it's possible to withdraw.

Attacks unmask dark sites below the radar

Tim Bradshaw, Martin Coulter and David Bond
Updated Mar 17, 2019 — 7.40pm, first published at 7.10pm
Politicians around the world have once again seized on the failings of big tech companies such as Facebook and YouTube over their inability to contain video footage of Friday’s terror attacks.
Facebook has repeatedly been criticised for Facebook Live, its online broadcasting tool, which has been used to stream live graphic and uncensored footage of police shootings and suicides. YouTube has also been scrutinised for its apparent inability to prevent its own algorithms — that recommend content to users — from bringing to the surface extremist videos and other disturbing content.
The suspected Christchurch shooter broadcast what appeared to be live footage of the attack using Facebook. After initially removing the footage, both Facebook and YouTube moderators battled throughout the day to stop users uploading thousands of copies online.

Ardern wants to discuss live streaming with Facebook after 1.5m massacre videos removed

By Staff Writer on Mar 18, 2019 6:58AM

Has had contact from Sheryl Sandberg.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she will take issues surrounding how live streaming on social media is controlled to the top of Facebook as the platform disclosed it had pulled more than a million videos of the deadly mosque attack.
"This is an issue that I will look to be discussing directly with Facebook," Ardern said, adding Sandberg has shared condolences over the shootings in Christchurch on Friday.
The death toll from the Christchurch mass shooting, allegedly carried out by Australian Brenton Tarrant who has now been charged with murder, reached 50 people on Sunday.

A mass murder of, and for, the Internet

Kevin Roose
Mar 16, 2019 — 8.33pm
Before entering a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, the site of one of the deadliest mass murders in the country's history, a gunman paused to endorse a YouTube star in a video that appeared to capture the shooting.
"Remember, lads, subscribe to PewDiePie," he said.
To an untrained eye, this would have seemed like a bizarre detour.
But the people watching the video stream recognized it as something entirely different: a meme.
Like many of the things done before the attack Friday — like the posting of a 74-page manifesto that named a specific internet figure — the PewDiePie endorsement served two purposes.

PM calls for Facebook, Google, Twitter to suspend live streaming

Updated Mar 17, 2019 — 3.11pm, first published at 2.58pm
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for live-streaming to be suspended on social media after Facebook was used to live-stream a disturbing a terrorist attack on a mosque in New Zealand on Friday and new versions of the video and the shooter's manifesto spread across Twitter and YouTube.
Facebook, Google – which owns YouTube – and Twitter have been heavily criticised and have struggled over the weekend to deal with the footage and the terrorist's manifesto being repeatedly reposted.
Facebook was used to live-stream the attack, which was quickly uploaded to YouTube and the gunman's manifesto was put up on Twitter.
Comments welcome!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 25th March, 2019.

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 pretty scrappy week with lots of commercial activity and a recognition that the ADHA has no real clue as to just how hard to meet will be their interoperability objectives. Watch this space!

Alerts warn of patient risk, software glitches in electronic medical record

By Lucy Stone
March 17, 2019 — 10.58pm
Child patients exposed to a safety risk after a key warning alert proved defective; sections of patient records spontaneously duplicating; medications incorrectly named and a statewide internet shutdown are just some of the issues that affected Queensland Health’s integrated electronic medical record in 2018.
Documents, obtained by Brisbane Times under Right to Information, reveal that more than 40 safety alerts about the integrated electronic medical record (ieMR) were sent to Queensland hospitals between January 2018 and January 2019.
A Queensland Health spokesperson said patient safety and care was always the department's number one priority and the ieMR "has not compromised this".
A team established by eHealth Queensland to coordinate and manage safety risks in the ieMR issued the alerts to inform hospitals that have installed the software of the actions they should take to address the issues.

Computer says no: GPs losing more autonomy

A proposal to make GPs use an app for guidance on whether imaging is required or not is preposterous, writes Dr Paul Muthiah
Dr Paul Muthiah
18th March 2019
Little by little, general practice is having its autonomy chipped away. This time it is not another healthcare professional wanting to encroach on our scope of practice, but rather, our tools are being wrenched away.
When people ask me what the benefits of being a GP in Australia are compared with the UK where I worked before, the first thing that springs to mind is having readily available access to imaging.
In the UK, there’s a postcode lottery when it comes to imaging. For example, in London where I worked, I was unable to request any form of head imaging.
The result would be having to consider a neurology referral for concerning headaches and ED for any urgent ones. Equally, a request for an urgent ultrasound abdomen could take several months.

Apple Watch detects irregular heart beat in large US study

By Manas Mishra on Mar 18, 2019 12:24PM

Demonstrates potential future role for wearable consumer technology in healthcare.

The Apple Watch was able to detect irregular heart pulse rates that could signal the need for further monitoring for a serious heart rhythm problem, according to data from a large study funded by Apple Inc, demonstrating a potential future role for wearable consumer technology in healthcare.
Researchers hope the technology can assist in early detection of atrial fibrillation, the most common form of irregular heart beat. Patients with untreated AF are five times more likely to have a stroke.

GPs agitate for real-time prescription tracking in NSW

By Matt Johnston on Mar 18, 2019 8:37PM

Ahead of state election.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has warned New South Wales will be left behind the likes of Tasmania and Victoria if it fails to implement real-time prescription monitoring soon.
RACGP NSW chair professor Charlotte Hespe has called on parliamentarians ahead of this week’s state election to review the “successful” programs in other states and commit to providing a safer environment for patients.
Her warning that lives could be lost without such a system echoes findings from earlier this month in a NSW coronial inquest into the opiate-related deaths of six people that found a prescription tracking system like the one in Tasmania “could be an important part of a safer prescribing system”.

Miniature robots could one day journey inside the human body

March 18, 2019 — 2.45am
Every time University of Pennsylvania engineer Marc Miskin speaks about his research on miniature robots, someone asks the question: How does it compare to the submarine in Fantastic Voyage?
That's the fanciful 1966 sci-fi movie in which a tiny vessel makes an emergency journey inside the brain of an injured scientist. The incredible answer: The real-life bots, which Miskin developed with former colleagues at Cornell University, are about the same size.
Roughly one-quarter the size of a pixel on a standard computer screen, they are little squares of silicon with legs made from platinum and titanium, able to swim around inside your body and track vital signs.

Can pharmacists and My Health Record reduce adverse events post-discharge?

Community pharmacists will help test a new approach
19th March 2019
The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has launched a community pharmacy-based pilot project to test whether My Health Record can help reduce adverse drug events after patients are discharged from hospital.
Through the DC MedsRec trial, which begins on 29 April, patients on four or more medications will be referred to a participating pharmacy after being discharged from Box Hill Hospital in Victoria.
The idea is that the pharmacist will use the discharge summary in the patient’s My Health Record to guide a medications discussion with the patient.

SA Health upgrades its EMR system following review

Hafizah Osman | 21 Mar 2019
SA Health has made improvements to its troubled electronic medical record (EMR) system, in an attempt to lay the foundation for progressive implementation of new features and functionality.
The move is an upgrade from the version the healthcare organisation was using since 2014, and follows an independent review of the program that found its Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS) failed, as it “contrasts with other successful EMR implementations in Australia”. 
The review identified that SA Health’s billing module was “not fit-for-purpose”; and the EPAS has a “flawed governance model” that didn’t empower clinicians to be key decision-makers or allow the system to be tracked, measured or managed, amongst other findings. 
Following the review, SA Health was expected to scrap and reconstruct its beleaguered electronic patient records.  

Aussie diabetics stung on price for critical insulin pumps

  • 12:00AM March 18, 2019
The world’s largest medical device company, Medtronic, is charging Australians $9000 for a lifesaving insulin pump, almost double the price it charges British patients.
Data compiled by private health insurance industry body Private Healthcare Australia has concluded that $24.4 million could have been saved over seven years if the local cost of the device matched the British price.
The data revealed the $US124 billion ($175bn) multinational charged about $9025 on Australia’s prostheses list for three of its insulin pumps used by type 1 diabetics. The same models were priced from $5200 to $5400 in Britain.
Australia’s prostheses list sets the price health insurers must pay for medical devices, and despite reforms to address price concerns, private health insurers have called for further price cuts.

myGovID digital identity gets big funding boost

By Justin Hendry on Mar 19, 2019 12:29PM

Additional $67m to “accelerate” development.

The 2019 federal budget will pour a further $67.2 million into the development of the government's myGovID digital identity system in preparation for full launch later this year.
The new funding, announced on Tuesday, will allow the Digital Transformation Agency to “accelerate” development of the flagship system, including ongoing testing and an expanded pilot program.
It brings funding for the program to close to $190 million, following the $92.4 million windfall in last year’s budget for similar acceleration activities.

Digital health: a human imperative

May 29
Join Australian Digital Health Agency Chief Executive Tim Kelsey, for the latest update on the implementation of Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy and the vision for digital health.


Tim Kelsey, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Digital Health Agency

Event overview

What are the big opportunities to integrate digital health services and improve patient health outcomes?

We discuss the Agency’s latest work on My Health Record, secure messaging between disparate clinical information systems, and wider health system interoperability.

APS Independent Review pushes for wholesale tech consolidation

By Julian Bajkowski on Mar 19, 2019 12:18PM

Finds disparate legacy systems hobble public sector performance.

The Australian Public Service requires a substantial consolidation of core common IT systems across the federal sphere to untangle decades of siloed legacy that have led to the government increasingly being hobbled in its efforts to deliver outcomes expected by the community.
That’s the blunt 'take-away' on the swag of “priorities” [pdf] outlined today by the Independent Panel tasked with figuring out how to make the Australian Public Service fit-for-purpose over coming decades.
By no means a light read, the tome vividly highlights the public sector’s constant struggle to make technology work for it rather than the APS’ performance being fettered by ageing monolithic systems that take decades to reform.
The "priorities" are first cut of potential recommendations that are now out for feedback and provides a crucial window into how the Independent Review of the Australian Public Service will fall.

La Trobe Uni appoints first chair of digital health

By Matt Johnston on Mar 19, 2019 11:09AM

To oversee strategy and course development.

La Trobe University has named professor James Boyd, an expert in data linkage and governance in health, as its inaugural chair of Digital Health to guide course development and research in the field.
The university said it created the position to provide academic leadership in the teaching of digital health while also leading “innovative and high-impact research on this important topic.”
Boyd, who joins the La Trobe from Curtin University, will start in the new role on April 29th.

HealthEngine creates new advisory group to better patient experience

Hafizah Osman | 20 Mar 2019
In keeping with its commitment to the ongoing improvement of patient experience and in attempting to rebuild trust following last year’s scandal, HealthEngine has created a new advisory group.
HITNA reported, mid-last year, that the future of the organisation appeared uncertain after patients and doctors rose to condemn its privacy practices and its operations came under review for possibly funnelling private patient information to legal firms searching for personal injury cases.
In order to restore the public’s confidence in HealthEngine, the organisation has since been making “substantial changes” to its business model and company direction
HealthEngine Founder, CEO and Medical Director Dr Marcus Tan told HITNA that in ensuring the interests of practices and patients remain top priority, the newly formed advisory group will consult on both macro and micro levels of the HealthEngine business and the industry it operates in. 

Black Dog Institute, LifeSpan literally saving lives through data analytics

The non-profit mental health research facility, Black Dog Institute, is applying data analytics to identify strategies that will reduce suicide within the community under its LifeSpan program of work.
LifeSpan is a large program looking at nine different strategies, screening people in general practice, and a range of different interventions across community and health care settings. In order to help evaluate how effective a strategy may be, the program has five sites in NSW looking to implement the set of strategies in an incremental way to see if what they are doing in these regions is making a difference in suicide rates and hospitalisation.
To achieve its goals, the LifeSpan program needed a good, usable set of data on suicide and hospitalisation. This was obtained through a large range of data custodians, via numerous ethics committees, and the Black Dog Institute researchers gained assistance from global analytics provider, SAS, to help organise the data and work with it, as part of SAS’ Data 4 Good offering.

Black Dog Institute’s clinical services to take mental health records online

Hafizah Osman | 18 Mar 2019
Mental health records at the Black Dog Institute’s clinical services arm will soon go digital. 
The Australian institute for research and services in mental health will deploy Global Health’s MasterCare EMR solution across clinical services, using the clinical and practice management software to transition processes.    
Black Dog Institute joins a number of other healthcare providers that have recently transitioned over to MasterCare EMR, such as Justice Health Victoria and Bass Coast Health
MasterCare EMR General Manager Kye Cherian said the solution was chosen for being a team-based, client-centric record that supports multiple programs and services. 

Alcidion selected as strategic solution partner for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

 Posted March 21, 2019
Alcidion Group Limited has been selected as the strategic solution partner for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust in the UK, under which Alcidion will implement its Patientrack technology solution.
Alcidion’s five-year contract with Brighton and Sussex is valued at £574,000 (~$1.03 million).
The Trust has four hospitals and employs approximately 8,200 staff.  It also delivers specialist and tertiary services for patients from across the south east of England and is also the Major Trauma Centre for the region.
The Trust has a long-term approach to transforming hospital service for the better called the “Patient First Improvement System”, which aims to empower front line staff by equipping them with new tools, methods and a structured process that leads to measurable improvements for patients and staff.

Alcidion signs first integrated Miya, Patientrack and Smartpage installation outside Australia

 Posted March 18, 2019
Alcidion Group Ltd has won a major contract with Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust in the UK, under which Alcidion will deploy the first Miya Precision, Patientrack and Smartpage installation outside of Australia.
Alcidion’s five-year contract with Dartford and Gravesham is valued at £1.16 million (~$2.1 million).
The Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust is a forward-looking NHS Trust with a highly ambitious clinically led ICT strategic plan to achieve the NHS’s Five Year Forward View to be Paperless at the Point of Care by 2020. They plan to achieve full digital maturity through the application of seamlessly integrated technology solutions and enabling industry partnerships, to become a digital exemplar at the forefront of the use of agile information and technology. The Trust has an annual budget of about £121 million and employs 1,900 staff.  It has 800 beds across three hospitals and a specialist nurse-led Unit.  The Trust serves a population of half a million people.
ASX / Media Release 15 March 2019 Copyright 2019 1st Group Ltd ACN 138 897 533Level 2, 2-12 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills NSW1

1st Group signs strategic pilot with Medibank

MyHealth1st to power Medibank’s Members’ Choice Advantage online booking service

•1st Group has signed an agreement with Medibank, one of Australia’s largest private health insurers, to pilot MyHealth1st, 1st Group’s online appointment booking platform, with Medibank’s Members’ Choice Advantage dental network
•In a competitive process MyHealth1st was selected for its superior capabilities and strict privacy and security compliance, which have always underpinned the company’s business model
•Through MyHealth1st, 2.8 million of Medibank’s customers can book online appointments initially with selected dental practices
•Medibank will actively market the online booking functionality powered by MyHealth1st to its Members’ Choice Advantage dental network
•The pilot is expected to go live in March 2019.

InterSystems IRIS for Health Empowers MediWay Technology to Accelerate the Digital Transformation of Healthcare in China

Scalable and Interoperable iMedical Cloud Healthcare Information System Supports Regional Collaboration, Information Sharing and Increased Use of Big Data
SYDNEY, Australia, March 20, 2019 – InterSystems, a global leader in information technology platforms for health, business and government applications, today announced that MediWay Technology, one of the largest healthcare software companies in China, has built and deployed its new iMedical Cloud healthcare IT ecosystem platform using InterSystems IRIS for Health™.
IRIS for Health, the only unified data platform engineered specifically for healthcare, empowers MediWay to support all stakeholders in the Chinese healthcare system – including government, healthcare organisations, and consumers – in an environment where medical reform policies are driving increased collaboration, information sharing and use of big data.
MediWay’s iMedical healthcare information system (HIS) is used by around 500 healthcare organisations, including more than 300 tertiary hospitals and 30 top-100 hospitals in China. To accelerate the digital transformation of healthcare, however, MediWay and its partner Tencent Cloud require higher levels of accessibility, scalability and interoperability.

Facebook stored hundreds of millions of passwords in plain text

Social media giant Facebook has admitted that it has been storing user passwords in plain text, with the company saying the numbers ran into hundreds of millions.
In a blog post, the company's vice-president of Engineering, Security and Privacy, Pedro Canahuati, said it was estimated that hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users would have to be notified about the snafu, as also tens of millions of other Facebook users and tens of thousands of Instagram users.
Facebook Lite is a version of the social media site used in areas where the connectivity is not so good.

Singapore blood donor details leaked online

The personal details of more than 800,000 blood donors have leaked online in Singapore, with a vendor, Secur Solutions Group, having left an unsecured database on the Web.
A statement from the country's Health Services Authority said a donor's name, national registry identity card details, gender, number of blood donations, dates of the last three blood donations, blood type, height and weight were among the personal information that could have leaked.
The details of 808,201 donors were present in the database which was discovered by a cyber security expert who was not identified.
The HSA said he/she had notified the Personal Data Protection Commission and told the authorities that the contents would not be disclosed.

Only politicians get exemption from encryption law

The Federal Government's encryption law spreads its net far and wide in society, but exempts one class of person — politicians — from its tentacles, according to an analysis of the law by lawyer and consultant Matthew Shearing.
"This Bill (which is now law) has a number of small but powerful provisions tucked away in its 220 pages – but none might raise more eyebrows than the provision regarding members of Parliament," Shearing pointed out in his analysis which came to iTWire's notice after InnovationAus editor James Riley mentioned it.
"While the rest of the Australia (and in many cases, the world) is subject to the new legislation, the only people who are expressly excluded from everything in the Bill are the very people who rushed it through Parliament in the first place – the politicians."
And in a sarcastic aside, he added: "It’s not a big deal though – it’s common knowledge that our politicians are the most trustworthy and transparent of anyone in our society. I, for one, am glad they have blanket immunity."

How much does a CEO enjoy a cyber breach? Quite a lot, it seems

Researchers at Warwick Business School have found that in the five years after a cyber incident, shareholders suffered, but the pay of chief executives increased.
Dr Daniele Bianchi and Dr Onur Tosun, both Assistant Professors of Finance at Warwick Business School, analysed data breaches at 41 publicly listed companies in the US between 2004 and 2016 for their paper, "Cyber attacks and stock market activity."
Focusing solely on breaches reported by the media, including stolen hardware, insider attacks, poor security and hacking, the researchers noted that they occurred at big companies, with an average turnover of US$35.4 billion.

CEOs will take hit for cyber security incidents: study

Chief executives of companies which experience security incidents are more likely to lose their jobs than the chief information officers or the chief information security officers of the same firms, a research firm claims.
Analyst Paul Proctor of the analyst company Gartner said in a study that twice as many CEOS were being fired over cyber security incidents compared to CIOs and CISOs.
He attributed this to the fact that CEOs and and other execurives, whose core functions did not encompass IT, tended to regard cyber security as a black box and hence were unable to mount a defence after an incident.

This email subject line could well be a business scam

By Emma Koehn
March 22, 2019 — 12.43pm
A business email scam is most likely to appear via a well known email domain like Gmail and with the subject line 'Request'.
That's the finding of an email threat report from cybersecurity firm Barracuda Networks this week, which crunched the details of more than 300,000 suspected scam emails to unlock the most common moves of "phishers".
Social engineering business scams are appearing to come from the everyday programs staff already use.
It found more than 60 per cent of global 'business email compromise' scams come from just a handful of well-known email domains, with one third being a Gmail address used to give an appearance of legitimacy.

Second data dump from property valuation firm LMW found on dark web

Property valuation firm LandMark White says a second data dump containing details of its clients has been found on a dark web site at about 12.50pm GMT on 13 March and taken offline by about 5.20pm GMT the same day.
The company suffered a data breach which it announced in February; at that time, it said it had shut down a security vulnerability on 23 January but was unaware of any data leak at the time.
LMW, one of the bigger property valuers in Australia, counts the big four banks - ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and NAB - among its clients.

CBA assures itself of LandMark White's post-breach infosec

By Ry Crozier on Mar 18, 2019 4:38PM

First lender to reinstate valuation firm.

CBA has reinstated LandMark White as an option to conduct residential property valuations, after the institution assured itself of the valuer’s information security following a data breach in January.
LandMark White said in a financial filing that it anticipates other lenders will start using its services again this week, although it could take several weeks for revenues to return to “pre-incident levels”.

CBA helps LandMark White boost security

Property valuer expects lenders to begin using its services again
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 18 March, 2019 16:06
Property valuation firm LandMark White says it has made “enhancements to its IT security procedures including anonymisation of private details on completed valuations,” following a significant data breach that saw customer records being posted on a darkweb forum.
The company in February revealed that valuation-related data had been accessible through an exposed API.
Since then the company has twice entered a trading halt as it worked to calculate the cost to its business of the breach and as major corporate clients suspended their use of its services.

No surprises, Australia pays a great deal per Mbps

A British website has used speed data from Ookla's Speedtest and global average broadband prices from cable.co.uk and come up with what it says is the best value broadband based on cost per Mbps. On this index, Australia is ranked 66th, with the cost per Mbps being £2.26 (A$4.23).
The comparison by vouchercloud, a Groupon company, said Romania was found to be the cheapest with the cost per Mbps being £0.09 (A$0.16), followed by Ukraine, Hungary, Israel and Russia.
Asked about the methodology used to get these values, spokesperson Ben Behrens said: "Speedwise, we used data from Speedtest — a user initiated test of local connections — sample size had to be at least 3333 users for the time when the data was taken.

NBN Co's on-time connections slip to 84 percent

By Ry Crozier on Mar 21, 2019 3:10PM

Problems persist in the activation process.

NBN Co is likely to face fresh questions over new installations after revealing it meets agreed timeframes only 84 percent of the time, compared to 97 percent of the time just four months ago.
The network builder also revealed that the proportion of installations done right first time - that is, without requiring further visits by technicians - fell to 88 percent - below levels seen a year ago.
An NBN Co spokesperson told iTnews that it "expected" the right first time metric "to fluctuate from time to time."