Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

It Seems That Even When You Provide Patient Data Access In Rich And Up To Date Ways Patients Are Not Interested.

I noticed this last week:

Most Patients Don’t Want to Manage Their Own Health Info

July 20, 2021

John Lynn

Do patients want to manage their own health info?

This is a really big and complicated question.  Mostly because there are 7 billion patients in the world that all have different needs and desires.  That said, there are some important generalities we’ve learned over the years when it comes to patients and their info.

Before I dive into the details and nuances, let’s start by saying that patients have the right to their health data and they should be given access to their health data.  Whether they will use that right or not is a separate question.  There are enough that do want proactive access to their health data and they should be able to access it.  Gatekeepers aren’t a good thing when it comes to patients’ ability to access their health data.  If that’s not enough for you to share the data with patients, there’s also the information blocking law that requires you to give patients access to their health data.

Now, let’s move to the question of whether most patients want access to their health data and whether they want to manage their health info.  This quote from Judy Faulkner from Epic at the HLTH virtual event last year tells one side of the story when it comes to patient’s interest in accessing their health data:

MyChart is available to 165 million patients. Only 0.5% of MyChart users want to manage their own information, and the even that tiny number falls off with time. Patients want their health system to maintain and exchange their records.

The lack of engagement by patients with MyChart is an important data point.  Although, does the lack of engagement mean that patients don’t want to access and manage their own health info?  Plus, it’s worth noting that 0.5% is still 825,000 patients.  Small in the grander scheme of things, but still significant for that nearly 1 million patients.  The real question is why is that number so low.  Do patients just not care?  Is the Epic MyChart solution not accessible?  Is the Epic MyChart features and functions not designed to be useful for patients?  The lack of MyChart usage could be that patients don’t want to manage their health info.  It could also be a lot of other things that Epic could potentially fix.

Turns out, I get pitched the idea of patients managing their health info all the time.  I have dozens of entrepreneurs that reach out to me with the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Here’s how the pitch goes:

Patients are suffering because they and their doctors don’t have accurate health info for the patient.

Redundant tests are costing patients and the health system a lot of money.

Patients lives are at risk because the doctor didn’t have the health info for that patient which would have helped them get the right care.

Simple Solution: Have patients collect their health info in one place.

Patient goes to the office with their health info and care improves.  Lower costs are achieved.  Unicorns appear and celebrate.

Excuse that last bit about the unicorns.  I don’t want to make light of something that really does impact patients.  In fact, it’s something so obvious that we all understand the problem and have seen it.  That’s why dozens of entrepreneurs reach out to me trying to solve the problem.  The problem is clear.  The solution is not.

Whenever I get a pitch like this, I always ask them two main questions:

How are you going to get the data?

How is the patient going to get value from the aggregated data?

As I mentioned, this is a real problem.  I think we all believe that having the right data at the right place can save lives and lower costs.  And we all agree that there are many situations in healthcare where the right data isn’t where it needs to be to improve care and lower costs.  It also seems reasonable to think that the patient is generally the person most invested in their care and has a literal vested interest in making sure the information is shared properly.

Lots more here:


There is also this:

Is the 'Open Notes' Rule as Good in Practice as It Is in Theory?

— New rule gets mixed reviews as to how well it's improving patient care

Earlier this year, a federal rule that requires clinical information such as doctors' notes and lab and imaging results to be made immediately available to patients took effect. A little more than 3 months out from implementation, there are mixed reviews as to how well the so-called 'Open Notes' rule is actually improving patient care.

Patient advocates and even many physicians have supported the concept of electronic health information in real-time, and say the rule is a first step toward dramatically improving the overall healthcare experience and can help lower the cost of care over time. But even proponents of the rule note that there are potential pitfalls, such as sensitive information reaching patients before their doctors have a chance to deliver and explain it.

Others say there's bound to be a learning curve, and that feedback from patients and physicians needs to be documented and should be part of an ongoing conversation with federal officials. In their opinion, while the rule may be good in theory, it's important to determine whether that also holds true in practice.

"Communication of information is essential for our profession and our patients," Joseph Sellers, MD, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York, told MedPage Today. "Having ways to get information to patients as effectively and timely as possible is great, but we have to be careful about unintended consequences."

Physicians' Primary Concern

The criticism Sellers has heard from his medical colleagues centers around instances where patients get health information before physicians are able to help interpret it.

For instance, patients may receive pathology or imaging results electronically, prior to when their doctor is able to communicate with them via a phone call or office appointment.

A patient may find out bad news, and it may have been better for them to hear it first from their doctor, Sellers said. There may also be instances in which the complexity of test results makes them sound alarming, when they're not. Or, there are times when physicians can help break down details that are difficult for the average patient to understand and digest.

"I think that having that relationship between the physician and the patient is so important. It provides reassurance, it provides confidence to patients in the healthcare system," Sellers said.

Eric Schneider, MD, senior vice president for policy and research at The Commonwealth Fund, which supported the Open Notes rule, acknowledged the concern as a possible downside.

Patients may view information that's frightening, Schneider said. That could include finding out about an abnormal mammogram or blood sugar reading that is higher than expected without any contextual information from a physician.

Lots more here:


So it seems only very few are interested in accessing a rich and complete record which provides appointments and direct clinician contact. It seems pretty clear there would be even fewer in Australia who would want to access an incomplete, partial, out of data, badly organized document pile that is the national #myHealthRecord!

And even more importantly it seems when you provide detailed interactive timely record access it is not yet clear that it improves clinical outcomes! Time will tell whether the benefits outweigh the problems and costs!

My view – we need to do patient record access properly or not at all – and the #myHR does not fit any sensible definition of ‘doing it properly’! Never has and probably never will!



Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Commentators and Journalists Weigh In On Digital Health And Related Privacy, Safety, Social Media And Security Matters. Lots Of Interesting Perspectives - July 27, 2021.


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.



Change and Adoption Lead, Health Systems Solutions (VPSG6)

Job posted: 23/07/2021

Applications close: 08/08/2021 (Midnight)

Job Description

Location: Melbourne | CBD

Job type: Full time / to 30/06/2022

Organisation: Department of Health

Salary: $124,033 - $165,983

Occupation: Projects

Reference: VG/DH/CS/629419

The Department of Health plays a critical role in the Victorian health system and is responsible for shaping it to meet the health needs of Victorians into the future. We also lead the Victorian Government's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Working with our partners, we oversee Victoria's health system including mental health, ageing and aged care and preventive health. We are committed to developing and supporting a workforce that is well equipped and highly motivated to provide responsive and quality services to all Victorians. All jobs can be worked flexibly and we encourage job applications from Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, LGBTQI+ and people from culturally diverse backgrounds and differences to realise the potential of our employees for innovation and delivering services.


Police should be locked out of digital ID scheme

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

21 July 2021

Former Australian Privacy Commissioner Malcolm Crompton has recommended law enforcement agencies be explicitly prevented from accessing data from the government’s digital identity program, which is being prepared for an economy-wide expansion.

The program currently allows users of federal government services to verify their identity for use across multiple services by accessing an identity framework of identity and attribute providers, with Home Affairs verifying documents and biometrics.

The government plans to introduce legislation this year to expand the program to the states and private sector, creating an economy wide system that could collect sensitive logs and meta-data, and stores it for several years.

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), which has developed the program over several years at a cost of $450 million, is finalising the legislation it says will establish protections and governance for the scheme’s expansion.



Govt establishes ransomware taskforce

Denham Sadler
Senior Reporter

19 July 2021

The federal government has ordered its intelligence forces to go on the offensive against ransomware gangs, with a new cross-agency taskforce established and a near-tripling of the AFP officers focusing on the issue.

A new taskforce, dubbed Operation Orcus, has been established, spanning across agencies including the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), Austrac and state and territory police forces, the Australian reported.

As part of this new taskforce, the number of AFP staff working directly with the ACSC on cyber issues will jump from 13 to 35.



What is AI? Here's everything you need to know about artificial intelligence

An executive guide to artificial intelligence, from machine learning and general AI to neural networks.

By Nick Heath | July 23, 2021 -- 20:21 GMT (06:21 AEST) | Topic: Managing AI and ML in the Enterprise

What is artificial intelligence (AI)?

It depends who you ask.

Back in the 1950s, the fathers of the field, Minsky and McCarthy, described artificial intelligence as any task performed by a machine that would have previously been considered to require human intelligence.

That's obviously a fairly broad definition, which is why you will sometimes see arguments over whether something is truly AI or not.

Modern definitions of what it means to create intelligence are more specific. Francois Chollet, an AI researcher at Google and creator of the machine-learning software library Keras, has said intelligence is tied to a system's ability to adapt and improvise in a new environment, to generalise its knowledge and apply it to unfamiliar scenarios.

"Intelligence is the efficiency with which you acquire new skills at tasks you didn't previously prepare for," he said.

"Intelligence is not skill itself; it's not what you can do; it's how well and how efficiently you can learn new things."



Govt forced to release overdue COVIDSafe report

By Justin Hendry on Jul 23, 2021 11:01AM

But redacts most of it.

The federal government has been forced to release a heavily redacted version of a report evaluating the effectiveness of its COVIDSafe contact tracing app after failing to produce the report itself.

But the document covering the first six months of the app's operation is of little value, with swathes of information relating to its usefulness during the first stage of the pandemic removed.

The independent report, released following a freedom of information request by the Canberra Times, comes almost 18 months after the app was introduced and 12 months after the reporting period.

Under legislation governing COVIDSafe, the Department of Health is required to report on the operation and effectiveness of the app and the national COVIDSafe data store every six months.



Govt releases highly redacted COVIDSafe report

Denham Sadler
Senior Reporter

22 July 2021

The federal government has been forced to release a report on the effectiveness of its controversial contact tracing app COVIDSafe, but has removed all parts relating to this and left only basic information and positive comments.

The report, released this week following a Freedom of Information request, has wholly redacted all of the parts relevant to its effectiveness and comes nearly a year after the government was required to release it.

COVIDSafe uses a smartphone’s Bluetooth technology to log close contacts between users and then send these to a national database and state health authorities if a user tests positive for COVID-19. It was launched by the federal government with much fanfare in April last year.

Accompanying legislation enshrining privacy protections around the app in law required the Department of Health to report on the operation and effectiveness of the app and the national database every six months.



Technology enables health care to reach one of the most remote communities in the world

Friday, 23 July, 2021  ADHA Propaganda

When border closures meant that no doctors or allied health outreach professionals could reach the remote community of Tjuntjuntjara for more than 10 months, digital health provided an answer.

The Aboriginal community of Tjuntjuntjara in Western Australia is one of the most remote communities in the world, yet telehealth and the use of My Health Record have transformed healthcare delivery to the region.

Tjuntjuntjara is 650 km north-east of Kalgoorlie in the Great Victoria Desert. The 160 people living there speak a southern variety of the Pitjantjatjara language and identify as belonging to a group of people known as Pilanguṟu, meaning ‘from the spinifex plains’. For the last 10 years, the Aboriginal community-controlled Spinifex Health Service in Tjuntjuntjara has been serviced by a fly-in/fly-out GP and other health professionals through the Adelaide-based Kakarrara Wilurrara Health Alliance (KWHA).

With the advent of COVID-19 and the closure of the Western Australian border to the KWHA planes and health professionals from South Australia, doctors and allied health outreach professionals were unable to go to Tjuntjuntjara for more than 10 months from March 2020 to January 2021.



AIIA presents

Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) Priorities Update

·         Wed 25th Aug 2021, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

with Dr Mal Thatcher, ADHA Chief Technology Officer

What are the Australian Digital Health Agency’s priorities and workplan for the next 12 months? How can AIIA members best support and work with the ADHA and others in the Australian digital health ecosystem on those priorities and the workplan?

This is your chance to learn about the Australian Digital Health Agency’s priorities and opportunities for collaboration by joining Dr Mal Thatcher, ADHA Chief Technology Officer, in this AIIA Health PAN-hosted webinar with Q&A facilitated by AIIA Health PAN member Dr Tim Smyth.


Dr Mal Thatcher

ADHA’s Chief Technology Officer.

Dr Thatcher’s previous roles include Chief Health Information Officer (CHIO) for Queensland Health and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Mater Healthcare Group in Brisbane, as well as interim CIO and Chief Executive of eHealth Queensland.

Dr Thatcher has a doctoral degree (PhD) from the Queensland University of Technology with a focus on digital risk and governance. In 2010, he completed a certificate course in Leadership Strategies in Information Technology at Harvard University and in 2016 he was recognised as one of the top 50 CIOs in Australia by CIO Magazine Australia.

In September 2019, Dr Thatcher was appointed Professor of Digital Practice in the QUT Graduate School of Business with a focus on digital transformation, risk and governance and is also a published author on digital health.



22 June 2021

Rethinking our interoperability paradigm: in the cloud

Cloud Interoperability

By Jeremy Knibbs

What happens if government puts a stake in the ground, as has occurred in the US and the UK, and says to local providers and vendors, enough is enough, you’ve all got five years to be open and interoperable to this standard?

Interoperability is a dirty word.

It promised us so much but has disappointed us so much more.

It dictates nearly all of our serious thinking time in digital health. We are obsessed with the word, with the problem.

It drains away enormous amounts of funding in all sorts of ways which somehow are never in any meaningful alignment.

If you look at the interoperability scoreboard in the last two decades, you don’t see many wins: perhaps electronic prescribing is a notable recent exception, although this is still not working properly.



22 July 2021

Telstra Health officially comes in from the wilderness: what now?

Investors  Money Technology

By Jeremy Knibbs

Telstra Health’s intention to take a 70% piece of Adelaide-based global hospital costing, billing, and budgeting solutions provider PowerHealth Solutions signals that the country’s largest digital health company is serious again about building an Australian digital health juggernaut.

In late March of 2016 Telstra Health looked like a failed experiment of innovative but outgoing CEO, David Thodey, and his personally hired CEO come digital health evangelist, Shane Solomon. It was famously described by one senior industry analyst at that time as being a “classic Telstra cluster f&*k”. Although somewhat crude, the label did seem to fit at the time.

In a few short years Solomon had acquired stakes in over 18 separate, and at times disparate, digital health companies, at a cost of about $200m, with the intention to eventually string them all together (and presumably make pearls) via the acquisition of a platform business at the centre of the future universe of chronic health management, either of the major GP patient management groups, Medical Director or Best Practice.

But the main Telstra business was in trouble in late 2015, and the innovative CEO left the role to his more conservative and pragmatic finance director, Andy Penn.



HealthEngine tests appetite for $100m raising, taps brokers for IPO

Anthony Macdonald and Yolanda Redrup

Jul 21, 2021 – 9.33pm

Telstra Ventures and Seven West Media-backed online healthcare booking service HealthEngine is gearing up to make its maiden pitch to equity investors ahead of a possible float.

The country’s No.1 consumer healthcare platform is lining up investors for a non-deal roadshow next week, and is understood to be considering trying to raise in the order of $100 million for its float, depending on the intentions of its current shareholders.

A float would be an opportunity for Seven West to exit the business, like it did earlier this year with Airtasker, having tried to sell its stake as part of a venture investments portfolio sale last year.

Founded by former GP Marcus Tan and Adam Yap in 2009, HealthEngine has appointed RBC Capital Markets and Bell Potter as joint lead managers.



Having problems with e-script repeats? I have the answer

Dr Craig Lilienthal

Dr Lilienthal is a GP and medicolegal adviser in Sydney, NSW.

21st July 2021

Are you, like me, having problems with e-prescription repeats?

E-prescribing has been with us for some months now and the vast majority of my patients think it is wonderful and long overdue.

I love it too and jokingly state that we have finally made the great leap forward to 20th century technology.

The problem I encounter most is with repeat prescriptions. They are not actually referred to as repeats, just the number of units left on the prescription after one lot has been dispensed.

When patients tap the link on their screens and open up the tokens, aka QR codes, if there are any repeats, a line appears along the top of the token stating how many items are left.

Each time the pharmacist dispenses a unit, the big computer in the sky is supposed to issue a new link that brings a new token which then displays the reduced number of items/repeats available from the original prescription.



Centrelink glitch strands thousands without Covid-19 funds

Jess Malcolm

Technical failures with the government’s MyGov platform have left people unable to access urgently needed financial relief via the website, causing long queues outside Centrelink offices on Tuesday.

The system has come under increasing strain as the protracted Sydney lockdown and new restrictions on construction and retail in NSW leave hundreds of thousands without work.

A $600 payment is available from Services Australia for people who have lost more than 20 hours of work, and a $375 payment is available for those who have lost between eight and 20 hours.

But a series of online glitches left hundreds of people lining for hours outside several Sydney centres. In order to prove eligibility and submit a claim, a person must login to an existing MyGov account or create a new one. The person must also create a Centrelink account by showing three original documents for proof of identity, generating a unique customer reference number to link the two accounts.



Digital Bytes • My Health Record

Digital Bytes with Dr Jason King - Managing important health information with digital health tools

Published 19 July 2021 ADHA Propaganda

Watch the latest Digital Bytes with Dr Jason King to learn about the importance of managing health information with digital health tools in Far North Queensland.



US and allies expose details of China’s cyber attacks

Matthew Cranston United States correspondent

Jul 19, 2021 – 9.00pm

Washington | Australia has joined the United States and other Five Eyes nations to expose in detail the Chinese government’s role in cyber attacks around the world, including this year’s hack of Microsoft Exchange Server email software.

The US administration, alongside its allies, formally called out China for a malicious cyber campaign using the Microsoft Exchange Server, a senior administration official told a select media briefing on Sunday (Monday AEST).

Businesses and governments around the world, including in Australia, were caught up in the massive hack, in which malicious operators broke into private and government computer networks via the widely-used Exchange software.

“We will show how the [People’s Republic of China] Ministry of State Security ... uses criminal contract hackers to conduct unsanctioned cyber operations globally, including for their own personal profit,” the official said.



Digital Health

ADHA Propaganda

Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN) is supporting Gold Coast health care professionals with enhancing their use of digital health platforms. GCPHN can provide support for providers wanting to utilise tools such as My Health Record, electronic prescriptions and other mechanisms to securely transfer patient information.

If you are a health care provider and cannot find the information you are looking for or require digital health support, please contact: digitalhealth@gcphn.com.au or phone the GCPHN Practice Support Helpdesk on 07 5612 5408.

For education and training opportunities please click here

Electronic Prescribing

An electronic prescription is a digital version of a paper prescription. During your consultation, your healthcare provider can send your electronic prescription to you as an SMS or email.

My Health Record

My Health Record is an online summary of an individual’s key health information. This can be viewed securely online, from anywhere, at any time by individuals and their health care providers. To register for My Health Record you will require a PRODA account. Health care providers wanting to register for My Health Record or require additional education and resources should contact the GCPHN Digital Health Team via digitalhealth@gcphn.com.au



Why the healthcare sector must reduce its reliance on legacy IT systems

By Brent Paterson, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, SNP
Wednesday, 14 July, 2021

Healthcare workers have faced incredible challenges in the past 18 months as the world continues to respond to the ongoing risks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing and lockdowns have, among other restrictions, created new obstacles for healthcare workers to overcome as they work to keep patients safe and healthy. However, while healthcare workers face physical challenges across their hospitals, they also face challenges within the technological infrastructure that underpins operations.

Adapting to new ways of working is critical, particularly for workers operating in a time-intensive and high-pressure environment such as a hospital. While people can be incredibly flexible and quick to adjust to new practices, streamlining the underlying technology infrastructure can be a more time-consuming process. However, leveraging modern technology solutions, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, is one of the most effective ways for healthcare facilities to keep pace with changing workplace needs. In fact, it’s essential that healthcare organisations move quickly to update their technologies or risk creating more challenges for healthcare workers and patients alike.

Relying on outdated legacy systems can create issues for healthcare organisations as they may risk losing access to updated patient information and data. It’s critical that doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers have access to the most up-to-date patient information to deliver the best possible care. Doing this depends on ready access to accurate and comprehensive patient data.



Data sharing a low priority for Aussie COVID-19 researchers

Authored by  Cate Swannell

Issue 26 / 19 July 2021

AUSTRALIAN COVID-19 researchers appear to be less willing to share their data than perhaps they should be, say academics from the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Clinical Trials Centre at the University of Sydney.

Dr Anna Lede Seidler and colleagues analysed data from the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry and ClinicalTrials.gov from 1 January to 16 November 2020.

They found 56 COVID-19 trials, only four of which were completed (7%), with the remainder recruiting (n = 26, 46%), not yet recruiting (n = 24, 43%), or withdrawn (n = 2, 4%). Forty trials (71%) had no commercial sponsor and were funded by government or not-for-profit sources. Only seven trials (12%) included populations at high risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19 such as people with comorbidities.

Data sharing seemed to be low on the list of priorities for COVID-19 researchers, despite several high-profile calls for collaboration and data sharing across studies, a development Seidler and colleagues described as “concerning”.


Comments more than welcome!



Monday, July 26, 2021

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 26 July, 2021.

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


Rather a nothing week it seems in terms of BIG news but lots of innovation going on that will lead to good things later we hope!



Fed Govt backs away from making electronic charts mandatory in aged care

The RACGP says the continued reliance on paper-based systems is one reason for the struggle to attract GPs

19th July 2021

By Antony Scholefield

Aged care facilities should be legally required to adopt electronic medication charts as a condition of operating, says the chair of the RACGP's aged care specific interests group.

The Federal Government is still resisting the move to address one of biggest bugbears for GPs, despite it being a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Instead, under a $45 million budget pledge, it is offering nursing homes cash to "defray" the cost of upgrading to electronic systems.

It added that, while the adoption of electronic charts was encouraged, their use would remain optional in the foreseeable future.



Telstra Health eyes majority stake in PowerHealth

The investment will enable the company to expand its international footprint.

By Adam Ang

July 19, 2021 03:15 am

Today, Melbourne-headquartered Telstra Health, the digital health arm of Telstra Corporation, announced that it has entered into a deal to buy a majority stake in PowerHealth, a healthcare software solutions provider based in Adelaide.

A news report noted that the deal is for about A$150 million ($110.7 million).

Established in 1995, PowerHealth specialises in billing, costing and revenue solutions, budgeting, safety and quality, decision support and application integration solutions for hospitals and other healthcare businesses.

The company provides software that supports activity-based funding and is used in over 20 countries.

Aside from Australia and Canada, PowerHealth also operates in Ireland and the Middle East. Its biggest customers are the province of Quebec, the Hong Kong Government’s Hospital Authority and the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia, among others.



Telstra buys majority share in Adelaide’s PowerHealth for $95m

Valerina Changarathil

5:30AM July 19, 2021

Telco giant Telstra is paying $95m for a majority stake in Adelaide-based PowerHealth, a global healthcare software solutions business founded by Patrick Power.

Telstra’s e-health subsidiary, Telstra Health, has signed a deal with Mr Power to buy 70 per cent of the business, valuing the company at $135m.

PowerHealth’s software supports public and private hospitals and healthcare providers in more than 20 countries, including much of Europe, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the US.

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval.

It comes after months of negotiations since Mr Power first initiated an auction process with select suitors last year.



Telstra Health pays $95M for majority stake in PowerHealth and employs its creator

Published on July 22, 2021

Telstra Health, which provides software products, solutions and platforms for the aged care sector, is to pay $95 million for 70% of Adelaide-based PowerHealth, a global leader in healthcare and hospital software solutions.

It is a specialist provider in billing, costing and revenue solutions, budgeting, safety and quality, decision support and application integration solutions.

Founded by Patrick Power in 1995, PowerHealth’s software supports public and private hospitals and healthcare providers in more than 20 countries, with its largest customers the Province of Quebec, the New Zealand Government, Hong Kong Government’s Hospital Authority, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health, the majority of Australian hospitals and Local Health Districts or Health and Hospital Service. 

Telstra Health’s Managing Director, Professor Mary Foley AM, said in a statement, partnering with PowerHealth would enable Telstra Health to provide a more connected and improved digital health experience for the health and aged care providers it supports.


21 Jul 2021 8:10 AM AEST

Safety and standards dashboard facilitate quality care and informed decision making among clinicians                    

A $2.1 million project to collect patient data in one place aims to better equip healthcare workers when making critical and life-saving clinical decisions.

The Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) project will deliver live streams of clinical analytics and reporting information in the form of online dashboards. The dashboards will drive quality improvement, safety assurance and more efficient accreditation in a hospital setting. The data will be drawn from hospital electronic medical records (EMR) and the Victorian Health Incident Management System (VHIMS).

The project will be led by Monash University Faculty of Information Technology and Eastern Health Clinical School, The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, Eastern Health and the Department of Health (Victoria) are collaborators.

Prof David Plunkett, Chief Executive of Eastern Health, said the project is the first of its kind in Victoria, with exciting potential for scalability.  

“This project is led by our Executive Director of Information, Technology and Capital Projects, Zoltan Kokai. It will display streamed data on dashboards extracted from Eastern Health hospital systems,” Professor Plunkett said.

“Importantly, it will bring together the areas of clinical practice, technology and the very important requirement of accreditation, to proactively improve the quality and safety of how care is provided.” 



Wednesday, 21 July 2021 11:29

$2.1m project to better equip healthcare workers for making critical, life-saving decisions

By Staff Writer

A $2.1 million project by the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) to collect patient data in one place is aimed at better equipping healthcare workers when making critical and life-saving clinical decisions.

The project will be led by Monash University Faculty of Information Technology and Eastern Health Clinical School, with The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, Eastern Health and the Department of Health (Victoria) as collaborators.

The Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) project will deliver live streams of clinical analytics and reporting information in the form of online dashboards.

The CRC says the dashboards will drive quality improvement, safety assurance and more efficient accreditation in a hospital setting - with the data drawn from hospital electronic medical records (EMR) and the Victorian Health Incident Management System (VHIMS).



New project to implement digital safety and standards dashboards in Victoria

The dashboard project will deliver a live stream of patient data to aid in clinicians' decision making and accreditation.

By Adam Ang

July 22, 2021 02:40 AM

The Australian government-backed Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre has announced a A$2.1 million ($1.5 million) project to deliver real-time patient data through dashboards. 

The Faculty of Information Technology and Eastern Health Clinical School, both institutions under Monash University, will lead the project. The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, Eastern Health and Victoria's Department of Health will serve as collaborators.


Based on a media release, the four-year dashboards project, a "first of its kind in Victoria", will provide live feeds of clinical analytics and reporting information. It will draw data from Eastern Health's electronic medical records and the Victorian Health Incident Management System.

Chris Bain, a professor of Practice in Digital Health at Monash University, said the dashboards will "combine data engineering techniques with user-friendly visualisations" to display key information from large datasets. 


21 Jul 2021 10:48 AM AEST - 

Bupa Dental Trials HITIQ Technology with Junior Rugby

·         Bupa Dental trials HITIQ concussion management technology in an Australian first Junior Rugby Pilot Project;

·         The initiative is aiming to revolutionise junior sport safety by enhancing concussion management protocols that can lead to better long term health outcomes for young players;

·         The technology has been deployed in a pilot including 100 junior players from the Wests Bulldogs Rugby Club who have been fitted with HITIQ mouthguards; and

·         The trial will conclude later this year where a review will determine the potential to expand the technology offering across the Bupa Dental clinicnetwork, which represents Australia’s largest dental network.

Transformative, concussion management technology company, HITIQ Limited (ASX:HIQ) (HITIQ or the Company),has entered into an arrangement with Bupa Dental for a trial of its concussion management technology with junior rugby players. This is the first time hi-tech mouthguard technology has been made available to junior Rugby players in Australia to monitor head impacts,with the aim of enhancing grassroots concussion safety protocols.

Concussion is a growing concern at professional rugby level with one concussion being recorded every 1.6 games according to recent reports1. The HITIQ mouthguards, currently used by professional AFL, Rugby and NRL players, is embedded with force measuring sensors that record and interpret head impacts and the accumulation of force from hits sustained during a game.

Media release

Delivering new prevention and treatment approaches for heart disease with digital health

Digital health will take transformative steps  by supporting new clinical trials to address secondary prevention of Australia’s deadliest disease following an agreement between Australian digital health company Cardihab and medical research organisation, the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.

The five-year agreement between Cardihab and the Baker Institute will involve several clinical trials and cohort studies that provide evidence of the effectiveness of digital approaches to cardiovascular disease management, rehabilitation, prevention and treatment.

Cardihab is a landmark Australian digital health platform that facilitates the virtual delivery of cardiac rehabilitation and chronic disease management programs for patients recovering from cardiac events and living with heart disease.

Patients use Cardihab apps to complete their cardiac rehabilitation program virtually while under clinical supervision by qualified healthcare professionals.

Cardihab Chief Executive Officer Helen Souris said it was the first widespread research program to be conducted in Australia using broader applications of Cardihab’s digital health platform.


23 Jul 2021 5:00 AM AEST

Media release 

23 July 2021

ImpaQt Group takes stake in digital health platform Cardihab to help manage Australia’s deadliest disease

Social impact investment consortium ImpaQt Group has invested in Australian digital health company Cardihab to help expand solutions for the prevention and treatment of Australia’s biggest killer – cardiovascular disease.

Cardihab is a landmark Australian digital health company with a head office based in Queensland, that facilitates the virtual delivery of cardiac rehabilitation and chronic disease management programs for patients recovering from cardiac events and living with heart disease.

Patients use the Cardihab apps to complete their cardiac rehabilitation program from home virtually while under clinical supervision by qualified healthcare professionals.

ImpaQt Group Managing Director Lisa Siganto said that the opportunity to invest early in Cardihab was overwhelmingly compelling.



Australian ‘vaccination passport’ coming to Apple Wallet

The smartphone app will store COVID-19 test results and vaccination records as Australia gears up to reopen its borders.

By David Flynn, July 22 2021

Australians could be carrying a internationally-recognised 'vaccination passport' on their smartphones within months, with the potential to unlock quarantine-free travel to Covid-safe countries.

"We already have vaccine certificates (in Australia)," Prime Minister Scott Morrison remarked at a press conference yesterday, "and this month we expect them to be in a form that can be dropped into Apple Wallets, things of that nature."

"Later in the year, about October we estimate, we will have a vaccination certificate that will be able to be... internationally recognised to facilitate when people are moving out of the country and into the country, being able to recognise others' certificates."

"That is something that has been a common feature of the conversations I have been having with other leaders."



Australian PM says COVID-19 vaccine certificates coming to Apple Wallets

Adam Ang | 23 Jul 2021

Australia's COVID-19 vaccine certificates will soon be available on Apple Wallets. In Wednesday's press conference, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he expects the country's vaccine certificates to come into the wallet app "this month".

He also said that later in the year, or around October, the COVID-19 digital vaccine certificates will be recognised internationally, enabling travels to and from the country.

Australian citizens who have completed their Pfizer or AstraZeneca jabs will automatically get their digital certificates via their accounts in the Express Plus Medicare app. The certificate can also be accessed in their MyGov account's immunisation history once they can link it to Medicare. Another way to get their certificates is by requesting an immunisation history statement from their vaccine provider or through the Australian Immunisation Register.


The federal government is currently seeking a developer for its smartphone app project that can store COVID-19 vaccine certificates and test results.



HealthOne integrates with MIQ

Wednesday, 21 July 2021  

NEWS - eHealthNews.nz editor Rebecca McBeth

The HealthOne shared care record for the South Island is being accessed more than 10,000 times a day by clinicians working across more than 500 organisations. 

The system is also now integrated with the region’s six managed isolation and quarantine facilities (MIQ).

HealthOne general manager Rachael Page says after a decade of year-on-year growth in use, HealthOne is now central to the clinical workflow for almost 30,000 clinicians who rely on the platform.

HealthOne collects and holds a summary record for every patient in the South Island, including information such as, prescribed and dispensed medications, allergies and alerts, adverse reactions and observations.

There are more than 200 million pieces of data stored and more than 300,000 views per month.


Omniscient Neurotechnology gets US FDA clearance for brain mapping software

Adam Ang | 22 Jul 2021

Sydney-based Omniscient Neurotechnology has received the US FDA's 510(k) clearance for its brain mapping software.


Quicktome is a digital brain mapping platform that provides clinicians with a visualisation of a patient's brain networks which are responsible for complex functions such as language, movement and cognition.

Featuring intuitive browser interfaces, the platform analyses millions of data points drawn from a patient's MRI. Cloud computing is then utilised for processing big data.


Quicktome incorporates "connectomics", or the study of brain connections, into routine neurosurgical planning.

The platform is designed by neurosurgeons and data scientists to assist clinicians in making informed decisions; it also reduces uncertainty by providing insights on a patient before and during life-changing brain surgery. The company says its solution can derive insights from various brain-related disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression, chronic pain and brain cancer.



Western Australia to rollout AI-powered foetal monitoring system

Adam Ang | 23 Jul 2021

The state government of Western Australia is set to roll out a foetal monitoring system in all Country Health Service maternity sites across its regions through next year. Bunbury Regional Hospital, the state's busiest and largest site, will be the first to introduce the system.

It will implement the A$4.2 million Infant Guardian System from health record system provider K2 Medical Systems which runs on artificial intelligence to support the clinical review of foetal heart rate patterns.


Based on a media release, the implementation of the AI-powered foetal monitoring system enables remote monitoring of clinical data delivered in real-time, which further enhances patient involvement. It also renders greater privacy and fewer intrusions during labour as foetal heart rates can be monitored remotely. There is also a potential for a much efficient discharge process using data.

The media release also noted that through the system, specialist support can be delivered to smaller maternity sites in real-time and remotely.



21 July 2021

E-scripts hit the big time

PBS Technology

By Holly Payne

Australia’s digital health sector all too often fails to deliver on the hype, but electronic prescribing capabilities appear to be the exception.

Introduced in May last year as a pandemic safety measure, more than 12 million e-scripts have now been issued, according to Australian Digital Health Agency figures.

E-scripts act as replacements for a paper script by sending a unique digital token directly to patients via text or email, and can also be uploaded to Active Script List.

The interoperability with Active Script List allows patients, GPs and pharmacists to share access to a consolidated digital wallet containing all active prescriptions for the patient.

According to Fred Naismith, CEO of pharmacy sector tech vendor Fred IT, although e-scripts were implemented only last year, the concept has been in the works for almost a decade.



NBN Co says 119,000 services still can't reach 25Mbps peak speeds

By Ry Crozier on Jul 22, 2021 4:37PM

Despite network being "built and fully operational".

NBN Co said there are still 119,000 active services that can’t achieve the minimum 25Mbps peak download speed the network is meant to deliver, including almost 24,000 services that can’t go higher than 20Mbps.

The updated number, current to the start of June, shows the issue is still present despite the NBN being declared “built and fully operational” at the end of last year.

However, it is well down on the almost 238,000 underperforming services that were active as at the end of last year.

“NBN Co advises that as at June 1 2021, 119,000 NBN services were unable to access speeds of 25Mbps or higher,” the company said, adding that “the majority (80 percent) of these premises are able to access speeds of more than 20 Mbps.”



Friday, 23 July 2021 11:21

CommBank takes stake in NBN RSPs to offer customers broadband plans

By Sam Varghese

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has taken a 25% stake in two retail service providers that resell NBN services and says it will offer discounted plans to its customers through these two companies.

The bank announced the deal on Thursday, saying it had signed up with More Telecom and Tangerine.

In a statement, Angus Sullivan, group executive for Retail Banking Services, said: "We’re looking at how we can help save customers money with their everyday bills and commitments and our decision to partner with More Telecom and Tangerine highlights how we’re continuing to reward our customers.

“As the country’s biggest supporter of getting Aussies into homes, we are reimagining banking for our customers, creating more value for them, putting more money back in their pockets, and helping them save money by exposing them to new ways of doing things and new quality products and services.”



CBA takes 25 percent stake in two NBN retail service providers

By Ry Crozier on Jul 22, 2021 8:28AM

Will offer 'discounted NBN and broadband' to customers.

CBA is making a surprise play in the Australia broadband market, taking stakes in More Telecom and Tangerine and using its banking app to try to persuade customers to switch their provider.

The bank said on Thursday it had entered a “new strategic partnership” with sister companies More Telecom and Tangerine, and acquired “a 25 percent ownership stake in both."

It will use the partnership to “offer discounted NBN and broadband services” to banking customers, mostly by recommending a provider switch through the CommBank app.

“The average monthly cost of internet in Australia is one of the most expensive in the world, and we are uniquely positioned to help customers manage these costs,” CBA’s group executive for retail banking services Angus Sullivan said.



NBN roundtable returns focus to customer needs - and NBN Co's costs

By Ry Crozier on Jul 21, 2021 12:33PM

Areas of scrutiny revealed.

Retailers selling NBN services have sought to prioritise customers’ expectations of broadband services in critical discussions that promise to radically shake up the way NBN services are priced.

The retailers, together with other stakeholders, attended a roundtable discussion with Chatham House rules last month convened by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and NBN Co.

Both the ACCC and NBN Co released discussion papers before the roundtable, pointing to their present thinking around long-term pricing models.

The model that most retailers are advocating for is a single flat-price wholesale charge, and the removal of variable charges that create problems when trying to set retail prices.

A summary of the roundtable [pdf], released today, still shows a “preference” among “several attendees” for a flat-rate pricing model.



ACCC clears 5G as a substitute for fixed-line broadband

By Ry Crozier on Jul 20, 2021 12:52PM

Sets high bar for a future ruling.

NBN Co hit a hurdle in its bid to rein in competition from 5G operators late yesterday, with Australia’s competition watchdog more clearly defining when it will consider 5G “substitutable” for fixed-line services.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) late yesterday confirmed a December draft decision to extend a set of regulations imposed on fixed-line rivals to NBN Co by a further five years.

Through the process, the ACCC had been under pressure from NBN Co to also regulate wireless competitors, including cellular providers of ‘home broadband’ 5G services.

“NBN Co considers that mobile technology, including 5G technology, are effective technical substitutes for fixed-line broadband services,” NBN Co had said. [pdf]

NBN Co reinforced that position last month, arguing 5G operators were challenging its monopoly status in many market segments.



Why limits are crucial as telcos fight over 5G spectrum

Paul Fletcher


July 19, 2021 — 9.30am

In recent days I’ve been interested to read in this masthead comments from both Telstra and Optus regarding the upcoming auction of low-band 5G spectrum.

Readers might wonder why this rather arcane issue is attracting such passion from the telcos. What is “spectrum” and why does it matter?

First, “spectrum” refers to the invisible radio frequencies that wireless signals travel over. Those signals are what allow our mobile devices to operate.

Mobile networks use radio frequency spectrum across different ranges. Generally, the lower the frequency, the further a signal can travel.

The Government regularly reallocates blocks of spectrum, particularly to support the huge growth in mobile communications. In 2019 there were 28 million services in operation, compared to 6 million 20 years prior, and mobile networks today carry very large amounts of data—whereas, 20 years ago, they carried almost exclusively voice services.



NASA selects SpaceX for mission to Jupiter moon Europa


10:13AM July 24, 2021

NASA on Friday said it had selected SpaceX to launch a planned voyage to Jupiter's icy moon Europa, a huge win for Elon Musk's company as it sets its sights deeper into the solar system.

The Europa clipper orbiter will make about 40 to 50 close passes over Europa to determine whether the icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life.