Quote Of The Year

Quotes Of The Year - 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."

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Commentators and Journalists Weigh In On Digital Health And Related Privacy, Safety And Security Matters. Lots Of Interesting Perspectives - January 28, 2020.

This weekly blog is to explore 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 are dated 6 December, 2018! Secrecy unconstrained! This is really the behaviour of a federal public agency gone rogue – and it just goes on! When you read this it will be well over 13 months of radio silence, and better still the CEO, COO and the Chief of Staff have also gone.  I wonder will things improve now – so far seems not?
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.


How consumers are exploited by the online advertising industry
This is a 200 page report with lots of careful research. Fabulous source data.

Unfinished business at Dept of Health

Department of Health Secretary Gladys Beauchamp will take leave from 24 January, before officially stepping down from her role and retiring on 28 February.
Ms Beauchamp was expected to complete negotiations for the 7th Community Pharmacy Agreement, having told delegates at 2019 Pharmacy Connect conference she would secure the agreement by 31 December.
The current Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy has been recommended as the new DoH secretary, and, if confirmed in the position will be required to complete the 7CPA negotiations, in time to replace 6CPA when it ends on 30 June.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has thanked Glenys Beauchamp PSM, for the contribution she has made to health care in Australia during her time as Secretary of the Department of Health.
By Jonny Evans, Computerworld | 24 January 2020 0:22 AEDT

Apple says it’s healthy to be skeptical about digital health

Apple’s vice president for health, Dr. Sumbul Desai, says it's important to question what digital health solutions can do.

Is technology really good for your health? Can Apple really make a difference in future healthcare? Questions like this are all perfectly appropriate, argues Apple’s vice president for health, Dr. Sumbul Desai.

You have to test what tech firms claim

Desai leads Apple’s teams in developing health-focused software and sensors, such as Activity, Health, ECG reading on Apple Watch and the company’s selection of health-focused research apps. She joined the company in 2017.
While she clearly believes in the potential of digital health technologies, (as does her boss, CEO Tim Cook), she’s also a health professional in her own right, and understands how important it is that patients and healthcare providers be sceptical as big tech attempts to get into the market.

Biometric ID a worry but still acceptable to Australians: AIC

Australians are concerned about the risks of biometric identification, but still find its use acceptable in a wide range of scenarios.
By Stilgherrian for The Full Tilt | January 22, 2020 -- 02:47 GMT (13:47 AEDT) | Topic: Security
The vast majority of Australians are concerned about the use of biometric technologies to confirm their identity, according to newly-published research by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC).
Some 83% of those surveyed were either "extremely concerned", 48.8%, or "somewhat concerned",34.2%, about the protection of their privacy when biometrics were use.
Over 81% of respondents were concerned about being forced to use biometrics without their free consent -- 47.0% were extremely concerned and 34.3% were somewhat concerned -- and 91% were concerned about government surveillance -- 38.2% were extremely concerned and 33.2% were somewhat concerned.

Chief Executive Officer

Delivering the benefits of digitally enabled healthcare together 
The Australian Digital Health Agency (Agency) is responsible for national digital health services and systems, with a focus on engagement, innovation and clinical quality and safety. The focus is on putting data and technology safely to work for patients, consumers and the healthcare professionals who look after them. Established as a statutory authority in the form of a corporate Commonwealth entity, the Agency reports to State and Territory Health Ministers through the COAG Health Council.
Tasked with improving health outcomes for Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia, the Agency commenced operations on 1 July 2016. The Agency is committed to the delivery of world leading digital health capabilities. Through an open, transparent and collaborative approach, the Agency is working with the health system to drive better health for all Australians, enabled by seamless, safe and secure digital health services and technologies.
Comment: A CEO like this would be an interesting change!

We can’t keep waiting for social media to grow up

When the Black Saturday bushfire tragedy struck in 2009 Instagram didn’t exist, Twitter was an obscure “microblogging” experiment and Facebook was a fun site for bored university students to poke each other.
So we learned about Black Saturday and formed our views based almost exclusively on traditional media reports — newspapers, television, radio.
This year, millions of Australians and billions more people around the globe, are receiving most or all of their information about the summer bushfire crisis from social media.
This is a seismic shift. And it’s one we need to do a better job of understanding and guiding. On the one hand we should recognise the significant good that would not have been possible in 2009.

Key safeguard in Australia’s anti-encryption legislation ‘almost meaningless’

Digital Rights Watch’s Lizzie O’Shea says ban on implementing a “systemic weakness” may not protect end users of online service from unintended consequences
One of the key safeguards in a controversial Australian law that is intended to help facilitate police access to encrypted communications is “almost meaningless,” according to a human rights lawyer.
Lizzie O’Shea, a board member of Digital Rights Watch and a 2019 recipient of Access Now’s Human Rights Hero award, says that the legislation’s prohibition on forcing tech companies to introduce a “systemic weakness” into their systems “is almost meaningless”.
The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 (TOLA Act) allows law enforcement agencies to issue Technical Assistance Requests (formal requests for assistance) and Technical Assistance Notices (orders to carry out a certain act), and also allow the government to issue a Technical Capability Notice (a direction to implement a new capability in a product or service).

The Australian behind Clearview AI, a facial recognition software, says it is being used here

By Alex Tighe and Julia Andre
23 January, 2020
Police across the globe are turning to a powerful new tool created by an Australian, facial recognition software called Clearview AI.

Key points:

  • Clearview AI was founded by Australian Hoan Ton-That and sells facial recognition technology to police around the world
  • The technology uses over 3 billion images of people taken from publicly accessible websites
  • Mr Ton-That says the technology is being piloted by customers in Australia
The technology has the potential to alter privacy as we know it, according to Andrew Ferguson, a law professor at American University.
Facial recognition is "going to change the relationship between the people who surveil and the people who are being surveilled," he said.
Founded by Hoan Ton-That, Clearview AI uses a database of 3 billion images, which allows police to use a photo of a suspect to find other images and information about that person from across the internet.

From breaking TGA regulations to offending patients: 13 social media tips

Copyright breaches, online arguments and illegal advertising are among things to avoid
23rd January 2020
The Pharmacy Guild has updated its social media tips for pharmacists.
Here are 13 things you need to know:
What to avoid on your business page:
  • Images of product branding or product names, which may breach the TGA advertising code. Be careful of background signs when taking photos at events.
  • Venting at, or criticising, other people. All it takes is one disgruntled acquaintance to screenshot an unprofessional or otherwise inappropriate interaction and share it publicly for your reputation to take a hit.
  • Arguments with trolls. Use the abuse-reporting feature on the social media platform instead.
  • Copyrighted images (including ones you find on Google). Use reliable free sources, such as Pixabay and MorgueFile.
  • Offers of additional discounts on PBS medicines. It’s illegal, with significantly increased penalties for doing so.
  • Product testimonials from patients. These may extend beyond the product’s stated purpose — such as a nappy rash cream that cured dandruff. Delete any unsolicited testimonials.

Unlocking data's potential in health care

By Sharryn Napier, Vice President and Regional Director, ANZ at Qlik
Thursday, 23 January, 2020
Data is the lifeblood of every healthcare organisation. In spite of this, there are issues with both the availability of and access to information, which is keeping healthcare organisations from effectively using their data to meaningfully impact lives and improve patient care.
Data analytics is often discussed as the catalyst for change — helping practitioners uncover insights that improve operations, while also increasing care quality and efficiency. But let’s get one thing straight — even if a hospital provides access to the relevant data to every employee today, a lack of data literacy (that is, an individual’s knowledge of how to use and analyse data) will limit its potential. Healthcare organisations must find a cure that will address both data challenges: access to and use of information. The emerging methodology known as DataOps can help on both fronts.
DataOps is a new approach to agile data integration that looks at the challenge from a holistic perspective of people, process and technology. It focuses on improved collaboration and automation of data flows across an organisation. When done correctly, it helps organisations manage and use their data in real time for maximum operational and customer benefit.

Health Data and it’s Collection, Use, Protection and Disclosure

They say that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, but ‘when your apple does fail, a doctor will prevail’. Okay, maybe people don’t say that last part, but it’s nonetheless true. Generally, you might take a visit to the doctors for granted (unless you live in a country without universal healthcare), however as commercial lawyers we do sometimes wonder how well our health data and privacy is protected and what our rights are in the event that these are breached.
For health service providers and practice managers, we recommend that you stay up to date with health data protection legislation and guidelines. This is the case not only for doctors and private hospitals but also extends to pharmacists, dentists, gyms and childcare centres.
Health Data Help
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioners (‘OAIC’) released their Guide to Health Privacy (‘the Guide’) earlier this year.[1] It sets out a handy explanation for health service providers, including doctors and other health professionals, as to what their obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (‘the Privacy Act’) are as well as tips to ensure they are able to meet those obligations. The Guide has been introduced in the wake of high number of both privacy complaints to the OAIC and notifiable data breaches suffered by health service providers. Since mandatory reporting was introduced in February 2018, the health service provider sector has seen the highest cases of notifiable data breaches. Often, information that health service providers hold about individuals and families are extremely sensitive and could be misused if it falls into the wrong hands.

Google CEO eyes major opportunity in healthcare, says will protect privacy

By Greg Roumeliotis on Jan 23, 2020 7:00AM

Most potential over the next five to 10 years for using artificial intelligence.

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet Inc and its Google subsidiary, said on Wednesday that healthcare offers the biggest potential over the next five to 10 years for using artificial intelligence to improve outcomes, and vowed that the technology giant will heed privacy concerns.
US lawmakers have raised questions about Google's access to the health records of tens of millions of Americans. Ascension, which operates 150 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities across the United States, is Google's biggest cloud computing customer in healthcare.
"When we work with hospitals, the data belongs to the hospitals," Pichai told a conference panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Wednesday, 22 January 2020 10:40

Science fiction becoming ‘reality’ as advanced technologies start to enhance human beings

Science fiction is becoming a reality as a range of advanced technologies are starting to enhance human beings, with augmented humans one of the key trends identified in 20 predictions for the next 20 years in a new report by KPMG and Australian National University’s 3A Institute.
The report - 20 Predictions for the Next 20 Years - published by a KPMG Innovate team including partner & national leader James Mabbott - says that 20 years on from The Matrix (film), brain computer interfaces (BCI) are already being trialled, with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Minnesota creating the first-ever successfully mind-controlled robotic arm.
“Changes in our environment, coupled with advances in technology will reshape our world over the next 20 years. In 1990, a mobile phone was a novelty, today we carry mini-computers that enable access to unlimited knowledge and information in our pocket,” says Mabbott.
“In a world where corporate leaders are often forced to focus on short-term objectives, this report aims to start conversations amongst business leaders, to foster the blue sky thinking Australian businesses need if they are to successfully navigate the challenges of the future,” Mabbott added.

Did the ADHA just subtly reset its agenda?

January 21, 2020    
Yesterday the ADHA announced that yet to be decided standards for secure messaging will in future be mandatory for government procurement, a stake in the ground, which although maybe a long way off, may belie an organisation rapidly changing tack beneath the waterline on its previous obsessions with the My Health Record and secure messaging
This week’s press release from the ADHA on secure messaging announced in  carefully phrased and at times not easy to decipher wording that at a time somewhere in the future, standards for secure messaging, which are yet to be developed, will be mandatory in the procurement of ‘applicable systems’.
In the context of all of the events of last year at the ADHA, including much up front attempted work on sorting secure messaging, and of course, ‘opt out’  the announcement felt slightly odd.
But careful wording or not, and the fact that there was no date on when in the future this might happen, the release is a pretty important stake in the ground for the ADHA.

CEO ADHA: Apply here

January 22, 2020    
The recruitment process for a new Australian Digital Health Agency CEO started in earnest this week with this ad from search firm Watermark. What are we to expect of this process and are there any alternative means of sorting out ADHA leadership?
The recruitment process for a new Australian Digital Health Agency CEO started in earnest this week with this ad from search firm Watermark. Given that digital health transformation is starting to unfold far more impactfully, the false start by NHETA on the My Health Record, and the at times controversial tenure of the charasmatic and visionary outgoing CEO, Tim Kelsey, this recruitment process might just be one of the most important in the next few years for our entire health system.
The first thing that strikes you about this initial ad is, well, nothing. It’s the same ad as you might have had for Kelsey. It’s a vanilla superman leader wanted ad. We need an experienced digital health leader who is charasmatic, visionary, a doer, with a proven track record of some sort.

The social media pile-on taps into ancient instinct for scapegoating

By Joel Hodge
January 21, 2020 — 11.34pm
Social media is a forum that is susceptible to the worst forms of human communication and behaviour – abuse, disparagement, harassment, exclusion, conflict and more. These constitute or lead to various forms of violence.
The most recent example seems to be the tragic death of Wilson Gavin which was proceeded by a protest at a Brisbane library, leading to a large amount of online abuse. The type and volume of online abuse reported by various media outlets was shocking.
How can we explain such behaviour? There are two interrelated reasons. The first is because scapegoating is endemic to human groups. A "pile-on" creates a great deal of social unity and personal satisfaction. In order to relieve their own interior and social tensions, humans target and blame others. Violence against a scapegoat produces a tremendous "high", resulting in an intense sense of solidarity with one's group.

The Government Knows What Porn You Like, Now They Want To Watch You Enjoying It

by Joshua Badge 21 January 2020
Chances are you’ve noticed that Australia is rapidly becoming a dystopian hellscape. The government is prosecuting people who testify about Australia’s illegal activity, raiding journalists and threatening them with prison time.
Fair to say that this is all Very Bad™ but that’s all House of Cards stuff and doesn’t affect you, right? Well, there’s more. The government passed new laws forcing tech companies and websites to help hack your devices and is trying to spy on your emails, texts and bank records.
Of course, this is in addition to Australia’s system of mass surveillance, and now there’s a face recognition database in the works

Deepfakes pose challenge for US presidential elections

Artificial intelligence and deepfakes — machine learning creating fake likenesses of people — are shaping up as defining ­issues in the upcoming 2020 US election, according to Intel's senior director of AI product marketing Alexis Crowell.
Speaking to The Australian at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas, Ms Crowell said the tech industry had “learned how to walk after a lot of stumbling” when it came to AI, but that it had a mammoth challenge ahead of it this year with the US election.
“It's going to be an interesting year to watch how AI plays out,” she said. “Deepfakes and generative adversarial networks (GANs) and what they could do to fake ­editorials and fake video content will be huge themes. We've seen it with things like Brexit too.
 “I don't think AI is going anywhere but up in terms of how pervasive it is.

Message from Agency CEO, Tim Kelsey

20 December 2019: CEO reflections on the milestones that the Australian Digital Health Agency has helped to bring into realisation. ADHA Propaganda
Dear colleagues,
I wanted to highlight some of our collective achievements in digital health in 2019 – testimony to the hard work, commitment and professionalism of everyone involved.
  • New My Health Record statistics were published this week, providing more accessible, granular insights into activity and use. 22.65 million Australians have a My Health Record and more than half of them now have data in their record. The use of My Health Record by healthcare providers has also increased substantially since March this year. Pharmacies are currently the biggest contributors, uploading between 4 to 5 million documents every month, with GPs not too far behind – uploading between 2 to 3 million documents every month. There has been more than 140% growth of healthcare providers sharing and collaborating on patient information, with both viewing and uploading information close to equal. Here is an article from the Australian Journal of Pharmacy.
  • Path and DI connections continue across Australia resulting in increases in the number of reports uploaded. Recent connections include PathWest, the government pathology service in WA, and Melbourne Pathology, which has collection centres across the city and regional Victoria. Global Diagnostics in regional WA will announce its connection soon. At the end of November there were 505 diagnostic imaging connections, or 34% of practices, and 338 pathology laboratory connections or 77% of practices.

3 case studies on GPs using social media - and 10 steps for handling an online crisis

Ms Heusler is the director of Heusler Public Relations in Sydney, NSW.
21st January 2020
The success, or failure, of managing social media is predicated on one factor: communication skills.
Engaging in social media can be manna from heaven for practice growth and profile building — or a futile and risky dance with the digital devil.
Simply, social media is a medium for communication, just like television, radio, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, a sandwich board, email, a blog or the humble telephone.
Communicating via these channels was traditionally undertaken by professionals with experience in the disciplines of advertising, marketing and public relations.
However, social media has no barrier to entry and anyone can send out mass communications via the likes of Facebook and Twitter. This creates a host of pitfalls, especially for professionals like doctors, who are using the platforms to market their practice and build a profile.

Patients and doctors shunning My Health Record

20th January, 2020
My Health Record  ADHA Propaganda
The usefulness of My Health Record has been called into question, with only a minority of doctors and patients accessing the records.
The $1.7 billion federal scheme allows patients and their healthcare providers to view their health information online.
It’s been revealed that of the 23 million Australians that have a My Health Record, more than 90 per cent have never accessed it.
Terminal cancer patient Michael Higgins told The Sydney Morning Herald he was shocked to discover his online record hadn’t even been updated with his cancer diagnosis.
But Chief Medical Adviser at the Australian Digital Health Agency, Professor Meredith Makeham, has defended the system, telling Deb Knight it’s working the way it should.
Monday, 20 January 2020 10:48

ACMA seeks feedback on ways that businesses influence broadcast news

The Australian Communications and Media Authority is examining changes that have come about in commercial news broadcasts due to digital disruption, following studies in 2019 that showed about 80% of adults were concerned about large advertisers influencing the type and content of news.
The ACMA issued the statement on Friday, along with a discussion paper titled "Impartiality and commercial influence in broadcast news".
The ACMA is seeking comments from the public on the discussion paper by 28 February.
ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the organisation would examine whether current regulatory arrangements were fit for purpose.

3 reasons you can’t fight facial recognition

The biometric backlash is but a brief blip. Resistance is futile. You WILL be identified. But is that good or bad?

Back in the day -- by which I mean a period starting with the emergence of homo sapiens around 500,000 years ago until the day before yesterday -- it was possible for humans to walk around in society completely unrecognized and without any record of them having been there.
At some point in the future, it will be impossible to drive, shop, walk, go to work or function without being recognized by machines that will permanently record the fact of your presence in that place at that time.
Right now, we're in transition between the world of anonymous living and the always-recognized future.
Is the future a biometric convenience and security utopia? Or Orwellian nightmare. The answer is: Yes.

Technology is reshaping modern medicine

Author Michael Collins
19 January 2020  
But ethical and economic challenges could limit the benefits medtech brings to healthcare.
The Nobel Prize in Medicine 2019 was awarded to three men for “their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability”. The Nobel Prize in Medicine 2018 was given to two men “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation”. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 went to a trio for developing “cool microscope technology” that “revolutionises biochemistry” by allowing researchers to study three-dimensional structures of biomolecules in their search for a cure for the Zika and other viruses. One of the three chemistry winners of 2017, Joachim Frank of the US, said at the time that he “thought the chance of winning a Nobel Prize was minuscule because there are so many innovations and discoveries happening”.
Frank is still right about that. Technological leaps in medicine dubbed medtech are accelerating as researchers find better ways to treat more diseases, in more ways, for more people. Advances are occurring in biotechnology, immunotherapy, surgery, and foetal and neonatal care to name just some areas. Artificial-intelligence software trained on data from digitalised health records and devices can spot problems faster and more reliably than can humans. HCA Healthcare, the largest for-profit hospital operator in the US, for instance, now uses algorithms trained on 31 million cases to detect the sepsis infection that kills about 270,000 people a year in the US.
Comments more than welcome!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 27th January, 2020.


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

The fiasco that is the #myHealthRecord gets a going over by the Guardian this week among all sorts of stories on the progress of secure messaging and the fragile nature of our high tech infrastructure.

We also have a breaking story coming on police access to PBS / MBS data.

See here:


It is also a bit of a worry that the lost the ACT Emergency Web-Site just as a fire was approaching!

My Health Record: almost $2bn spent but half the 23m records created are empty

The Australian government has spent $1.97bn since the system was introduced as the e-health record in 2009
A decade since it was first announced, the federal government has spent close to $2bn on its troubled My Health Record system, and half of the 23m records created lie empty almost a year after the government made the system opt-out.
The former Labor government first proposed the e-health record system in 2009 as a means for patients, doctors and specialists to share patient history, X-rays, prescriptions and other medical information with ease.
The system was first launched in 2012 with little fanfare and very little uptake. In 2016, it was reported that after four years, only around 4 million people had created a record, and even fewer had actually had any information put in it.
The Coalition government then attempted to salvage the system by rebranding it to My Health Record and moving to make it opt-out in 2018, but the opt-out time period was extended to the start of 2019 amid concerns over security and law enforcement access to the records.

Media release - Secure messaging standards to be mandatory

20 January 2020: State, Territory and Commonwealth Governments have released a joint statement in support of new standards for secure messaging, stating that the standards will be mandatory in future procurement for applicable systems.
The joint statement was shared with industry at a workshop in December 2019 which was attended by over 50 representatives from clinical and secure messaging software suppliers, governments and clinical representatives.
The Australian Digital Health Agency has been working with industry and governments over a number of years to achieve interoperable secure messaging across different systems – necessary to accelerate use of electronic messaging over fax machines and paper transmission.
The workshop launched the approach to national scaling for a consistent, standards-based approach to secure messaging across Australia, to enable healthcare providers to communicate effectively as part of the National Digital Health Strategy 2018-22.

ADHA's work to get off fax progressing with standards agreed on

The agency responsible for oversight of My Health Record is looking to move the industry onto more modern ways of communicating.

By Asha Barbaschow | January 20, 2020 -- 03:52 GMT (14:52 AEDT) | Topic: Innovation
The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has been working on new standards for secure messaging, coming to an agreement with industry and government on what this should look like.
"The Australian Digital Health Agency has been working with industry and governments over a number of years to achieve interoperable secure messaging across different systems -- necessary to accelerate use of electronic messaging over fax machines and paper transmission," the agency responsible for My Health Record wrote.
The standards [PDF] will be mandatory for the future procurement of applicable systems, with the ADHA saying the success of the Secure Messaging Program will play an imperative role in achieving the Australian National Digital Health Strategy's key priorities for 2022.
The 2019-22 strategy has seven key priorities: To have health information available whenever and wherever it is needed; allow for health information to be exchanged securely; for that health information to be comprised of high-quality data with a commonly understood meaning; better availability and access to prescriptions and medicines information; digitally-enabled models of care; a workforce that uses digital health technologies to deliver health and care; and a "thriving digital health industry delivering world class innovation".

Security problem not so intractable

State, Territory and Commonwealth governments are supporting new standards for secure messaging, saying that the standards will be mandatory in future procurement for applicable systems

The joint statement was shared late last year at a workshop attended by representatives from clinical and secure messaging software suppliers, governments and clinical representatives.
The Australian Digital Health Agency says it has been working with industry and governments over several years to achieve interoperable secure messaging across different systems, which it says is necessary to accelerate the use of electronic messaging rather than fax machines and paper transmission.
The workshop launched the approach to national scaling for a consistent, standards-based approach to secure messaging across Australia, to enable healthcare providers to communicate effectively as part of the National Digital Health Strategy 2018-22.

Secure messaging standards to be mandatory in Australia

ADHA has been working with industry and governments over a number of years to achieve interoperable secure messaging across different systems.
January 20, 2020 03:12 AM
State, Territory and Commonwealth Governments in Australia released a joint statement in support of new standards for secure messaging, stating that the standards will be mandatory in future procurement for applicable systems.
The joint statement was shared with industry at a workshop in December 2019 which was jointly organized by the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) and Medical Software Industry Association. The workshop was attended by over 50 representatives from clinical and secure messaging software suppliers, governments and clinical representatives.
The workshop launched the approach to national scaling for a consistent, standards-based approach to secure messaging across Australia, to enable healthcare providers to communicate effectively as part of the National Digital Health Strategy 2018-22.

Remote Central Australian communities empty as Telstra outages shut down essential services

24 January, 2020
Widespread Telstra outages in several Aboriginal communities in a remote area of Central Australia are shutting down stores, putting lives at risk and preventing people from accessing their money, according to community members.

Key points:

  • Up to 2,000 people were affected by a Telstra outage that lasted more than 48 hours
  • Community members were forced to leave town because they could not buy food
  • Telstra says the problem was due to a mains power outage as well as faulty hardware that had to be replaced
The region north-west of Alice Springs is home to 2,000 people and in the past week has experienced outages lasting more than 48 hours.
Telstra has told the ABC that the problem has been resolved, but in Arlparra — one of the Aboriginal communities affected — store manager Annie Bremmer said her business had been without internet access since Wednesday.
Many members in the community have their income managed by Centrelink through the basics card, which allows people to send money directly to approved stores.
But without internet, retailers are unable to access these transfers.

'No one would know about my cancer': Doctors shun My Health Records

By Melissa Cunningham
January 19, 2020 — 12.22pm
Michael Higgins dreaded being struck down by a serious illness, so he was happy to be on the national $1.7 billion My Health Record system.
The 67-year-old's worst fears were realised when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer that had spread from his bowel to his liver last year.
The retired teacher logged into his digital health records to try to comprehend his grim diagnosis.
He was shocked to discover his medical records had not been updated, despite the scheme being rolled out almost a year ago.

Doctors spend 16 mins in each patient's e-health record

One third of their time is spent on chart review, reveals the US study of 155,000 medics including GPs
17th January 2020
Doctors spend an average of about 16 minutes in every patient's e-health record to review charts, document diagnoses and treatment plans and to order tests, a US study finds.
The researchers examined approximately 100 million patient encounters with about 155,000 doctors from all specialties, including GPs, from 417 community-based health systems.
They collected data on every keystroke, mouse click and second of time spent on various tasks in e-health records programs throughout 2018.
The amount of time that providers spent using e-health records to support the care delivery process was a concern for the healthcare system, not only for cost related to patient care, but also because of doctor burnout and job dissatisfaction, the researchers noted in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

New fee website shows NSW pays up to 40 times more in out-of-pocket costs

By Nigel Gladstone and Rachel Clun
January 20, 2020 — 12.00am
Private health patients in NSW are paying up to 40 times more in out-of-pocket costs than patients in other states for the same procedure.
While the federal government's new $7.2 million fee transparency website does not name individual specialists or list their fees, it reveals shocking disparities between what patients with private health insurance pay across the country and within Sydney.
In NSW, the average gap between the fee charged by a specialist and the Medicare benefit plus private health insurance benefit for cataract surgery was $650, compared to $30 in Tasmania. For hip replacements, NSW residents paid an average of $1800 to cover the gap between doctor's fees and any rebates, while those in Western Australia paid $170.
There were stark differences in out-of-pocket costs between public health networks within NSW and Sydney as well.

Data#3, Fujitsu, NTT named biggest govt winners of 2019

By Brendon Foye on Jan 22, 2020 12:35PM
Australia's Federal Government always spends bucketloads on IT and plenty of it goes to channel companies.
Which is why CRN has again, for a second year, we’ve sifted through the contract records for IT projects in order to assess just what Canberra spent, and with whom.
Our analysis spans contract notices published on the AusTender website from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 across four categories: information technology broadcasting and telecommunications; domestic appliances and supplies and consumer electronic products; electronic components and supplies; and engineering and research and technology-based services.
Our standard disclaimer: Given the nature of how contracts are publicised on the AusTender website, our results aren’t necessarily definitive. However, CRN is confident that these figures will provide a useful depiction of the biggest winners in Canberra for 2019. You can check out our 2018 analysis here, or the Q4 analysis here.
23 January 2020

Amazon puts its foot in the pharmacy door

Posted by Penny Durham
The powerful Pharmacy Guild may have met its match in internet behemoth Amazon, which looks poised to enter the Australian market just in time for the introduction of electronic prescribing.
While regulations still exist to protect the status quo, one industry expert predicts the US giant will overcome them and that community pharmacies could lose up to 20% of their PBS business.
MedAdvisor CEO Robert Read says the online retailer, which this month filed “Amazon Pharmacy” as a trademark with IP Australia, is looking for a new market to roll out its PillPack business, which it bought for more than $1 billion last year.
PillPack takes a user’s prescriptions, sorts and bundles the medications into daily packages and home-delivers them.

DTA tries to shake off Australia's chequered digital ID past

By Justin Hendry on Jan 20, 2020 1:12PM

Turns attention to marketing Govpass ahead of full launch.

With the first real test for Australia’s Govpass digital identity scheme just around the corner, the government agency in charge has turned its attention to marketing the $200 million-plus project.
The Digital Transformation Agency is appealing to the market for a comms strategy to inform the public about the program, as it prepares to ramp up the number of services accessible using Govpass.
“The next stage of digital identity will see a broader rollout of more services to more people,” a brief on the digital marketplace states.
“The program needs to expand its approach to communication significantly, to inform all Australians about what it is and isn’t – highlighting potential benefits its offers for everyone”.

AWS outage cripples ACT Emergency Services Agency website as Canberra bushfire rages

By Julian Bajkowski on Jan 23, 2020 6:00PM

Wobble drags on through Thursday

The ACT Government’s Emergency Services Agency (ESA) has attributed a website outage that hit in the middle of a rapidly escalating bushfire between Canberra Airport and Queanbeyan to Thursday’s AWS outage in Sydney.
Capping off an already bad day for AWS after significant availability problems hit its Sydney region, the ESA took to twitter to redirect Canberrans to Facebook and local media to obtain current information on the fire hitting the national capital that remains at a watch and act level.
The outage hit as Canberra Airport was shut to commercial traffic because of the fire, with residents around Oaks Estate warned to get out of the road of the oncoming blaze after two fires merged and engulfed a rubbish tip.
It is still unclear why the ESA website was hit by a single point of failure, however the blaze, known as the Beard fire, is burning close to the industrial suburb of Fyshwick which houses several data centres.

Red Cross goes offline in bid to protect staff after security incident