Monday, June 17, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 17th June, 2013.

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 publicity blitz for the PCEHR seems to be reaching fever pitch since there seems to be a deadline for spending promotional money seems to be June 30, 2013. Amazing to see the bus running all over, handing out little goodies and so on!
Other than that it has seemed to be a quiet week. Behind the scenes however there are still a lot of ructions going on regards standards setting. There may be much more news on this in the next week or two.

Government rushes to spend $7m on health ads

Joanna Heath
The federal government is rushing to spend nearly $7 million on a ­Medicare advertising campaign before caretaker period restrictions begin in about nine weeks time, it has emerged.
Department of Health officials appearing at a senate estimates ­hearing in Canberra on Wednesday said they were awaiting final ­government approval for a national campaign announced in the budget.
The campaign aims “to inform Australians about the benefits of Medicare and health related ­services”.
It will cost $10 million over the next two years. Some $6.5 million is ­allocated for the current 2012-13 financial year, ending on June 30.

Federal Government launches advertising campaign 'Medicare For All'

Created on Tuesday, 11 June 2013
The federal government has launched an advertising campaign for the PCEHR, airing new television commercials as part of a “Medicare For All” promotion that also includes information on Medicare Locals and the after-hours GP helpline.

Australian e-health sign-up target 'in sight'

Summary: Despite needing to double the number of users signed up for e-health records, the Australian Department of Health and Ageing is confident that it'll get close to 500,000 users signed up by the end of this month.
By Josh Taylor | June 11, 2013 -- 04:18 GMT (14:18 AEST)
The Department of Health and Ageing is expecting to get close to 500,000 users signed up for Personally Controlled E-Health Records (PCEHR) by the end of June, despite only having approximately half that number signed up so far.
The Australian government, in conjunction with the states, has invested over AU$1 billion in the e-health program aimed at improving patient care through making it easier for healthcare providers to access and share information about a patient throughout the medical system. The project has been slow for uptake, with the government rolling out a number of the features of the system over time as GPs and other healthcare providers implement key system upgrades in order to accommodate the new e-health record system.

The year ahead in eHealth – State budgets analysis

With six of the eight state and territory budgets now published, we look at the state of health, eHealth and IT budgets in Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT, NT, Queensland and South Australia in the coming year.
Budget:  Delivered 7 May 13 by Treasurer Michael O’Brien (Liberal) 
Surplus budget - by $225 million
Total health budget: $14 billion
Key announcements in health, eHealth and IT:
  • High investment in health infrastructure – particularly hospitals ($1.2 billion over four years, $629 million for new capital projects)
  • $238 million for additional clinical training
  • $19 million over four years to technology portfolio for Victorian Government ICT Strategy – using ICT to deliver better government services  
Budget:  Delivered 14 May 13 by Treasurer David Tollner (Country Liberals) 
Deficit budget – by $1.185 billion
Total health budget: $1.36 billion (increased by $136 million)
Key announcements in health, eHealth and IT:
  • $173 million for health infrastructure upgrades
  • New Service Framework decentralises hospital and health services from Department of Health to new authorities in Top End and Central Australia, managed through service delivery agreements
  • $575 million operational funding to Top End Health and Hospital Service - Royal Darwin, Katherine and Gove District hospitals
  • $229 million operational funding to Central Australian Health and Hospital Service - Alice Springs and Tennant Creek hospitals
  • $10 million capital and $35 million operational per year for alcohol mandatory treatment tribunal and rehabilitation facilities

Trialling digital health startups v online snake oil salesmen

11 June, 2013
Jessica Gardner
To stand out among Facebook bikini body challenges and questionable claims from wearable device makers, Nick Crocker realised he would have to speak the language of the medicos.
”In the medical realm, the answer to ‘does something work’ is never yes until you’ve done a randomised controlled trial,” Crocker, the co-founder of exercise start-up Sessions says. “This is the currency of doctors to share information about new products.”
Crocker has been linked to numerous technology start-ups – from music discovery app We Are Hunted to TV streaming device company Boxee – but his latest venture has brought home the challenges unique to digital health.

Get your personal eHealth record now!

The Australian Government has brought in the eHealth record system to make healthcare in Australia even better, safer and more effective.
The NEHTA truck will be touring Queensland in May and June this year to help consumers to register for your own online record. It’s free and it only takes a few minutes. Your Medicare Local team will be there to help.

Sign up for eHealth at toy libraries

PARENTS who take advantage of toy libraries can now register their families for eHealth records in the same place.
Metro North Brisbane Medicare Local has teamed up with Playgroup Queensland to raise awareness about the personally controlled electronic health record.
On Wednesday Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland visited the Burpengary community hall toy library to find out more.

Hundreds sign up for eHealth

  • 13th Jun 2013 6:00 AM
HUNDREDS of Bundaberg people turned out to visit an eHealth roadshow and along the way signed up for a more efficient health record.
Wide Bay Medicare Local eHealth advisor Tina Connell-Clark was on hand earlier in the week to help out in the purpose built eHealth semi-trailer, in the Sugarland Shoppingtown carpark. She said the initiative could save lives of those who were most vulnerable.
"The reason we are bringing the truck here is to encourage the community to get an electronic health record," she said.

eHealth roll out in Mount Isa

13 June 2013 , 11:37 AM by Emma Cillekens
In a national first eHealth records will be rolled out en masse in North West Queensland.
The technology, which was released last year, allows all Australians to control an online summary of their medical records which can be shared with and added to by a number of health professionals.
Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health director Professor Sabina Knight says Mount Isa and the North West is the first area that all health professionals are working together to understand the new technology and get more community members to sign-up.

Crowds queue up to sign on for eHealth program

HUNDREDS of Fraser Coast residents have signed up for an online eHealth record after the Wide Bay Medicare Local truck arrived in Hervey Bay on Wednesday.
The eHealth truck was busy at Pialba Place with locals queuing to sign up for a better way to manage personal health records.
An eHealth record is a secure online summary of your health information.

E-health talk

June 13, 2013, 9:36 a.m.
U3A Curriculum Convener e-Health A one hour Presentation about e-Health will be given at the U3A, Penrith School of Arts, 3 Castlereagh St., Penrith at 1.30pm on Tuesday 18th June.
The Australian Government has developed a national, personally controlled electronic (e-Health) health record system.

Online health deadline looming

THE Gillard government must sign up more than 9600 people a day to meet its target of 500,000 registrations by the end of the month for the $467 million eHealth record system.
It took 11 months to hit the first 250,000 as of June 5. This time the government will have about three weeks to repeat the feat.
The government had aimed for half a million Australians with a personally controlled eHealth record by next month.

Check your eHealth at the Sunshine Coast Show

  • 14th Jun 2013 11:02 AM
FOLLOWING a successful attendance at the Maleny Agricultural Show, the eHealth team at Sunshine Coast Medicare Local are ready for a flood of eHealth sign-ups at the Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show this weekend.
"A Personally Controlled Electronic Hallows you, and medical professionals authorised by you, to access health details, such as any current medications, allergies, immunisation status and health conditions," Sunshine Coast Medicare Local CEO, Ian Landreth said.
"In an emergency, all this information is accessible, and stored securely in a single place.

Healthcare Recallnet Solution

3 June 2013
In a world first, NEHTA Supply Chain, in partnership with GS1 Australia, is poised to launch the first Healthcare Recallnet Solution. This solution provides real time notification and recall of therapeutic products listed on the National Product Catalogue. Based on the successful completion of the Recallnet pilots in April, the planning and preparation continues for the production release of the solution which is set for September 1st.

GE Healthcare to spend $2 billion on software development

Summary: The company said that the $2 billion spread over five years will focus on asset management, hospital operations, clinical effectiveness and patient care.
By Larry Dignan for Between the Lines | June 11, 2013 -- 13:27 GMT (23:27 AEST)
GE Healthcare said Tuesday that it will invest $2 billion to develop software for hospital information technology, patient monitoring and other technologies.
The company said that the $2 billion spread over five years will focus on asset management, hospital operations, clinical effectiveness and patient care.
New applications by GE Healthcare will be created in collaboration with GE's software development arm and research hubs.
GE is increasingly competing with established software giants such as IBM. The Internet of things, or industrial Internet as GE calls it, means that every company has the potential to be a software player.

Human genes can't be patented: Supreme Court

Date June 14, 2013 - 7:17AM

Adam Liptak

Washington: Isolated human genes may not be patented, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday. The case concerned patents held by Myriad Genetics, a Utah company, on genes that correlate with increased risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
The patents were challenged by scientists and doctors who said their research and ability to help patients had been frustrated. The particular genes at issue received attention after actress Angelina Jolie revealed in May that she had had a preventive double mastectomy after learning that she had inherited a faulty copy of a gene that put her at high risk for breast cancer.
The price of the test, often more than $3000, was partly a product of Myriad's patent, putting it out of reach for some women. The company filed patent infringement suits against others who conducted testing based on the gene. The price of the test "should come down significantly," said Dr. Harry Ostrer, one of the plaintiffs in the case decided on Thursday. The ruling, he said, "will have an immediate impact on people's health."

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