Monday, October 14, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 14th October, 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

We have finally heard from our new Health Minister - and we have the following as one of the first initiatives:
  • Development of a comprehensive e-mental health platform. With funding of $5 million over three years the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre will develop a new, comprehensive e-mental health platform to make it easier for young people to access advice and support 24 hours a day.
Other than that we have Senator Conroy admit he had no idea just how big the NBN was as a project, the Pharmacy Guild losing its IT Guru, some interesting Privacy Reports and the Nobel Prizes.
Additionally a colleague (Dr Terry Hannan) has been given the honour of giving a lecture on International E-Health at Grand Rounds at Johns Hopkins Medical Centre in the US. This is a pretty big honour so congratulations Terry. (The hospital in Baltimore was rated  in 2013 as the Best Hospital in the US!)
Here is the link

Abbott Government Commitment to Mental Health

The Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton, MP announced the first Australian Government actions to progress mental health as a key priority area.

Page last updated: 10 October 2013
10 October 2013
The Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton, MP announced today the first Australian Government actions to progress mental health as a key priority area.
Marking World Mental Health Day, Mr Dutton said there was clearly a need for a comprehensive review of mental health services to ensure that they are delivered to those people most in need, and that funding is provided to those programmes that have proven to be most effective on the frontline.
"People with mental illness deserve the same standards of access and treatment as those with a physical illness and I have asked the National Mental Health Commission to do a thorough review of all existing services, state and federal and non-government, to assess how well and efficiently they are helping their clients," Mr Dutton said.

Telehealth trial delivers tech surprise

An NBN telehealth trial that began earlier this year in Geraldton, WA, with aged care services providers Silverchain has already delivered some unexpected benefits to elderly clients monitored remotely through tablet devices.
“The aim of our telehealth trial was to monitor elderly clients with chronic conditions in their homes, so that we could give good in-home monitoring without having a daily nurse visit,” says telehealth nurse Linda Patmore.
Patients have been supplied with a tablet device with a specific app where they record their own blood pressure, temperature, blood oxygen levels and general health.
They log in daily to record vital signs and answer key questions, and interact with community health staff via video-conference calls.

Bill Scott steps down from GuildLink after heading profession’s IT push

9 October, 2013 Chris Brooker
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has paid tribute to the “tremendous contribution to community pharmacy” of Bill Scott (pictured), who yesterday stepped down as Chairman of GuildLink.
Under Mr Scott, a former president of the Guild’s Victorian branch, GuildLink has grown to become an industry leader in IT facilitated health programs delivered through community pharmacy.
Outgoing Guild national President, Kos Sclavos, said: “Bill Scott has made an outstanding contribution to the Guild and Guild family companies. Not only did Bill lead the negotiations on two Guild-Government Agreements, he also played a key role in the growth and development both GuildLink and the pharmacy software company Fred IT Group”.

Social media poses greatest privacy risk: OAIC survey

Only 9 per cent of respondents considered social media websites trustworthy
Nearly half of Australians surveyed by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) cited social media websites as the greatest risk to their privacy.
The Community Attitudes to Privacy survey was conducted in June 2013 with 1000 Australians by Wallis Consulting Group.
It found that 48 per cent of Australians believe online services, including social media, pose a privacy risk while only 9 per cent of respondents considered social media websites to be trustworthy when it came to protecting their privacy.
Australian Information Commissioner, Professor John McMillan, said the survey results confirm there's a growing concern in the community about privacy risks associated with social media since the survey was last conducted in 2007.

OAIC Community Attitudes to Privacy survey Research Report 2013


A unified approach for the evaluation of telehealth implementations in Australia

2 September, 2013
02 September 2013 | This paper provides a conceptual framework for the evaluation of telehealth implementations in Australia, and also provides an evidence base that illustrates the current state of telehealth evaluation on an international scale.
Executive summary
This paper was produced as part of a one year study, funded by the University of Melbourne interdisciplinary seed grant. This paper will firstly provide a conceptual framework that incorporates the key dimensions, criteria and measures that need to be considered in the evaluation of telehealth implementations in Australia.
Telehealth evaluation can be considered to be the examination of the effectiveness, appropriateness and cost of a telehealth service, by answering four fundamental questions 1) does the intervention work; 2) for whom; 3) at what cost and 4) how does it compare with the alternatives? In helping to address these questions for telehealth evaluation in the Australian context, this framework is linked back to a national, validated health performance framework.

Minister for Human Services

On 18 September 2013, Senator the Hon Marise Payne was sworn in as Minister for Human Services. A new Minister for Human Services website will be available shortly. Archived media releases are available for the Department of Human Services including Centrelink, Child Support, Medicare and from previous Ministers.

BYOD set to grow

  • Jennifer Foreshew
  • Australian IT
  • October 11, 2013 12:00AM
ALMOST 40 per cent of Australian chief information officers plan to maintain or grow investment in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) but most saw it as a disadvantage, a study shows.
The findings come from international IT recruitment firm Harvey Nash, which also found most CIOs were not in favour of shadow IT, usually software or hardware in an enterprise that was not supported by the IT department.
Harvey Nash chief executive officer Albert Ellis said social change had driven BYOD.
"They (CIOs) say all of this is bad because they feel there are risks associated (with it) and they are absolutely right, but you can’t fight the inevitable," he said.

Hospitals the testing ground for app to save unborn babies

Date October 13, 2013

Julie Power

A mobile phone app that helps mothers-to-be be more aware of their unborn baby's movements could cut the rate of stillborn deaths by as much as 30 per cent, according to a study.
Researcher Vicki Flenady said a pregnant woman's perception that her baby's movements had stopped or reduced was a more reliable tool of identifying a baby at risk than any measurement of the numbers of kicks.
Professor Flenady collaborated on a Norwegian program to raise awareness among pregnant women of the importance of noticing reductions in a baby's movements. Now she is hoping to roll out a similar program, with a new smartphone program called My Baby's Movements, to 27 hospitals in Australia and New Zealand as part of a push by the ANZ Stillbirth Alliance to reduce stillborn deaths.

The one medical Android app to have if stranded on a deserted island

Summary: As a very full-featured free app, Medscape is worth a download. If you have space on your device, I strongly recommend you download the full database so you're prepared in any eventuality.
By Denise Amrich for ZDNet Health | October 9, 2013 -- 19:18 GMT (06:18 AEST)
Public service announcement: Since the author has not, in fact, ever been stranded on a desert island — the closest she ever came was a bad night at the Cheesecake Factory — the survival techniques listed below are unlikely to work. If you're stranded on a deserted island and find yourself ill, please, as always, visit your doctor.
Let's say you're on a cruise in the middle of the Caribbean. You've been keeping your Android phone charged up, because you never know when the seas will be calm and you need to fire up a game of Angry Birds to keep you occupied.
All of a sudden, something goes terribly wrong. You hit an iceberg, or an oil drilling platform, or somehow find yourself in the middle of the Bermuda triangle.
The ship goes down. The only survivors are you and your special someone (and, of course, your trusty Android device which has somehow withstood the ravages of saltwater). You're alive, barely, and find yourselves washed up on a deserted island.

NBN rollout was too ambitious: Stephen Conroy

Date October 11, 2013

Ben Grubb

Former communications minister Stephen Conroy has conceded construction targets for the national broadband network were "overly ambitious" and overestimated the capacity of the construction industry.
In his first public speech since resigning as the communications minister when Kevin Rudd was reinstated as leader of the Labor Party, Senator Conroy also said the Liberal Party's failure to do a cost-benefit analysis of its national broadband network after calling on Labor to do so was "bullshit" and "hypocrisy".
But he admitted Labor had not realised the scale of the challenge when planning the NBN rollout.
 “[The rollout targets] were always ambitious," he said on Friday at a lunch in Sydney held by the Australian Computer Society. "We wouldn't have been so aggressive if we'd known how tough it was for the company.

Nobel to chemists who built a bridge from Newton to quantum

THREE molecular chemists have won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for devising computer simulations that are used to understand and predict chemical processes.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said research by Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel in the 1970s has helped scientists develop programs that unveil chemical processes such as the purification of exhaust fumes or the photosynthesis in green leaves.
That kind of knowledge makes it possible to optimise catalysts for cars, drugs and solar cells, the academy said.
"The work of Karplus, Levitt and Warshel is ground-breaking in that they managed to make Newton's classical physics work side by side with the fundamentally different quantum physics," the academy said. "Previously, chemists had to choose to use either/or."

'God particle' scientists Peter Higgs and Francois Englert win Nobel prize

  • AP
  • October 09, 2013 11:33AM
NEARLY 50 years after they came up with the theory, but little more than a year since the world's biggest atom smasher delivered the proof, Britain's Peter Higgs and Belgian colleague Francois Englert have won the Nobel Prize in physics for helping to explain how matter formed after the Big Bang.
Working independently in the 1960s, they came up with a theory for how the fundamental building blocks of the universe clumped together, gained mass and formed everything we see around us today. The theory hinged on the existence of a subatomic particle that came to be called the Higgs boson - or the God particle.
In one of the biggest breakthroughs in physics in decades, scientists at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, announced last year that they had finally found a Higgs boson using the $10 billion collider built in a 27km tunnel under the Swiss-French border.

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