Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 21st April, 2014.

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

I thought there was enough bits of news around to make this useful.

eHealth scheme considered for cuts

Joanna Heath
The Abbott government is considering ­publishing a review into the previous government’s eHealth scheme before the budget, prompting speculation the $1 billion program is in line for cuts.
Health Minister Peter Dutton has previously signalled his opposition to the scheme, which allows patients to opt-in to a personal electronic record of their medical history, calling the rollout under Labor a “scandal”.
The government was handed the results of the review in January this year, with its authors left in the dark about a release date. Freedom of information requests to obtain the report have been refused.
“We thought it was going to be mid-January, then mid-February, then April,” said panel member and Australian Medical Association ­president Steve Hambleton.
“eHealth is really on hold at the moment in Australia . . . everything is waiting on clarification as to the direction.”

National eHealth Record

Date: Friday 9th May 2014
Location: Maroochydore Library, Cotton Tree
How will it affect you?
Join the team from Sunshine Coast Medicare Local as they provide a free information session on the National eHealth record. Learn how registering gives you the ability to share your vital health information.
Find out everything you need to know about the eHealth record including:
• privacy
• security
• access
• content
• how it can benefit yourself and your family.

Skin in the Game

Australia’s Health Ministers (including Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton) all expressed strong support for the PCEHR last week during the Standing Council on Health (SCoH) meeting in Brisbane chaired by NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research Jillian Skinner.
“A commitment to the PCEHR came through very strongly from the Federal Minister,” Minister Skinner told eHealthspace this week.
“Everyone knows there is a review going on - that is publicly known, but that doesn’t mean that there’s any lack of commitment to eHealth records from the Federal Minister,” she said.
“He said - and we agreed - that it was important to work together on an ongoing commitment.”

GPs slam new triage referral system

15 April, 2014 Paul Smith
GPs have savaged a referral system rolled out across WA, claiming patients are being referred to hospitals 100km or more away from where they live.
The Central Referral Service system was launched two months ago to cut the waiting lists plaguing the state's outpatient services.
It means GPs fill out a five-page application form, either online or on paper, which is then sent to a nurse triage unit that decides what hospital and service will treat a patient.
AMA WA president Dr Richard Choong (pictured), who practises in the city of Rockingham, said: "One of our patients was referred to a hospital. It was 110km away.
"It was a mystery why they decided to send the patient there.

Digital dawn of a brave new medical world

PUBLISHED: 16 Apr 2014    Mark Eggleton
The healthcare sector is ripe for digital disruption globally, according to the global CEO of GE Healthcare, John Dineen.
Speaking to The Australian Financial Review, Dineen said the sector faces a tremendous increase in demand as populations are getting older and sicker with chronic diseases that are very complicated.
“A bow wave of demand (in developed economies) is heading towards us and governments don’t have a lot of money to throw at the problem, so the big question is, how do we finance and fund our healthcare systems which are already strained?” Dineen says.
He says healthcare systems around the world have always looked for clinical quality but now they need productivity and they need it fast.
“We have to ask for more from our healthcare system as the basics of health have changed and this change has only really come about in the last three to five years. We’re getting different demand signals from health providers and technology providers and that is: help us get more productive; help us get better access, higher quality, lower cost all at the same time – and that requires different behaviour.”

Wikipedia hits help track flu spread

Date April 18, 2014 - 8:04PM

Dan Harrison

Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent

The number of hits recorded on Wikipedia articles could track the spread of flu and other illnesses faster than existing systems, research says.
Researchers in the United States have developed a highly accurate computer model for estimating levels of flu-like illness in the American population by analysing internet traffic on flu-related Wikipedia articles.
The research, published in PLOS Computational Biology on Friday, found the Wikipedia-based model estimated flu levels up to two weeks sooner than data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention became available. The Wikipedia-based model was also more accurate at estimating the timing of peak flu activity than Google Flu Trends, a service developed by the internet search giant that draws on Google search queries.

Plug pulled on schools' disastrous Ultranet computer system

Date April 20, 2014

Farrah Tomazin

The Sunday Age's state political editor.

After $180 million in taxpayer funds and years of political angst, the most bungled computer system to hit Victorian schools has finally been switched off.
The state government has confirmed the IT experiment known as the Ultranet has officially ceased, ending one of the most controversial projects ever rolled out in public education.
The software was intended to transform the way students learn by providing parents with information about their child's lesson plans, giving teachers a place to collaborate and share their curriculum, and allowing students to set personal goals and get feedback online.

Keep up to date on liver diseases

8th Apr 2014
THE iLiver app is useful for doctors to have at their fingertips, especially for those with a special interest in the liver.
iLiver was developed by the European Association for the Study of the Liver to provide updated information about liver disease. The app contains practical and relevant information concerning 22 liver conditions, ranging from acute liver failure to gallstones, the hepatitides, portal hypertension and Wilson’s disease.

Digitise your records or perish

Date April 18, 2014 - 10:46AM

Drew Turney

Digitising records isn't a new area of business, but changes to privacy, the need for improved reporting and saving time and money are making it more important than ever that you get it right.
Take the government's eHealth initiative. Costing $1 billion since 2011, the program aims to centralise information about patients' medical history, making it available to providers to help with diagnoses. Though it's been reported eHealth has had mixed results, the impetus behind the program is that sharing information with other medical providers will save lives.
But it's about more than collecting customer profiles. If a 20-year-old signs up for a life insurance policy and the company is subsequently acquired or sold throughout the policyholder's life, figuring out which new company's product disclosure statement they signed can be a huge and potentially expensive challenge.

#FHIR FAQs and Knowledge Base articles

Posted on April 15, 2014 by Grahame Grieve
HL7 has published a set of FAQs and knowledge base articles about FHIR, that cover questions about the following aspects of the FHIR specification:
  • Scope and Relationships
  • Specification
  • Architecture
  • Tooling and Support
  • Resource Design
  • Implementation Approach
  • Codes and Terminology
  • Implementation Details
  • Domain Questions
  • Security
We bring together people who save lives and improve health outcomes. We are at the intersection of healthcare and technology. Come join us!
  • Be part of a close knit, growing and diversified community
  • 4-5 days per week with flexible hours (for the right candidate)
  • An achievement-focused, accomplishment-driven, innovative culture
  • Excellent career prospects - show initiative, deliver results and you will be given wings to fly
  • Parkville Precinct, North Melbourne location (or Sydney based for the right candidate)
  • Proposed start date: May 2014

Human microchipping: I've got you under my skin

Date April 16, 2014

Iain Gillespie

Thousands of technology enthusiasts use it as the ultimate app, enabling them to lock and unlock their homes, cars, computers and mobile phones with a simple wave of a hand. But there's a catch: they must have a microchip inserted into their bodies.
The idea may seem weird, and painful, but human microchipping appears to appeal not only to amateurs, who call themselves biohackers, but also to governments, police forces, medical authorities and security companies.
It involves using a hypodermic needle to inject an RFID (radio-frequency identification) microchip, the size of a grain of rice, usually into the person's hand or wrist. The same kind of chip is used for tracking lost pets.

Heart Attack!

By Steve Wilson for
For the second time in as many months, a grave bug has emerged in core Internet security software. In February it was the "Goto Fail" bug in Apple devices that left web site security inoperable; now we have "Heartbleed", a flaw that leaves many secure web servers in fact open to attackers sniffing out passwords and keys.
"Heartbleed" is a flaw in an obscure low level feature of the "Transport Layer Security" (TLS) protocol. TLS has an optional feature dubbed "Heartbeat" which lets a computer connected in a secure session periodically test if the other computer is still alive. Heartbeat involves sending a request message with some dummy payload, and getting back a response with duplicate payload. The bug means the responding computer can be tricked into sending back a bigger dump of 64 kiloytes of memory. (For the technically minded, this error is qualitatively similar to a buffer overload; see also the OpenSSL Project description of the bug). A random grab of security data has a good chance of including passwords, credit card numbers and even TLS session keys. The bug is confined to the OpenSSL security library, where it was introduced inadvertently as part of some TLS improvements in late 2011.

NBN Co seeks ‘early resolution’ of TPG fibre threat

If Telstra decided to compete with NBN Co infrastructure, there would be ‘significant implications’
The company in charge of rolling out and operating the National Broadband Network has called for a speedy resolution to the issue of infrastructure-based competition. NBN Co raised the spectre of cascading consequences from a decision to allow infrastructure-based competition in a submission to the Vertigan panel.
The NBN Panel of Experts — also known as the Vertigan panel after its chair, Michael Vertigan — has been charged by the government with conducting a cost-benefit analysis of the NBN and a review regulation relating to the network and its rollout.
NBN Co has provided the panel with a supplementary submission that responds to issues raised by other parties in their responses to the Regulatory Framing Paper. The panel released Regulatory Framing Paper in February.

Five Windows 8.1 features that mouse users will love

  • Nathan Olivarez-Giles
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • April 17, 2014 12:00AM
THE Windows 8.1 update is here, and for those who use a mouse and keyboard instead of a touch screen, it’s a vast improvement. Microsoft has tweaked its touch-centric operating system to be more click-friendly for those on laptop and desktop PCs. Many of the features are a nod to the past (such as being able to boot directly to the desktop), mirroring what Windows users are used to on Windows XP (rest in peace) and Windows 7.
If you have a Windows 8 or 8.1 computer, and want the update, you can either wait for it to automatically download and prompt you, or you can go into settings, click “update and recovery”, then select “Windows update”. That will get the process started, if it hasn’t started already. Now, here are five changes you need to know about.

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