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."

Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 16th June, 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

A really, really quiet week indeed.
To me the news regarding success of a system in meeting the Turing Test is the most interesting with the discussion of HP’s ‘The Machine’ coming a reasonably close second.
What I also find interesting is the total silence on the Government response to the PCEHR Review. I wonder why it is taking so long? Can it really be so hard to realise that the whole thing is a fiasco and needs to be totally rethought?
10 June 2014, 2.17pm AEST

Will Apple’s HealthKit and Health app empower or frustrate?

Suneel Jethani

Lecturer and PhD Candidate Media and Communications at University of Melbourne
If you thought that self-tracking and the collection of personal health and fitness metrics was just a fad then an announcement last week by Apple CEO Tim Cook at the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference might suggest otherwise.
A Health app and a developer tool named HealthKit, which is designed to serve as a hub to allow various health apps and fitness tracking devices to “talk” to one another, have been included in iOS 8.
But are these “new” developments from Apple really all that new – and do they indicate that matching hardware in the form of wearables is next on Apple’s launch list?
What Apple and partners such as the Mayo Clinic envisage is, for example, an app that monitors heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar or cholesterol. It would then be able to seamlessly share data with a hospital app or directly with healthcare professionals.
Research into why some people are more emotionally resilient in the face of adversity than others has won a Sydney medical researcher two national awards.
Dr Justine Gatt has received the $50,000 Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research for her research into the role of emotional resilience to adversity in optimal mental health and wellbeing.
Tonight (June 11), Dr Gatt will also receive a National Health and Medical Research Council Research Excellence Award for being the top-ranked Career Development Fellowship scheme applicant in the Industry category.
Dr Gatt, who is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sydney and conducts her ground-breaking research at the Westmead Millennium Institute’s Brain Dynamics Centre, aims to promote resilience in low-resilient individuals using e-health online training tools.
June 5, 2014

How Durable Are the Strong Recommendations Made in Practice Guidelines?

Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM reviewing Neuman MD et al. JAMA 2014 May 28.
Many Class I recommendations don't survive to the 10-year mark — especially those based merely on opinion or observational data.
Class I recommendations proclaim which practices should be followed in given clinical situations, and they are the strongest made within the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guideline framework. Investigators assessed the durability of Class I recommendations to provide a perspective on how often actions that are deemed mandatory become less enthusiastically endorsed as more evidence emerges.

Quiet achiever - QLD Telepaediatrics turns 14

Over the last fourteen years, the Queensland Telepaediatric Service (QTS) has linked patients in regional and remote Queensland with specialists at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in Brisbane, and last month celebrated its 20,000th consultation.
Associate Prof Anthony Smith is Deputy Director and co-founder of the University of Queensland’s Centre for Online Health and is now helping to establish a similar telemedicine service at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, this time serving adult patients in regional and remote Queensland.
“We have been able to demonstrate this as one of the more sustainable models of telehealth, by having it provided through a central facility where multiple specialties access the telehealth service,” he says, adding that currently there are 37 different paediatric specialties at the RCH actively engaged in the service.

National E-Health Security & Access Framework v4.0

Created on Friday, 13 June 2014
The National E-Health Security & Access Framework v4.0 (NESAF) is a risk-based approach identifying 11 key security and access areas relating to eHealth, providing healthcare organisations with the necessary security processes, tools and information to enable them to adjust to the eHealth environment.
 The model is based on Australian Standards for information security management, and information security management in health.  This release consolidates stakeholder feedback from independent reviews by reputable security firms and updates from lessons learned.

Security tool to break ground in medicine

Jennifer Foreshew

Technology Reporter
A large-scale security simulation tool for supervisory control and data acquisition systems could be adapted for the medical field.
Melbourne’s RMIT University has developed the prototype tool, known as SCADASim, and is speaking with industry in a bid to see it commercialised.
Project leader Zahir Tari said there were very few SCADA simulators around. “The problem with typical systems at power plants is you cannot test the vulnerability of a system when it is working,’’ he said.
SCADA systems control infrastructure such as electricity, gas, water, waste management, railways and traffic.

Parent info: is it ‘catching’?

4th Jun 2014
DEVELOPED by a not-for-profit organisation in the US, and overseen by a group of paediatricians, the aim of this app is to provide general information on an A–Z list of conditions.
The app provides far more information than simply whether or not a condition is contagious.
For each condition, listed under its medical as well as its popular name, it details symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record System Operator: Annual Report 2012-2013

The Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) System Operator (Secretary of the Department of Health) has prepared an annual report for 2012-13 period in accordance with section 107 of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records Act 2012. The report includes information on the operation and security of the PCEHR system, the volume of registration and use of the system, activities undertaken by the System Operator and the operation of the advisory committees - the Jurisdictional Advisory Committee and the Independent Advisory Council.
Deployment of a new form of information system for case management has enabled mental health services provider Richmond Fellowship Tasmania to achieve a range of financial and operational benefits that could point the way to a new era in managing mental health. Addressing delegates at a major disability services seminar in Sydney last week, Richmond Fellowship Tasmania CEO Danny Sutton said the VisiCase case management system, developed by Australian company FlowConnect, represented a significant advance on conventional information systems.

See, sense, think, react: the robots are coming

Date June 13, 2014

Lia Timson

It can operate a normal power-drill, pick up screws as small as those in tiny watches and even check the quality of its work with its own eyes.
It's the yet-unnamed robot that Japanese electronics manufacturer Epson hopes to have thinking and performing high-precision tasks in Asian, European and American factories from 2016.
The company has made robots for its own manufacturing facilities since 1983 and currently leads the market of small 4-axis robots performing very repetitive moves on packaging lines worldwide. It also has a small share in the larger 6-axis market, where it trails Japanese robot giants Fanuc and Yaskawa and Swedish-Swiss ABB.

Phones in pockets may harm male fertility

10th Jun 2014
MEN who keep a mobile phone in their trouser pocket could be inadvertently damaging their chances of becoming a father, according to a new study.
Scientists at the University of Exeter said their work suggested that exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones negatively affected sperm quality – but further research was needed.
Previous studies have suggested that radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) emitted by the devices can have a detrimental effect on male fertility.
Most of the global adult population own mobile phones, and around 14% of couples in high and middle income countries have difficulty conceiving.

A computer passed the Turing Test - but does it matter?

Date June 10, 2014 - 7:53AM

Lance Ulanoff

A computer has finally passed the Turing Test. You may now commence the global panic.
Two years ago, Princeton University's Eugene Goostman, the artificial intelligence computer program that masquerades as a wise-cracking 14-year old boy, won the Turing Test contest, fooling the judges into believing the all-digital Eugene is a flesh and blood person 29% of the times they spoke to him.
In the latest contest, held this weekend, the Goostman program managed to accomplish the feat 33% of the time — not only winning the competition, but passing the official Turing Test threshold for the first time.
Back in 1950, famed computer scientist, mathematician and code-breaker Alan Turing posited in a now famous paper entitled Computing Machinery and Intelligence that by the year 2000 it would be possible for a computer to play what's known as "the imitation game" well enough that "an average interrogator will not have more than 70 per cent chance of making the right identification after five minutes of questioning."

'Super computer' first to pass Turing Test, convince judges it's alive

Date June 9, 2014 - 7:01AM
A computer program has become the first to pass a Turing test by fooling 33 per cent of humans that it was a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy.
A "super computer" has duped humans into thinking it was a 13-year-old boy to become the first machine to pass the "iconic" Turing Test, experts say.
Five machines were tested at the Royal Society in central London to see if they could fool people into thinking they were humans during text-based conversations.
The test was devised in 1950 by computer science pioneer and World War II code breaker Alan Turing, who said that if a machine was indistinguishable from a human, then it was "thinking".


With 'The Machine,' HP May Have Invented a New Kind of Computer

June 11, 2014
If Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard are spinning in their graves, they may be due for a break. Their namesake company is cooking up some awfully ambitious industrial-strength computing technology that, if and when it’s released, could replace a data center’s worth of equipment with a single refrigerator-size machine.
It’s basically a brand-new type of computer architecture that HP’s engineers say will serve as a replacement for today’s designs, with a new operating system, a different type of memory, and superfast data transfer. The company says it will bring the Machine to market within the next few years or fall on its face trying. “We think we have no choice,” says Martin Fink, the chief technology officer and head of HP Labs, who is expected to unveil HP’s plans at a conference Wednesday.

Cloud storage: which service is best?

Date June 8, 2014

Adam Turner

As online storage prices plummet, it's never been easier to back up your entire digital life to the cloud.
If you're not making back-up copies of irreplaceable files such as family photos then you're sitting on a ticking time bomb. Between fire, flood, theft, computer virus, hardware failure and simple human error there's no shortage of disasters waiting to claim your files – whether they be business reports, school assignments, holiday snapshots or home movies.
You might keep back-ups on a USB drive or network-attached storage drive in the study, but a fire, flood or break-in which claims your computers and handheld devices could very well claim those back-up drives as well.


Karen Dearne said...

Fascinating to find Health has only just published its PCEHR system operator report for 2012-13 on its website under e-health, where you would expect to find it.

In fact, it was published in December 2013; my copy was made on Dec 6. I noted at the time it was well hidden. See here


Karen Dearne said...

You can compare the Sys Ops report against the rigorous compliance work of the OAIC here http://www.oaic.gov.au/about-us/corporate-information/memorandums-of-understanding/

Most recent quarterly is here


You'll be amazed how busy the Office has been

Anonymous said...

Wow! there have been almost no complaints/issues re the PCEHR processed by the OAIC. Can that mean the PCEHR is just perfect with no issues?

Anonymous said...

When there are no complaints it means one of two things - it's either perfect or nobody is using it.

You can draw your own conclusion - Health will draw theirs.

K said...

you make it sound like those are actually different things?