Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 22nd September, 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

Another quiet week with a lot of activity in specialist Health IT sectors and little happening with the National E-Health Program. It’s now 3 weeks since consultation on the fate of the PCEHR and no idea revealed as to what was learnt and what future plans are. We wait and watch….
The SAI-Global / Standards Australia imbroglio seems to have resolved itself without resolution and so we await Plan B!
Interesting to see lots of reporting on the Apple HealthKit.I wonder where this will all go over time and what difference this will make in the longer term?

Blown-out Australian Defence Force e-health records rolled out

Summary: The Australian Defence Force has rolled out a new e-health program for initially 25,000 members at over double the initial budget of AU$55 million.
By Josh Taylor | September 19, 2014 -- 06:30 GMT (16:30 AEST)
The rollout of an AU$133 million national e-health system for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is the first full national e-health record system, according to Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert.
"This government places great demands on our soldiers, sailors, air men and women. Our expectations are high of our personnel, because we truly believe service is unique," he said.
"In return, we will ensure our personnel have the best possible healthcare and support."
The system, which began development in 2011 with CSC Australia, is based on a system that has been provided by Edgton Medical Information Systems in the UK since 2007. Robert said that for this reason, it is a mature technology that has been proven. However, despite the maturity of the technology, the budget for the project blew out from AU$55 million in 2011 to AU$133 million.

ADF eHealth system rollout underway

The Defence eHealth Information System is being implemented for the Australian Defence Force's Joint Health Command by CSC.
The Defence eHealth Information System will hold the health records of each member from enlistment to retirement, and the information will be available to ADF health professionals at the point of care and at all levels of management.
The project began in 2011, but the rollout didn't start until April this year, and the parties have only just announced it.

Defence deploying $56M e-health system

25,000 ADF members currently have an individual health record
Byron Connolly (CIO) on 19 September, 2014 16:26
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) in December plans to complete the rollout of a $56 million e-health information system, which will be used by 2,300 health practitioners and support staff across the country.
The rollout began in April in Queensland and has already started contributing to improved clinical outcomes for ADF members and overall efficiency of primary care delivery.
The Defence eHealth Information System, supplied by UK firm EMIS, provides ADF personnel with an individual medical record from enlistment through to retirement.

Tech-savvy health fanatics could be sharing their most intimate information

Date September 15, 2014 - 11:41PM

Natasha Boddy

People using smartphone apps and wearable technology to track their health and fitness, weight loss or bodily functions could be unwittingly handing over some of their most private information to third parties. 
University of Canberra Centenary Research Professor Deborah Lupton has warned that when people use digital devices that connect to computing cloud storage facilities or developers' data archives, they could be losing ownership or control of their personal – and sometimes very private – data.
She said such information was a commodity that was potentially being used for commercial, managerial and government purposes and sometimes sold to third parties. 

Mobiles, wearable media devices expose target

Lara Sinclair

MOBILE and wearable media devices such as watches and glasses will soon track the wearer’s pulse rate, as well as physiological changes and eye movements, which could help reveal not only the media and advertising messages people see, but how they react.
Combined with location data and spending information such as online purchases and mobile payments, that could help build a comprehensive picture of the consumer, according to Tom ­Eslinger, worldwide digital ­director at global advertising network Saatchi & Saatchi.
Eslinger says the mobile landscape is changing so quickly, companies must appoint a ­“mobile god” or goddess whose job is to keep up with new apps and other mobile developments.

Bug infects Apple's iOS 8 HealthKit, delaying app launches

The iOS 8 feature plays a key role in Apple's health tracking ambitions
Zach Miners (IDG News Service) on 18 September, 2014 10:57
The Fitness app monitors all of your activity and movement through the day. Workout app lets you set specific goals for specific types of workouts, like cycling or running.
A bug in Apple's HealthKit -- a back-end feature in iOS 8 -- is delaying the launch of outside developers' fitness and health apps, the company said Wednesday.
HealthKit is a new tool for developers in iOS 8 designed to let their apps talk to Apple's native health apps. HealthKit is meant to pull in information from other apps and devices, like calories burned or heart rate, and make it more useful. For instance, it could allow a nutrition app, with the user's permission, to tell other fitness apps how many calories the person consumes in a day, Apple says.

Apple yanks HealthKit apps due to unspecified bug

Summary: Third-party apps won't be allowed on the App Store until later this month thanks to a newly-discovered bug.
By Jo Best | September 18, 2014 -- 08:51 GMT (18:51 AEST)
Apps that work with Apple's HealthKit platform have been disappeared from the App Store due to an unspecified bug.
The health and fitness focused HealthKit, one of the headline features of iOS 8, was supposed to be supported by a range of apps when the operating system was released to users on Wednesday. However, Apple has temporarily removed them from its store.
Apple said: "We discovered a bug that prevents us from making HealthKit apps available on iOS 8 today. We're working quickly to have the bug fixed in a software update and have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month."

Hooked on cloud - as Apple Watch debuts, new models step up

Socialisation technologies are inexorably drawing health and government into new models of industry engagement and industry-led protocols to protect health data. 
This week Apple CEO Tim Cook rolled out Apple's health-enabled smartwatch today amidst increasing scrutiny of healthcare apps and the storage of healthcare information in Apples iCloud service.
The new watch, known simply as Apple Watch, embodies a range of sensors, including pulse rate, workout intensity and the type of exercise. Using the HealthKit App, the watch is able to share the health information with healthcare providers and other associated apps, a move that has drawn interest in the US from players including Mayo Clinic and Memorial Sloan-Kettering.

Wearable Sensor Launches in U.S. after FDA Approval

SEP 15, 2014 8:40am ET
Australia-based dorsaVi, a developer of wearable medical devices, has launched sales of its ViMove platform in the U.S., following 510(k) clearance by the Food and Drug Administration for measuring, recording, and reporting on movement and muscle activity of the lower back and lumbar spine.
ViMove consists of wearable sensors that are placed on the body to measure movement and muscle activity.

Community Meds suppliers collaborate for safety, accuracy, efficiency.

The Australian community pharmaceutical industry is on the cusp of a significant change that will enable greater safety, efficiency and convenience in the supply and delivery of medicines.
Set to come into force in February 2015, Australia’s CSO pharmaceutical wholesalers (Symbion, Sigma, API and National Pharmacies) have agreed to set aside their differences to standardise their supply chain data by adopting the international GS1 standard and using GS1net, a national central product database managed independently by GS1 Australia.
Australia has an established history of industry-led collaborative/competitive projects such as the banking industry's BPAY that is unique to the country. In this case the wholesalers have been supported and encouraged by the National Pharmaceutical Service Association (NPSA), that represents them, along with the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) and GS1 Australia.

Orion Health system underpins medical records in NSW

The Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network (JH&FMHN) has gone live with an electronic medical record suite from e-Health technology company Orion Health to support the delivery of complete electronic medical records across the New South Wales public health system.
Justice Health’s goal is specifically to provide a critical platform for the Justice Health electronic health system’s (JHeHS) migration to a computerised record of a patient’s medical history related to the clinical care received while in JH&FMHN. This will contain a subset of information previously held in paper medical records including patient details, medical conditions, appointments, pathology results, electronic forms and medicines prescribed. 

Datacom makes e-health play

Company acquires 20 per cent stake in SmartWard, appoints chief medical information officer
Hamish Barwick (CIO) on 18 September, 2014 10:01
Datacom is set to acquire a 20 per cent share in Canberra-based health informatics software company SmartWard as it moves into the e-health space.
The Australasian IT services firm will install SmartWard’s health informatics software in hospitals around Australia. The software automates nursing records and removes the need for paper documents.
According to clinical trials conducted in 2013 by Deakin University’s Centre for Clinical Nursing Research at two Eastern Health hospitals in Melbourne, the SmartWard software reduced the amount of time nurses had to spend filling out patient records and increased patient care times.

Government agency leaks customer details without telling

Date September 18, 2014

Beau Donelly

A government authority has leaked the billing and contact details of Victorians online, but decided against telling affected customers even though the privacy breach posed a "medium to high" level threat.
The undisclosed state authority responsible for the breach notified Privacy Victoria about problems affecting its online payment system after discovering the personal information of some customers could be seen by other users.
According to the Victorian Privacy Commissioner's annual report, tabled in state parliament on Thursday, the exposed details included customers' full names, home addresses and amounts owing on bills.

Clinical Governance

The purpose of Clinical Governance is to:
  • Confirm that all NEHTA products, services and solutions are clinically appropriate and are clinically safe for release to the Australian community;
  • Making sure that clinical perspectives are clearly articulated, implemented and documented through the product development lifecycle.
Practicing clinicians with diverse clinical backgrounds are assigned to various areas of the NEHTA work programme. They are known as Clinical Governance Advisors.

The 'Clinical Terminology Guidance' documents and 'AMT Development Approach' are now available for download

Created on Monday, 15 September 2014
These documents can be downloaded from the following areas of the NEHTA website.

NEHTA Chair Dr Steve Hambleton Talks About eHealth

Created on Wednesday, 17 September 2014
NEHTA Chair Dr Steve Hambleton in Pulse+IT magazine talking about his role with NEHTA and his future plans for eHealth.

#CochraneTech: technology and the future of systematic reviews

  • By: Julian Elliott, Ida Sim, Jessica Thomas, Nancy Owens, Gordon Dooley, Jacob Riis, Byron Wallace, James Thomas, Anna Noel-Storr, Gabriel Rada, Caroline Struthers, Tracey Howe, Harriet MacLehose, Linn Brandt, Ilkka Kunnamo & Chris Mavergames
  • On: September 19, 2014, 12:30
Since the birth of systematic reviews, technology has been an integral part of efforts to understand health evidence. Nevertheless, review authors commonly conduct the majority of their work on a patchwork of general software products poorly adapted to their needs, much of the data they handle is not captured for future use, and the core review output of a static PDF document limits the ability to search and process the contents of the review.
In recent years a combination of increasing frustration with the limitations of current systematic review technologies, an awareness of the impact technological developments have had in other fields, and promising results of recent innovations have led to an increasing focus on the opportunities afforded by emerging technologies. To help move the field forward Cochrane convened the #CochraneTech Symposium immediately prior to the 21st Cochrane Colloquium in Quebec City, Canada, in 2013. Following the success of this event, the second #CochraneTech Symposium will be held in Hyderabad, India, on Saturday 20th September (

Google Analytics for your baby's movements is closer than you think

Date September 19, 2014

Sholto Macpherson

When Nico Miceli decided to help his aunt record her baby's first years, pulling out a video camera seemed a little old-fashioned. Instead the open-source software enthusiast added a motion sensor to the baby's crib, attached it to a miniature computer and tracked the child's movements using a Google software that monitors websites.
"I like measuring things like that. Especially around a time when mums want to scrapbook everything," Miceli, who works in California for Web Analytics Demystified, says.
Miceli's experiment was one of the earliest non-commercial uses of Google Analytics in sampling offline data. Two years ago Google released an updated version of its tool, called Universal Analytics, that could track information offline as well as online.

SAI Global bidders get their Standards Australia meeting

In a truly 11th-hour move, bidders for standards, assurances and compliance firm SAI Global’s suitors were given full access to the top brass of Standards Australia in a meeting on Monday.
Just a day before final bids were due to be filed, and three days after the initial deadline, SAI took its suitors to meet with the company’s key counterparty Standards Australia.
But there was a catch, in the best traditions of a chaperone, to make sure everyone behaved properly.

Standards Australia members angry over failed sale process

Simon Evans
Another of the member organisations of Standards Australia has come out swinging against what they consider to be a ‘’raw deal’’ from SAI Global as they back a push to try to wrestle back control of their own destiny.
Lighting Council Australia chief executive Bryan Douglas said he didn’t agree with the move to split off a lucrative publishing and licensing agreement in 2003 into the separate company SAI, which listed on the stock exchange with a motive to increase profits.
He was speaking after a sale process undertaken by SAI over the past four months ultimately didn’t deliver any whole-of-company bids for the company despite an initial $1.1 billion buyout proposal in May by Pacific Equity Partners, which later joined up with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Revised eHealth publications

The OAIC has published updated versions of eHealth records and healthcare identifiers resources. Minor amendments have been made to the existing resources to reflect the Australian Privacy Principles and update the language to reflect the current functionality of the personally controlled electronic health record system.


15 September 2014

New Chronic Pain Resource to Help GPs and Patients

Painaustralia and Healthshare have partnered to provide GPs with easy access to a useful resource to help patients with chronic pain better understand and manage their condition.

Painaustralia’s fact sheets are now available inside Healthshare’s Fact Sheets application. The application is integrated into the GP’s clinical software to provide patient education at the time of consultation. When the GP adds any chronic pain-related term as the patient’s “reason for visit” Healthshare’s application will present Painaustralia’s materials for the GP to print out or email to the patient.
Unlike acute pain which is relatively easy to treat, chronic pain is a very complex condition which can often challenge GPs. There is no simple answer and medication has limited – if any long term effect.

Turnbull reflects on 'killing the dream' of NBN 'fibre fanatics'

Summary: A year into the job, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he is worried that some believe every Australian town can be a Silicon Valley with fibre to the premises, as he insists there is no money being saved in the fibre rollout.
By Josh Taylor | September 18, 2014 -- 05:36 GMT (15:36 AEST)
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has warned of ongoing risk in the National Broadband Network (NBN) a year after coming to office, and claimed that there is no evidence that the cost of rolling out fibre to the premises (FttP) is declining, despite NBN Co's claims to the contrary.
Speaking today at the National Conference on Corporate Turnarounds and Transformations, Turnbull reflected on the NBN in the first year since the election of the Abbott government in September 2013. He said that while the fibre rollout has picked up pace in the last year, during which the government and NBN Co went through a number of reviews, a change of board and management, and a move to a "multi-technology mix" model that requires testing of fibre to the node and hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC), the pace of the changeover has not been as fast as the government expected.

Possible Telstra competition against NBN Co could upset economic model

Telstra may be constrained by structural separation undertaking, says Henry Ergas
Adam Bender (Computerworld) on 12 September, 2014 15:39
If Telstra were to compete against NBN Co, it would change the economic model for the National Broadband Network, NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow has said.
Telstra could be mulling whether it should copy TPG’s plan to compete against the NBN, according to reports.
Speaking at a Communications Alliance panel Friday morning, Morrow agreed this could be an issue for the NBN business model.
“If Telstra were allowed to go into this, and Telstra then had Optus follow and others, then it becomes material in nature, staying within that $29.5 billion and having the requirements of the speed, universal access, same price [and] all of those other factors, yes, it becomes a problem.”

Hackers lock up thousands of Australian computers, demand ransom

Date September 17, 2014 - 3:36PM

Ben Grubb

Deputy technology editor

Thousands of Australian computers are being locked up by hackers using malicious software that encrypts files and asks for a ransom to make them available again.
Fairfax Media understands Australian government agencies and a number of large enterprises and individuals have been successfully targeted by the scam.
Called "Cryptolocker" and "CryptoWall", the "ransomware" comes in various forms with the CryptoWall version estimated by the government e-safety alert service Stay Smart Online to have infected approximately 20,000 Australian computers.
Computers are typically infected after victims click on a malicious link in an email purporting to be from Australia Post or Telstra. Files on their computer and network drives are then encrypted and a ransom demanded within a certain timeframe before a decryption key is supplied to unlock files. If no ransom is paid, the hackers threaten to never allow access to the files. 

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