Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late 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, November 10, 2014

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 10th November, 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 fun week with lots happening on the PCEHR / Results front and a huge number of comments on the topic - as well as an interesting poll.

For those interested the ACHI Evidence Review Paper on results access this can now be downloaded from this page (presently the top item):


The debate has provided some useful input. I wonder if anyone from the Government has been reading. I hope so.

Please do respond to this week’s poll. It will provide some useful food for thought I hope.

Note: NEHTA has had a few releases this week - go to www.nehta.gov.au to review.

College told to ditch self-interest over patients' pathology results

3 November, 2014 Paul Smith
The RACGP has been told to ditch "self-interest" and stop blocking patients from prompt access to their pathology results.
The row is brewing over the decision to automatically upload virtually all pathology and diagnostic imaging results on to the PCEHR after seven days.
The college fears patients will learn they have serious conditions like melanomas or sexual diseases like chlamydia on the system before the GP has been able to contact them.
But the stance has outraged the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF), which says that full potential of the e-health system is "threatened by self-interested doctors who wrongly claim they are putting patients' interests first".

Doctors accused of sabotaging e-health

4 November, 2014 Chris Brooker
‘Self-interested’ doctors are threatening the success of the personally-controlled e-health record program, Australia’s leading consumer group claims.
The Consumers Health Forum (CHF) has come out to criticise a recent statement from The Royal Australian College of GPs “arguing against patients learning the results of path tests on ‘safety’ grounds”.
The RACGP claimed patients getting bad news before hearing it from their GP could be subject to “unnecessary distress”.
However Adam Stankevicius, CEO of the CHF dismissed this view.

Consumers and doctors clash over health records

Date November 8, 2014 - 6:17PM

Dan Harrison

Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent

A patient advocacy group has accused doctors of being motivated by self-interest in arguing against patients having direct access to test results via electronic health records.
Pathology and diagnostic imaging reports will be able to be added to electronic health records in the next update of the system, due later this year. 
Patients will be able to access these results following a seven-day delay, which is designed to give doctors time to manage communication of results with their patients.
But the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is fighting the change, arguing that patients should not be able to access test results until they have been reviewed by the doctor who ordered them. 

The new tech approach to an age-old problem

Monday, 3 November 2014 | By Kye White
As Australians live longer and longer, more sons, daughters and grandchildren are becoming the primary carers for ageing relatives who want to stay at home.
Brothers Tim and Matt were in such a situation and developed Curo, a technology-based elderly care and insights platform in an effort to give families looking after elderly relatives peace of mind.
The Curo platform includes a number of sensors, which can be placed in homes and used to monitor things like movement, sleep, temperature, and whether or not appliances are being used. Those sensors then feed real time data back to a smartphone app which can be monitored by family members.

South Australia races the clock to iron out ehealth bugs

Open date for high-tech hospital looms.

The South Australian Government will be racing to repair problems with its $422 million EPAS system to ensure it can open the doors to the New Royal Adelaide Hospital on time and avoid the ehealth pitfalls that have delayed its fellow states.
SA’s Enterprise Patient Administration System has been put on hold as the state’s health department works through a number of funding questions and usability complaints.
But the rollout will need to be brought back to life before long if the New Royal Adelaide Hospital – recently described by the state’s auditor-general as “reliant” on the EPAS for its proposed model of operation – is to meet its April 2016 deadline, the Liberal opposition has pointed out.
“As EPAS is the only option on the table for the new Royal Adelaide Hospital it is critical that the Minister finds a solution to its deep seated problems well before the opening of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital,” shadow health minister Stephen Wade said in a statement.

Death sparks call for GP access to script records

4th Nov 2014
THE death of a Melbourne woman who obtained scripts from seven different GPs has spurred a coroner to call for doctors to have access to patients’ prescription records “as a matter of urgency”.
Victorian coroner Ian Gray said GPs should have access to a real-time prescription monitoring (RTPM) system to stop ongoing damage and deaths from pharmaceutical misuse and inappropriate prescribing.
He also said an effective monitoring system would operate across state borders and should go beyond Schedule 8 drugs.
Judge Gray made the recommendations after conducting an inquest into the death of Anne Christine Brain, who was last seen alive sleeping on a couch at her home in Melbourne’s west on 24 December 2011.
Ms Brain died of intoxication from the combined effects of tramadol, methadone, diazepam, codeine, alprazolam, risperidone, doxepin and metoclopramide, the coroner found.

Support for crackdown on doctor shopping

6th Nov 2014
AMA Victoria president Dr Tony Bartone has backed a coroner’s call for urgent action on prescription monitoring, saying the state could effectively crack down on “doctor shopping” for less than it spends on road safety campaigns.
The comparison is apt because more Victorians die from overdoses of prescription drugs than in road accidents, the Melbourne GP told Medical Observer.
“We are talking more deaths than the road toll and significantly inferior spending on the problem and the solution,” he said. 
“On that measure alone, this is a very significant project worthy of immediate resourcing and implementation.” 

How Fast Starter Health.com.au is disrupting Medibank and Bupa

Published 05 November 2014 12:21, Updated 05 November 2014 12:25
Health.com.au co-founder Andy Sheats says disgruntled Medibank Private members represent about a third of the customers the start-up is luring to its low-cost online-only offering.
The government-owned Medibank, which is cruising towards its $4 billion-plus initial public offering in November, controls about 29.1 per cent of the market with 1.6 million policyholders across its brands, Medibank and ahm.
After establishing three years ago, Health.com.au doubled its number of policyholders to 90,000 in the 2014 financial year. Health.com.au was second on the BRW Fast Starters list this year and also ranked in BRW’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2014.
Health.com.au co-founder and chief executive Andy Sheats said half of the venture’s new members were customers taking up insurance for the first time. However of customers that switched to Health.com.au from another insurer, about a third come from Medibank and about another third come from the second-largest player, Bupa.

NEHTA hooks up 267 public hospitals to national e-health system

More than 1.7 million individuals and 7,234 health organisations now registered with the system
Byron Connolly (CIO) on 06 November, 2014 12:22
The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) said on Thursday that it had worked with CIOs to connect 267 public hospitals and health centres to national e-health infrastructure.
This is just over one-third of about 750 public hospitals across the country.
Most of these providers are in Queensland with 219 of the total connected to the national system. Around half of the 41,632 discharge summaries uploaded to the system have been sent by Queensland Health organisations, NEHTA said in its 2013-14 annual report.
Meanwhile, more than 1.73 million Australians are now registered for an e-health record, an increase of 826,948 over the same period last year, according to NEHTA’s 2013-14 annual report.

Blind spot in Google Glass

5th Nov 2014
GOOGLE Glass may cause blind spots in the peripheral vision of its wearers and impact driving and pedestrian safety, according to research published in JAMA.
Significant scotomas, or blind spots, were found in all of the participants while they were wearing the head-mounted display systems, but not when wearing control frames of a similar colour and temple width. 
The University of California researchers called peripheral vision “essential for daily activities such as driving, pedestrian safety and sports” but noted that more than 10% of the visual field on the horizontal axis was lost by wearers of Google Glass. 

Telstra to shake up medical care with eHealth kick

James Riley
November 3, 2014
In launching Telstra’s vast ambition to become a major commercial player in the delivery of health services in Australia, David Thodey sounded more like a health minister than the chief executive of a telecommunication company.
When Thodey made his speech last month, it so comprehensively covered the ideals of the Australian eHealth agenda that it could easily have been mistaken for a speech Peter Dutton should have been making.
There was lots of talk about a health system that is “more connected, more effective and more accessible to everyone.” He spoke of improving services to the bush, reducing hospital and GP visits, cutting back-office cost out of the system and of course saving lives.
These are bread and butter eHealth issues, and as the dominant telecommunications services provider in this country, you would certainly expect Telstra to have a deep interest.

Getting behind Australia’s med-tech sector

Four hot new technologies have been identified as the future of Australian medical technology by being commended as finalists in the first Janssen Health and Technology Challenge (HaTCH).
Sponsored by pharmaceutical company Janssen, the Challenge’s five judges, were given the job of winnowing through around forty entries, all of whom were eligible for the finalist’s $10,000 prizes. The winner, which is slated for announcement on December 3, will receive an additional $100,000 to take their products to market.
The judging panel was made up from experts including World Medical Association chair, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, Amit Vohra, the former CEO of General Practice Registrar Australia, Cyrus Allen, a partner at Strativity Australia, Chris Hourigan, chief executive of Janssen Australia, and serial entrepreneur Mike Liubinskas.

Barriers to open source in the NHS

There is a discussion going on on the NHS Technology Community site on what the barriers to open source are in the NHS, and how to address them. The posts are interesting, but one thing is lacking: a statement of what it is people are trying to achieve, other than solving local problems. I made a post that may interest others more widely, as follows (slightly adjusted here).
I would suggest that if people want to understand barriers to open source in the NHS, they need to understand the supposed need for open source. Is it:
  • to enable in-house developers to add to an existing product?
    • They need access to something like plug-in interfaces to do this. Probably not the main product source (e.g. Intersystems Ensemble, Cerner, ….) though.

Telemedicine celebrates 10 years of sending images of skin rashes and lesions to dermatologists

Mon 3 Nov 2014, 11:31am
Telemedicine is celebrating 10 years of sending images from a remote location for specialist diagnosis.
The Tele-derm service was been developed by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health under the Rural Health Outreach Fund (RHOF).
It means dermatologists based in major hospitals can tell the patient quickly if they have just a rash, eczema or even skin cancer, melanoma.
The Dean of Medicine at James Cook University in Townsville, Professor Richard Murray, says you can send a digital image of your skin lesion rather than having to book and attend a specialist.

Orion Health sets IPO price at top end

  • Business Spectator
  • November 07, 2014 11:05AM
NEW Zealand’s Orion Health has set the final price of its IPO at $NZ5.70 ($5.10) a share, the top end of its indicative range, after a two-day book build.
The software provider raised $NZ125 million in the float, comprised of $NZ120m in new capital and $NZ5m in existing shares sold by an entity associated with founder and chief executive Ian McCrae.
Mr McCrae, who founded the company in 1993, will remain the biggest shareholder and retain around 50 per cent of the company. No other shareholders are selling into the IPO.

Microsoft Band hands-on: The ultimate multi-platform, multi-function wearable

Summary: Microsoft launched the Microsoft Band late at night, but it turns out they may have delivered one of the best values in wearable technology to date. Matthew has spent the last three days running, walking, and sleeping with it.
By Matthew Miller for The Mobile Gadgeteer | November 6, 2014 -- 14:00 GMT (01:00 AEST)

Microsoft Band

Microsoft surprised all of us with the Microsoft Health and Band announcements last week. Due to the promise of a cross-platform fitness and activity tracker with GPS, basic smartwatch functionality, and more, I immediately went online and ordered one.
I visited the local Microsoft Store to try to buy one on Friday while mine was in transit, but they were sold out. Since my Microsoft Band just arrived on Monday, I haven't spent enough time with it to give you a full review so I'll start off with some first impressions. A full review that includes running, strength training, and more will be coming in a week or two.

$1.8m deal sees Invigor score yet another acquisition

By Tony Yoo on Nov 6, 2014 3:50 AM

Mobile data analytics provider Amethon to join growing family.

Australian big data solutions provider Invigor has acquired mobile data analytics provider Amethon for $1.8 million.
“The acquisition positions Invigor as provider of real-time competitor and real-time consumer analytics through the combination of Invigor Insights and Amethon platforms,” said Gary Cohen, executive chairman of Invigor – named by CRN in August as one of the five ASX-listed companies to watch.
A statement to the ASX described Amethon as an operator in the mobile data analytics field “delivering subscriber data through advanced network analytics and content tracking solutions”. The platform works with both “telcos and wifi networks”.
Amethon’s portfolio boasts an e-health network contract with a “major local telco” customer that will involve more than $1 million in annual licence fees over the next seven years.

Artificial malevolence: watch out for smart machines

Date November 8, 2014

Nick Bilton

Ebola sounds like the stuff of nightmares. Bird flu and SARS also send shivers down my spine. But I'll tell you what scares me most: artificial intelligence.
The first three, with enough resources, humans can stop. The last, which humans are creating, could soon become unstoppable.
Before we get into what could possibly go wrong, let me first explain what artificial intelligence is. Actually, skip that. I'll let someone else explain it: Grab an iPhone and ask Siri about the weather or stocks. Or tell her "I'm drunk." Her answers are artificially intelligent.
Right now these artificially intelligent machines are pretty cute and innocent, but as they are given more power in society, these machines may not take long to spiral out of control.

Artificial intelligence and singularity could mean demise of human control

Date November 9, 2014 - 12:15AM

Sam de Brito


One of humanity's great conceits is thinking we are evolution's finished product.
It's an easy hubris to indulge in considering anatomically modern humans appeared 200,000 years ago and we've ruled the roost since. I doubt when we puny-skulled, slightly built types turned up with our crude jewellery and cave paintings, Neanderthals were too fussed. And look where that got them.
It makes you wonder whether the complacency we display about the technology that serves us today might be our ultimate undoing; we underestimate the challenger. We giggle at Siri's mistakes, roll our eyes when Pandora suggests a dud song and pause Call of Duty to go pee.
Rarely, however, do we pause to consider the beachhead artificial intelligence (AI) has already won in our lives.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The usual interesting year end report from NEHTA,.Bold claims around Standards, leeching off past efforts by others and covering up their move to make standards irrelevant. This testing and training thing gets a spotlight again and again, almost like its the second comming (yawn). It is the bits not mentioned that concern me! NeHTA must have lost all understanding of what underpins eHealth Interoperability, IT folk are cute, IT sales people slightly less so, but please we need people with discipline and real problem solving skills. Chairman I would look long and hard at what is in your toolkit, do you have the right tools for the job ahead?