Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 17th 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

A very interesting week, but, as ever with very little out from the Government still on what is happening with the PCEHR and so on.
I am not sure there is a trend here but there does seem to be a lot more private sector e-Health activity than we have seen for a while.
Of course lobbing a probe on a comet is really just amazing as well. I do hope some sun shines on the probe soon so more work can happen at some point.

eHealth and the missing links

10 November, 2014 Associate Professor Ivor Katz*
Telehealth is one of the great promises of the internet age. A system that allows patients throughout remote and rural Australia to attend virtual specialist appointments without leaving town.
All the essentials are there, including government cash and commitment, an expanding national broadband network and simple and affordable video-enabled devices.
So, by 2014 telehealth should be gaining traction. There should be a growing number of rural GPs and patients telling positive stories about their positive experience. It should be closing the geographical health gap. Telehealth should be saving lives, health dollars and time.

Researchers, medical workers seek tech answers to Ebola outbreak

Sharon Gaudin (Computerworld (US)) on 08 November, 2014 06:40
WORCESTER, Mass. -- Researchers in robotics will meet with health care and aid workers around the country Friday to get ideas on how technology could help fight the deadly Ebola outbreak, as well as the spread of other dangerous viruses.
"When someone says robots, I'm old enough that this is what I see," said Catherine Brown, a veterinarian with the Massachusetts Bureau of Infectious Disease, looking at an image of R2-D2 and C-3PO from Star Wars during a session this morning at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. "I know this is not what robotics is really like, but I'm not sure what that is... You're always chasing the last outbreak. That's really unfair and it's a huge, huge problem for the countries involved. We're going to be talking about opportunities for the robotics community to engage with the public health and the medical community."
Led by WPI and Texas A&M University, the workshops are aimed at providing a forum for health care workers to discuss with technologists what they need to better care for Ebola patients, to help stop the spread of the virus and to protect care givers from contracting the disease.

Telstra makes new e-health push

Telstra has forged deeper into the burgeoning e-health sector, snapping up a strategic stake in New Zealand’s Orion Health, which is scheduled to list on the Australian and NZ stock exchanges later this month.
The telco’s move into the Auckland-based company, which provides software to hospitals and clinics in more than 30 countries, reflects its strategy to become a leading player in the business as the medical industry gravitates from inefficient paper-based ­administration processes to an electronic patient records system.
Telstra declined to comment on the acquisition, however, it is understood an announcement on the move is imminent.

Protecting the community through real-time prescription monitoring

Friday, 14 November 2014
A re-elected Coalition Government will develop a real-time prescription monitoring system to protect Victorian patients and their families, friends and loved ones from the tragic and often fatal consequences of prescription drug misuse.
  • $6.98 million investment over five years to link prescription records
  • Protecting the community from the impact of pharmaceutical abuse
  • Napthine Government building a healthier Victoria 
Minister for Health David Davis said the commitment reflected the Coalition Government’s concern about the number of deaths in Victoria resulting from pharmaceutical abuse.

Victorian real-time monitoring commitment

14 November, 2014 Chris Brooker
The Victorian government has committed to introduce real-time prescription monitoring if it is re-elected at the upcoming state election.
The promise follows a call by state coroner Ian Gray for urgent action after real-time prescription monitoring recommended eight inquest findings since February 2012.
Health Minister David Davis says the government will invest $7 million over five years to institute real-time monitoring.
The move has been welcomed by Victorian pharmacists.

Doctors ‘paternalistic’: CHF

10th Nov 2014
THE claim by a consumer group that electronic health records are under attack by “self-interested doctors” has been roundly dismissed by experts.
The row stems from the looming integration of pathology and diagnostic results into the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) system, slated to begin 30 November, which could involve test results being automatically sent to patients.
In a statement last week, the Consumers Health Forum said the “full potential” of the PCEHR was being threatened by “self-interested doctors who wrongly claim they are putting patients’ interests first”.
GPs have warned of potentially dangerous consequences arising from the misinterpretation of results, a view CHF CEO Adam Stankevicius told MO was “paternalistic rubbish”.

Ultranet's costly failure an education in politics and procurement

Date November 15, 2014 - 9:51AM

Richard Baker, Nick McKenzie and Ben Preiss

On Friday August 27, 2010, Victoria's then education minister Bronwyn Pike joined students at Hume Central Secondary College as they logged on to computers to chat live to 20 of their contemporaries 8000 kilometres away.
Days earlier, students from Glen Waverley and Balwyn secondary schools touched down in buzzing Shanghai with education department deputy secretary Darrell Fraser and a multimillion-dollar, life-sized classroom to show the world Victoria's "classroom of the future".
Thankfully for Pike and Fraser, the video link to China worked. Just two weeks earlier, the pair had been embarrassed by the shambolic debut of Labor's high-tech online schools learning system dubbed the Ultranet.

America's Youngest Female Billionaire Explains How She's Transforming Medicine

Kevin Loria Nov 13, 2014, 10:17 AM
If you were to visit your doctor today, that doctor might send you to a lab to get a blood test. Then you’d go for a follow up exam, but if that blood test raised other questions, you might have to go get another vial drawn from your arm. Finally you’d return for a third doctor’s visit.
Three doctors visits and two trips to get blood drawn in a lab. That’s expensive and inefficient. Between 40 and 60% of people don’t even end up getting the lab tests their doctors ask them to, due to the cost, time involved, and perhaps a fear of needles, according to Elizabeth Holmes, who spoke at TEDMED in Sept.
Holmes wants to change that.
She is a Stanford dropout who founded a company called Theranos that’s trying to revolutionise the blood test. Instead of having to go to a lab to get blood drawn and then having the results interpreted by a doctor, Theranos has set up a system where people can walk into a Walgreens for an apparently painless fingerprick that draws a tiny drop of blood.

2012 funds finally make it to Victorian hospitals

By admin Finance Nov 12, 2014
The Victorian Government has finally released the funds established in a $100 million e-health pool that was established in 2012, distributing it to hospitals and health services. Victorian Health Minister David Davis announced Monash Health as the big winner, with $40 million allocated for the institution to kick start its electronic records and electronic medication management system. For more on this system, see the latest edition of Transforming the Nation’s Healthcare.
Monash Health emerged as a big winner in the funding round, being given $40 million to start its implementation of integrated electronic medical records and an electronic medications management system.

Online assistance to help mentally ill


Nov. 14, 2014, midnight
THE internet could be used more widely in treating rural people with mental health concerns, helping patients finally beat the tyranny of distance.
The prospect of e-health services was just one of many topics covered at the annual Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium, held at the Commercial Club in Albury yesterday, and touched upon by guest speaker Senator Fiona Nash.
The Nationals senator for NSW and Assistant Health Minister said while physical, face-to-face services were sought as much as possible, online services could be a way for those with limited access to still get the help needed.
“I think people in rural areas realise there isn’t a heart surgeon on every corner, for example, but they do want and expect a reasonable level of access,” she said.

Updated: Use Cases and Conformance Requirements for Healthcare Identifiers

Created on Monday, 10 November 2014
NEHTA has released an updated version of the use cases and conformance requirements for healthcare identifiers, to allow healthcare providers to request a verified Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) for a newborn child.
When a child is born in a hospital setting or other organisation that offers maternity services (e.g. Indigenous Health Services) a patient record is created for the child in the local clinical information system. The clinical information system can now access the Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service to request a verified IHI to be created for the newborn child.

Coleman: Health Informatics NZ Conference, Auckland

Tuesday, 11 November 2014, 4:56 pm
Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health
11 November 2014
Speech to Health Informatics NZ Conference, Auckland
Thank you to Liz Schoff, HiNZ Board Chair, for the invitation to speak to you all today.
This conference has had a 30 percent increase in attendance since last year, which highlights the increasing importance of health informatics and the broader topic of eHealth.
It’s pleasing to see that Clinicians Challenge has attracted a record 79 entries. This shows clinicians recognise the importance of using technology to improve clinical practice and lift outcomes for patients.
As a doctor, I know the value of clinicians stepping into leadership roles to drive progress in our health system, with the patient at the centre of everything we do.

Innovative eHealth idea wins $10,000

Wednesday, 12 November 2014, 9:35 am
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has congratulated the winner of a challenge to find innovative IT ideas to improve health services.
“The Clinicians’ Challenge encourages health professionals to find ways technology can solve problems they face in their day-to-day practice and make a difference to the health of New Zealanders,” says Dr Coleman.
This year’s Clinicians’ Challenge has been won by Dr Tom Morton, an emergency physician at Nelson Marlborough DHB, who presented ‘Emergency Department at a Glance’, an information system that displays data for managing patients’ journey through an emergency department.

Visage 7 Elevates Enterprise Imaging

November 11, 2014 15:08 ET| Source: Pro Medicus Ltd.
SAN DIEGO, Calif., Nov. 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via PRWEB - Visage Imaging Inc. ("Visage"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Pro Medicus Ltd. (ASX: PME), announced today that the latest release of the industry-leading Visage® 7 Enterprise Imaging Platform will be demonstrated at the 2014 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) conference, November 30 - December 4, in Chicago, Illinois, at Visage Imaging Booth #4365, McCormick Place-South Building. Integration to Visage 7 will also be demonstrated at prominent vendor exhibits across the RSNA show floor reinforcing Visage's leadership role in best-of-breed, Deconstructed PACS SM. Visage has also announced the release of Visage Ease Pro for mobile diagnostic image and results access, available for users in Canada, Australia and the European Union (EU). Visage 7 enables enterprise imaging with amazingly fast, thin-client, server-side processing technology.

Global Health MD Mathew Cherian discusses recurring revenue at Investor Forum

Friday, November 14, 2014 by Proactive Investors
Global Health's (ASX:GLH) managing director outlined to investors in Melbourne this week the company's revenue generating e-health software applications.
Currently 95% of GLH's revenue comes from healthcare clients, with software licences and recurring subscriptions between 70% to 80% of total revenue.
GLH's business model is to connect clinicians and consumers, through a combination of on-premises and cloud applications across healthcare segments.

ResMed unveils the invisible sleep monitor

Sleep monitoring usually conjures up images of sensors placed all over the room or even in the bed making you think so much about the devices that you struggle to get off to sleep.
ResMed thinks it has the solution with its S+ system that it brags is the world’s first non-contact sleep system to come onto the market by using a wealth of data to give tips on how to sleep better.
S+ uses bio-motion sensors to measure the stages of sleep through breathing patterns and body movement, light, noise and temperature levels from within a room.
Aconex, provider of a leading cloud collaboration platform for the global construction industry, has deployed its new Dynamic Manuals product for mobile asset information management at The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH), one of the world’s leading clinical hospitals. The hospital’s operations team uses the tablet-based, Windows 8-compatible solution to access and update its digital operation and maintenance (O&M) manuals on site.

NBN Co takes a stand for common sense

NBN Co’s statement of the principles that will underlie its multi-technology rollout are statements of common sense in an area of policy blighted by absurdities.
There is nothing radical or surprising within the principles, given that they are directed by Turnbull’s desire (and that of NBN Co’s relatively new board and management) to deliver the NBN as quickly as practicable at the lowest cost to taxpayers.
They do, however, provide clarity as to what broadband technology consumers might expect to be connected to.
There are three key differences between the national fibre-to-the-premises network originally announced by Labor’s Stephen Conroy and Kevin Rudd.

Fibre to the node becomes default NBN deployment

Summary: NBN Co has formally ended the plans to roll out fibre to the premises to 93 percent of Australian premises, mandating that fibre to the node should be the default technology choice.
By Josh Taylor | November 13, 2014 -- 04:37 GMT (15:37 AEST)
Australian homes and businesses not on the schedule to get fibre to the premises on the National Broadband Network (NBN) today will likely not get fibre to the premises (FttP) under the new plan from NBN Co.
Since the change of government in September 2013, NBN Co has moved from a 93 percent fibre-to-the-premises rollout, to be "agnostic" in its technology choice for the NBN, opting for a "multi-technology mix" where the most cost-effective technology for each area is determined when the company moved into that area and assessed the quality of the copper network to meet the government's minimum 25 megabits-per-second download speed guarantee. 
NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow had said that NBN Co would like to roll out more fibre to the premises than fibre to the node if cost savings could be found.

Unions key to payroll success, says NSW Health

CLOSE collaboration with key union groups was one of the driving forces behind the success of an ambitious payroll systems upgrade for 40,000 employees at NSW Health.
NSW Health is in the final stages of a multi-year project to upgrade to a new version of Oracle’s payroll platform.
It has 3000 awards and 27 different types of customers -- making for a very complex environment, said NSW Health corporate IT director, e-health, Farhoud Salimi.
The payroll upgrade, part of Oracle’s e-business suite 12, has been implemented across core local health districts and health agencies to replace legacy systems.

Microsoft Band review: Unlike any other wearable and uniquely yours

Summary: The Microsoft Band is a data collection machine and with the ability to select your tile interface, it can do as much or as little as you want it to.
By Matthew Miller for The Mobile Gadgeteer | November 13, 2014 -- 15:00 GMT (02:00 AEST)
Daily activity tracker, multi-platform smartwatch, GPS sport watch, heart rate monitor, and fitness coach. The Microsoft Band can be whatever you want and that is the real power of the Band.
I've now spent nearly two weeks with the Microsoft Band — read my first impressions — and it has secured a place on my wrist for the foreseeable future.
As a guy who covers the mobile space, I use smartphones running every mobile operating system; the Microsoft Band is currently the only wearable to work across Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. Come to think of it, I will have to test it with my BlackBerry Passport and the Android Microsoft Health app since my Pebble works through this approach.

The 5 SMART stats that actually predict hard drive failure

Backblaze released data showing SMART stats are inconsistent from manufacturer to manufacturer and don't always indicate a failure.
Lucas Mearian (Computerworld (US)) on 13 November, 2014 05:29
Hard drive firmware that IT administrators use to monitor hard drive health is highly inconsistent from drive to drive and manufacturer to manufacturer, according to figures collected from nearly 40,000 spindles.
The data, released today from cloud service provider Backblaze, also indicated which five of the 70 metrics that SMART stats cover are likely to predict a hard drive failure.
SMART, or Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology, is nearly ubiquitous firmware that vendors embed as tools to alert IT admins to impending problems.

Probe lands on comet in historic first

  • AP
  • November 13, 2014 5:53AM

Rosetta spacecraft makes first-ever landing on comet

HUNDREDS of millions of kilometres from Earth, a European spacecraft has made history with a successful landing on the icy, dusty surface of a speeding comet — an audacious first designed to answer big questions about the universe.
Scientists at the European Space Agency control room in Darmstadt, Germany, cheered and applauded when the probe began sending signals from the comet after a walking pace descent of 20km through space.
The landing of the Philae probe on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko required immense precision, as even the slightest error could have thrown the spacecraft far off course and imperilled the mission. In the end, the touchdown of the Philae lander appeared to be almost perfectly on target, said Paolo Ferri, head of mission operations for the European Space Agency.

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