Monday, February 02, 2015

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 2nd February, 2015.

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 not much happening in e-Health but lots happening (under the radar) with the new health Minister.
I don’t expect much news till the Federal leadership ructions are all resolved one way or another!

Digital Transformation Office welcomed

January 27, 2015
AIIA welcome’s announcement of Digital Transformation Office
The AIIA has welcomed the announcement to establish a new Digital Transformation Office (DTO) to drive the digital transformation of federal government services. “The establishment of the DTO signals the Government’s commitment to the digital transformation of services and builds on the Coalition’s Policy for E-Government and the Digital Economy. Establishment of a digital identity to transact with all Government agencies and the intention to work collaboratively with State and Territory governments is also welcomed.

Why a single online ID would be dangerous

Date January 29, 2015 - 12:00AM

Adam Henschke

A digital ID for all our official details is a security risk and a treasure chest for business.
Imagine you had a single digital identity, an online ID that you could use for any government service. Whether you needed to communicate with departments that handled tax, welfare, or healthcare and education, all you'd need is a single online ID.
It would bring together information about you from all participating departments, meaning less paperwork for government officials and greater information at their fingertips. Not only that, it would take all the hassle out of dealing with government services for you, yes?
There is a higher potential for the unpaid parking ticket to prevent you from accessing other government services.  
Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has been given the job of creating a new Digital Transformation Office. In part this will oversee the development and introduction of a single digital identity to access an integrated range of government services. But before we rush into this, let's consider for a moment that this way lies danger.

CSIRO to pilot IBM’s breakthrough in cloud-based personal data protection

IBM has announced a new cloud-based technology for developers to help consumers better protect their private data, and Australia’s CSIRO is going to pilot it.
28 January 2015 is ‘Data Privacy Day’, and its the day IBM made a big announcement - new cloud-based technology to protect personal data.
The technology ‘enables developers to help consumers better protect their personal data online such as their date of birth, home address and credit card numbers’, with IBM’s scientists ‘developing a clever cryptographic algorithm which enables transactions to occur without involuntarily sharing any personal data.’
IBM calls this technology ‘Identity Mixer’, with the company saying it uses ‘a cryptographic algorithm to encrypt the certified identity attributes of a user, such as their age, nationality, address and credit card number in such a way that the user is able to reveal only selected pieces to third parties, such an online marketing survey, online retailer or an e-government website.’

CriSTAL test determines likelihood of death within 30 days

Date January 26, 2015 - 6:56AM

Kerrie Armstrong

A test devised by Sydney researchers to determine the likelihood of a patient's death within the next 30 days will be trialled in local hospitals from March.
The Criteria for Screening and Triaging to Appropriate aLternative care, or CriSTAL, developed by University of New South Wales researcher Magnolia Cardona-Morrel, would take into account 29 different criteria to assess whether it was worthwhile carrying out life-saving treatments and procedures.
Once the score is determined the doctor could have a transparent conversation with the patient about their wishes. 

Regional Australia’s First Fully Integrated Digital Hospital

The healthcare sector is constantly evolving as technology becomes more sophisticated. St Stephen’s Private Hospital in Hervey Bay, Queensland, which officially opened last month, is the first fully integrated digital hospital in regional Australia. New ways of working meant a new approach to design.
Designed by Conrad Gargett Riddel AMW, the $96 million facility houses the country’s first full electronic medical record (EMR) and digital patient management system, in addition to a digital drug dispensing facility and a capacity to monitor patients during surgeries.
Operated by UnitingCare Health, everything in the facility from X-rays to equipment monitoring in theatres will be done electronically.
These advanced wireless technologies are expected to generate efficiencies, improve safety and clinical outcomes, and create higher levels of patient and clinician satisfaction.

The AMT v20150131 January Release is now available for download

Created on Friday, 30 January 2015
The AMT v20150131 January Release is now available for download from the NEHTA website.

Health, education and environmental not-for-profits offered free IT services

Tata Consultancy Services launches pro bono program for health, education and environmental not-for-profits
Hamish Barwick (Computerworld) on 28 January, 2015 11:27
Australian-based health, education and environmental not-for-profits can apply for free IT services following the launch of a program by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
The TCS Pro Bono Community program is designed to help not-for-profit organisations that may not be able to afford IT services. If selected, up to five organisations will get free application and website development, IT consulting and software testing.
Applications close on 16 February. A second round of funding will take place in September.
TCS Australia and New Zealand CEO Deborah Hadwen said it was offering the services to health, education and environmental not-for-profits because this fit with its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in Australia.

Canterbury builds on tech to realise savings and better patient outcomes

Posted Thu, 29/01/2015 - 15:30 by Josh Gliddon
There’s a revolution in healthcare taking place on the South Island of New Zealand. It’s being driven by Canterbury District Health Board Chief Medical Officer Dr Nigel Millar, and it centres around sharing health information, and empowering patients to have as much care as possible in their homes.
“Healthcare is about the patient experience,” says Dr Millar. “It’s about delivering patient care near or in the patient homes. Small tasks such as blood pressure and weight readings can be done at home and automatically transmitted to the patient’s health care professional supported by primary care GPs, and that frees up hospital beds for when in-hospital care is really necessary.”
The healthcare transformation on the south island started in 2007 when the Board did forward projections and discovered that if technology and new ways of thinking were not employed, another major hospital would need to be built by 2020 just to take care of rising populations and rising patient needs.

Data Privacy Day a reminder to protect your personal information

2015 theme is respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust
To mark Data Privacy Day (January 28), privacy commissioners in Australia are urging people to stay safe online by taking steps to protect their personal information.
New South Wales Privacy Commissioner Doctor Elizabeth Coombs said she regularly hears concerns from the NSW community about how their personal data is handled by companies.
“Data Privacy Day is a reminder to ensure your personal information is protected online by asking questions and reading the fine print before disclosing it,” she said in a statement.
In May 2014, Coombs told Techworld Australia that inadvertent placement of personal information on the Internet sometimes occurs because there are no security or privacy protections.

CSRIO supercomputer enables cardiac arrest breakthrough

Date February 1, 2015 - 12:15AM

Rose Powell

Jamie Donaldson was unaware he had a common heart condition until he collapsed after a half-marathon and was dead for six minutes.
After weeks in hospital, the 34-year-old father of three learned he had a heart condition known as Long QT, which is usually only discovered during an autopsy even though about one in 2000 Australians have the syndrome.
"I was bewildered. There was no warning, no precursor and I had no idea," Mr Donaldson said. "We need a way to detect conditions before you experience what can be quite severe consequences."
Cardiac arrests account for slightly more than 10 per cent of Australian deaths. But the quest to find a way to detect heart conditions before a crisis has made a big leap forward after a five-year project by Australian scientists.

Privacy fears in bid to bolster laws for fight against cyber crime

Sarah Martin

LAW reform to keep pace with the growing threat to national security must strike a balance with privacy concerns, cyber law experts have warned.
As the government reviews its cyber-security strategy for the first time in six years, ­the Attorney-General’s Department is understood to be considering legislative changes to match the global surge in cyber crime. As revealed in The Australian yesterday, 500 cybercrimes are being referred every week to a new government reporting network, with more than 3000 being investigated in the past two months. Most of these are related to fraud.
The chief security officer of US-based Cisco Systems, John Stewart, who is one of the panel members reviewing Australia’s cyber strategy, has said law reform will be necessary following the review. Describing himself as a “privacy hawk”, he said there was a tension under the current legislative framework between consumer protection laws obliging businesses not to share information, and national security requirements that may require information sharing between business and government.

Australia's Privacy Commissioner Tim Pilgrim fears telco metadata breaches

Date January 27, 2015 - 12:15AM

Ben Grubb

Internet and phone providers should be required to notify customers of metadata breaches if they are forced to store customers' records for two years as part of the Abbott government's mandatory data retention regime, Australia's federal Privacy Commissioner says.
Timothy Pilgrim also warned the proposed data retention scheme may result in providers collecting "more personal information than is necessary" for their business purposes and "retaining that information for longer than is necessary for those purposes".
The scheme would therefore require providers to handle personal information in a way "that may otherwise be inconsistent with those providers' obligations under the Privacy Act," he said.

New MedicalDirector Online provides more flexibility for practices

MedicalDirector is pleased to launch MedicalDirector Online - a managed cloud based service, available on a monthly subscription. The service is designed to meet the changing needs of new practices or existing sites. 
“Starting a new practice is often big step with many risks to manage. Monthly based billing and no lock in contracts help practices minimise upfront investments in the critical first year, said MedicalDirector CEO Phil Offer.”
MedicalDirector Online subscriptions provide practices with access to MedicalDirector Clinical and/or PracSoft programs as part of a cloud based service. Along with no new software for staff to learn , the service also provides automatic updates and backups, providing simple integration into practices.
Featuring a concurrent subscription model, MedicalDirector Online improves support for a changing staff mix with licences based on the maximum number of users on the system at one time. Additionally the ability to modify subscriptions monthly, means practices need only pay for what they require.

At UCSF Medical Center, robot-aided healthcare is here

When the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay hospital opens on Sunday, it'll boast the largest fleet of hospital robots in the world.
Matt Weinberger (Computerworld (US)) on 31 January, 2015 01:57
When the brand-new UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay in San Francisco opens on Sunday, patients will be greeted by staffers that more strongly resemble R2-D2 than the cast of Scrubs
Twenty-five Aethon "Tug" robots, comprising the largest fleet of free-roaming hospital robots in the world, will haul blood samples, food, medication, biohazardous waste and other materials and supplies around the huge, horizontal facility (about as big as three football fields). The Tugs are designed to reduce workplace injuries among hospital staff even as they let caregivers focus on, well, giving care.
Hospital officials offered some face time with the medical bots at a grand opening press conference Thursday featuring San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, storied Silicon Valley venture capitalist Ron Conway and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. 

Artificial intelligence not a threat: Microsoft's Eric Horvitz contradicts Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates

Date January 29, 2015 - 1:03PM

Tim Biggs

Technology reporter / producer

Machines will eventually achieve a human-like consciousness but do not pose a threat to the survival of mankind, Microsoft head of research Eric Horvitz says, in comments that place him at odds with technologist Elon Musk and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.
"There have been concerns about the long-term prospect that we lose control of certain kinds of intelligences," Horvitz said in an interview after being awarded the prestigious AAAI Feigenbaum Prize for his contribution to artificial intelligence (AI) research, "[but] I fundamentally don't think that's going to happen".
"I think that we will be very proactive in terms of how we field AI systems, and that in the end we'll be able to get incredible benefits from machine intelligence in all realms of life, from science to education to economics to daily life."

One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100)


Stanford University has invited leading thinkers from several institutions to begin a 100-year effort to study and anticipate how the effects of artificial intelligence will ripple through every aspect of how people work, live and play.
This effort, called the One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence, or AI100, is the brainchild of computer scientist and Stanford alumnus Eric Horvitz who, among other credits, is a former president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
In that capacity Horvitz convened a conference in 2009 at which top researchers considered advances in artificial intelligence and its influences on people and society, a discussion that illuminated the need for continuing study of AI’s long-term implications.
Now, together with Russ Altman, a professor of bioengineering and computer science at Stanford, Horvitz has formed a committee that will select a panel to begin a series of periodic studies on how AI will affect automation, national security, psychology, ethics, law, privacy, democracy and other issues.

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