Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 25th May, 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

Things are gradually settling down after the Budget and sadly we still don’t know what all this money will actually lead to and be spent on!
Other than that we have an interesting interview with the NEHTA chair and a lot of private sector activity. All good to see stuff happening despite the dead hand of Government.

Governance and consultation will be the key to new e-health system

HISA welcomed the Government’s Budget announcement this week of a $485million package for national electronic health records which would see the trial of a new opt-out system, a new brand for the PCEHR and a newly formed e-health authority.
HISA CEO Dr Louise Schaper said the digital health community would press for health informatics representation in the future governance structure.
“The proposed changes to PCEHR implementation are going to require more consultation, consumer engagement and smart thinking to make it work. Our members can help with that,” she said.

The e-health challenge: An interview with NEHTA Chair Dr Steve Hambleton

In the 2015 Budget the Federal Government has allocated significant funding to improve the electronic health record system for all Australians. The personally controlled e-health record gives patients a lot of control, but many healthcare providers are still concerned about the medicolegal risks embedded in the system.

I had the privilege to speak with Dr Steve Hambleton, former AMA president and Chair of the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), about some of the concerns voiced by doctors and consumers.
It appears there are various sticks and carrots in the pipeline to get more healthcare providers on board, but there is no sign that for example the heavy-handed PCEHR Participation Contract for providers will be changed.
The good news is that Dr Hambleton expects the current national infrastructure will help other providers and products – different to the PCEHR – to emerge in the near future.

Crowd-funding platform raises $1.5m for health firm

A crowd-funding platform for “sophisticated” investors has closed what it says is Australia’s largest equity crowd-funding round, raising $1.5 million for local mobile health firm Global Kinetics Corporation.
GKC is commercialising the Parkinson’s KineticGraph, which provides six days’ worth of movement data for clinicians to use when treating patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.
GKC managing director Andrew Maxwell told The Australian his company produced a watch-like wearable device for patients to wear that provides around 720 insights per day. “We sell our service, which is a report similar to an MRI or ECG report, that includes information about a patient’s movement every two minutes,” he said.

Aussie medtech company raises $1.5 million

Date May 19, 2015

Beverley Head

Crowdfunding platform OurCrowd has tipped $1.5 million into the coffers of a Melbourne-based health tech company with ambitions to be Australia's next ResMed or Cochlear.
The funds will support Global Kinetics' push into the US, following Food and Drug Administration approval of the company's Parkinson's disease management technology, and also to explore the appification of the company's intellectual property, potentially creating an app for wearables such as the Apple Watch, that could monitor Parkinson's sufferers and even provide early alerts of disease onset.
Managing director, Andrew Maxwell, said that the company was currently evaluating hardware platforms and potential partners able to create an app.

Queensland govt bought wrong IBM product for Health IT: Bligh

Summary: Former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has acknowledged that when the state government partnered with IBM to roll out its new health payroll system in 2010, it bought the wrong one.
By Aimee Chanthadavong | May 19, 2015 -- 02:05 GMT (12:05 AEST)
No one ever got fired for buying IBM, the adage goes, but what if you purchase the wrong item from Big Blue?
Former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has admitted the Queensland government was at fault for malfunction of the state's AU$1.2 billion health payroll system in 2010, and it was not the failure of hardware or software.
Speaking at the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations, and Datacentre Summit on Tuesday, Bligh said the implementation of the then-new payroll system by IBM was a "catastrophic disaster", which saw 74,000 health staff overpaid, underpaid, or not paid at all.

Maximising health data use and connections

By Natasha Egan on May 22, 2015 in Technology Review
Information officers and executives from the aged care and disability sectors will learn how to make the most of their organisation’s health data in an upcoming health ICT event.
The Health-e-Nation Leadership Summit, which is bringing healthcare leaders from across Australia and overseas to Sydney in June, is this year exploring the integration of care in a time of change.
Organisations across hospitals, primary care, aged care and disability services need to connect, said Sally Glass, managing director of CHIK Services, which operates the annual event.
Primary health networks, the national eHealth record and the Medicare review were among a range of areas shifting the fabric of the nation’s healthcare, she said.

Malaysian Sets An Australian First In e-health, Family Medicine

By Neville D'Cruz
MELBOURNE, May 22 (Bernama) -- What began as a modest investment in a community health idea for Malaysian-born entrepreneur Maha Sinnathamby has now ballooned into a multi-billion dollar revolution in the way medical and health services are provided.
The founder behind Australia's biggest and fastest emerging new city of Greater Springfield located west of Brisbane originally master-planned local healthcare as a way of attracting people to his future city.
It worked and it has attracted tens of thousands of new residents and a personal fortune.

#FHIR Report from the Paris Working Meeting

Posted on May 18, 2015 by Grahame Grieve
I’m on the way home from HL7’s 2015 May Working Group Meeting. This meeting was held in Paris. Well, not quite Paris – at the Hyatt Regency at Charles De Gaulle Airport.
A sad and quite unexpected event occurred at this meeting – Helmut Koenig passed away. Helmut Koenig was a friend who had attended HL7 and DICOM meetings for many years. Recently, he had contributed to the DICOM related resources, including ImagingStudy and ImagingObjectSelection resources.
Helmut actually passed away at the meeting itself, and we worked on resolving his ballot comments the next day. Links:
Ballot Summary
The FHIR community continues to grow in leaps and bounds. That was reflected in the FHIR ballot: we had strong participation and many detailed comments about the specification itself. Once all the ballot comments had been processed and duplicates removed, and line items traded amongst the various FHIR related specifications, the core specification had 1137 line items for committees to handle. You can see them for yourself on HL7’s gForge.

Improved patient access to clinical trials

A new government website is set to make it easier for Australians to participate in clinical trials.
Launched on Wednesday, will give patients information about existing trials, including who can enrol and what's required, and put them in contact with researchers.

Australian-first website to connect more patients with clinical trials

In an Australian-first patients will be given access to potentially life-saving clinical trials.
Page last updated: 20 May 2015

Joint Media Release

The Hon Sussan Ley MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Sport

The Hon Ian Macfarlane
Minister for Industry and Science

20 May 2015
In an Australian-first patients will be given access to potentially life-saving clinical trials at their fingertips with the launch of an online one-stop shop today.
Minister for Health Sussan Ley and Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said it will be easier for patients across Australia to take part in innovative medical research as the Abbott Government launched an Australian-first website today – International Clinical Trials Day.
Ms Ley said the website would help boost patient participation following data that indicated just under half of all Phase Three clinical trials conducted in Australia did not meet their patient recruitment targets.

Doctors back new clinical trials registry

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has welcomed a new register of clinical trials in Australia that should make it easier for patients to access trials and for researchers to recruit people.
Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley announced the new Australian Clinical Trials website today and said it would help boost patient participation in clinical trials but it is not a new initiative.
The Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) was established in 2005 with $1.5 million in federal funding through a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) enabling grant. The NHMRC is also the same body behind the new clinical trials website.

Plan to boost access to clinical trials

20th May 2015
THE federal government has launched a new website to connect patients with clinical trials and hopefully boost participation.
Health Minister Sussan Ley says the “one-stop shop” – – will improve patient access to innovative medical research.
The site includes information about trials, who can enrol, and what is required of patients.
Ms Ley says it’s necessary to lift the participation rates, with just under half of all phase III clinical trials conducted in Australia failing to meet their recruitment targets, according to a 2010 benchmarking survey conducted by what was then the Pharmaceutical Industry Council.

Vulnerable patients could benefit from having an eHealth record, says award winning Practice Manager

Created on Wednesday, 20 May 2015
Drug addicts, refugees and immigrant non-English speakers are apprehensive about giving up information to the eHealth record system but in fact they are among the patients most likely to benefit from it, says award-winning Practice Manager Anastasia Dimitriou, who manages Mediclinic in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton.
"Patients who collapse or have to be rushed to emergency and can't communicate could have their lives saved if they have an eHealth record," she said.
Ms Dimitriou, named the AAPM Practice Manager of the Year in 2014, says the majority of patients at Mediclinic are there to receive services by five GPs specially trained in addiction medicine. While the clinic is asking patients if they want to sign up for an eHealth record, some of the patients are not interested.

1-Page secures deal with major US health system

  • May 18 2015 at 12:48 PM
  • Updated May 18 2015 at 1:12 PM
Backdoor ASX-listed Silicon Valley online recruitment start-up 1-Page has secured an agreement with one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in the United States.
The deal is further evidence the company, which has been the golden child of the ASX backdoor-listed stocks in the past year, is performing well.
1-Page, a cloud-based talent acquisition platform, has entered an agreement with Providence Health and Services to help the company attract and find talent.
The third-largest not-for-profit health system in the US, Providence Health and Services has 436,000 members and employs more than 76,000 people. 

Uploading an Event Summary

What is an Event Summary?
An Event Summary captures key health information about significant healthcare events that are relevant to the ongoing care of an individual, for example to indicate a clinical intervention, improvement in a condition or that a treatment has been started or completed.
An Event Summary may contain:
  • allergies and adverse reactions
  • medicines
  • diagnoses
  • interventions
  • immunisations
  • diagnostic investigations.

Performance driven IT solutions critical to reduce fragmentation in healthcare

May 18, 2015
In comparison to other Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries or the US and Europe, Australia’s healthcare system allows easy access and provides quality care. However, as of 2014, of all APAC countries, Australia had the highest healthcare expenditure at AUD$6,400per capita, per annum, and ranks amongst the highest healthcare spenders in the world. 67% of Australia’s total health expenditure is government funded.
After Japan, Australia is the second largest market for medical technology adoption in APAC. The Australian healthcare Information Technology (IT) market, which includes clinical, financial, and administrative software and software related services (excluding hardware), devices and connectivity solutions, is expected to be worth AUD$1.20 billion by the end of 2015, accounting for 18% of the total healthcare IT spend in the APAC region. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.3% between 2013 and 2020.
On average, Australian hospitals spend 3%-5% of their total expenditure on IT. Large, public hospitals are the highest and most frequent spenders. In2014, Frost & Sullivan estimated that 54% of hospitals in Australia spent at least AUD$1.5 million on health IT. This trend is expected to continue to rise in the coming decades in order to effect improvements in the health system and control costs in the long run. Penetration rates are expected to increase to 57% by the end of 2015.
May 18 2015 at 11:12 AM

On reflection, a disappointing budget for the tech crowd

by David Havyatt
Having had time to reflect on last Tuesday's federal budget, there was very little to excite those who see the potential for technology to reinvigorate Australia's economy.
The government's own commitment to harnessing technology in its digital transformation agenda is welcome but given it is merely rebranding Labor's digital first strategy, announced in June 2013, it is a year overdue.
The accelerated depreciation in the small-business package and new fringe benefits arrangements for portable items will no doubt see a lift in purchases of information technology hardware. But apart from uplift in retail all it does is increase the amount of profit shifted by IT companies for the Australian Taxation Office to chase.

I quit everything

Date May 20, 2015 - 12:00AM

Caroline James

Former women's magazine editor, Sarah Wilson is driving one of Australia's e-diet success stories of 2015.
Wilson and former colleague Zoe Eaton self-funded and founded I Quit
Wilson started experimenting and ultimately changing her own diet after she was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease in 2008. She began blogging about her new sugar-free life and found a huge following of readers keen to learn more about the health benefits of culling the natural sweetener from their diets.
This led to the digital I Quit Sugar Cookbook, which was picked up by Pan MacMillan and published in 43 countries. A sequel, I Quit Sugar for Life followed.

# How the world of health and medical conferences is changing #

| May 17, 2015 10:49PM | EMAIL | PRINT
For those with an interest in social media and healthcare, if you missed the #MedicineSocial conference this past weekend, you can follow the convenor, psychiatrist Dr Helen Schultz, as she tweets about it this week at @WePublicHealth.
Among the subjects she will cover are cyberstalking and how to deal with trolls. More details of the conference are also in this Storify.
Meanwhile, online communications are also enabling rural health practitioners to stay in touch via virtual conferences, reports Raj Verma, Director of Clinical Program Design and Implementation at the Agency for Clinical Innovation in NSW.

Windows 10 versions announced

Microsoft will continue to offer different versions of Windows 10 for different users including Home, Professional, Enterprise, Internet of Things (IoT), Xbox, and Mobile. Each will have different value propositions and most existing Windows 7/8 users will get a free ‘like for like’ upgrade.
Tony Prophet, corporate vice president of Windows and Search Marketing at Microsoft said in a blog, "We will offer different Windows editions that are tailored for various device families and uses. These different editions address specific needs of our various customers, from consumers to small businesses to the largest enterprises."
Home is consumer focused, for PCs, tablets and hybrid devices. Bundled apps include updated versions of Photos, Maps, Mail, Calendar, Music and Video. One new feature for Home is Xbox integration. "We are also bringing the Xbox gaming experience to Windows 10, giving games and gamers access to the Xbox Live gaming community, enabling the capture and share of gameplay and giving Xbox One owners the ability to play their Xbox One games from any Windows 10 PC in their home," Prophet said.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

At the eHealth post budget briefing in Sydney yesterday, Paul Madden said that the new Australian Commission for eHealth (ACeH) commission would be "one governance process for all eHealth activities.

I asked if that included state based and other eHealth systems or just the Federal system. His response was that the scope was all Australian eHealth systems, including those run by the states. The ACEH will report to COAG.

There was no time frame for this to happen and I suspect that getting COAG and the states to agree to create a national body that will have control/impact on state based systems is a big ask.

If it does happen, it won't be Real Soon Now.

It also seems that every stakeholder will be represented through various consultations and/or committees.

They also seem to have a strategy for creating a new eHealth strategy, but it is not clear if this strategy will be developed by ACeH or will feed into ACeH.

In fact there is a lot that isn't clear after this briefing - apart from an intention to spend $400 odd million over four years, mostly persuading people to use the system and to give training to health professionals in how to use it.

Oh, and they will continue to redevelop/operate the system, but there is no definition of the scope of "redevelop". The implication is that it will be made "more usable".

And I still don't have an answer to the question: What does the PCEHR/myhealthrecord do that local/state based systems don't or will do? Apart from provide limited access to health information when you are away from your normal place of care. And how many times does this happen?

Karen Dearne said...

Also attended yesterday's session and was astounded at the lack of insight. The officials do not comprehend they have designed and built a totally useless system. No, the problem is that not enough people are using it... If they can just get more participants, it will all work like a dream... Hahaha

Sad really, when you think what could have been. What a godawful waste of time and money. Yet, undaunted, we are given a new "vision". It's the same as the last one, but with a better name. And maybe a few usability improvements... like the 200 million MBS and PBS documents now cluttering the thing up - turns out doctors want to see the latest clinical information without having to open each document and checking the date, relevance etc...

And who is responsible for the quality, accuracy and completeness of individual records (and ensuring their security, natch) - the person who uploads it. Ah, but who "owns" the record? Well, the patient, who is therefore required to monitor the above aspects and bring any errors, omissions etc to the person responsible. Or, in the last resort, the System Operator.

Wait, if everyone is automatically enrolled how many people will even know they have a record and a) can opt-out or apply certain "access" controls if they wish and b) that they are required to keep checking their records to identify problems as they arise.

This will never, ever, be a safe and secure system on a whole-population basis

Karen Dearne said...

For anyone not familiar with this dog of a system (and Paul Madden yesterday took a swipe at reporters saying that most doctors were relying on newspaper reports that it was difficult to use!) take a look at these... Now, the software vendors have tried their best to help adoption along by providing guidance, but honestly if they created systems so dire they'd be out of business

Anonymous said...

The only conclusion one can come to is that My Health Record (THE new name it seems) will be a repeat of past disasters like all previous attempts by Government at dabbling in eHealth. Ever so sadly this will simply serve to irrevocably discredit and undermine in the consumers' minds any competent, genuine, attempts by industry to develop and deploy a shared electronic health record. The ramifications of such ham fisted meddling in eHealth are incredibly destructive to the entire eHealth environment; even more so because the local eHealth software developers seem unable to do anything about it. They have been trying for a decade and they have got nowhere.

Anonymous said...

re: My Health Record will be a repeat of past disasters".

Sorry, but it's the same disaster. Changing the name of something is the classic solution to a problem that is not being solved. It gives the appearance of progress but is really just a meaningless activity. It's called spin.