Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 22nd June, 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 pretty quiet week with lots of private sector activity and a dramatic re-do for the NEHTA web site!
It is interesting just how much seems to be going on in the relative absence of the dead hand of Government. I hope some good is coming from all the activity.

Marriage of man and machine opens new world for disabled

Chris Griffith

Mind control is nearly here thanks to a device invented by a former Channel Seven newsreader that lets humans operate an iPhone or iPad without moving a muscle.
Queenslander Peter Ford was the first co-anchor of Sunrise at the Seven Network with Chris Bath back in 1996, and enjoyed a long career at US networks NBC and CNN.
But in his spare time he was a computer programmer and has developed a revolutionary device that lets sufferers of motor neurone disease, locked in syndrome, spinal injuries and other disabling conditions operate computers.
Since 2005, his company, Control Bionics, has developed NeuroSwitch which picks up electrical signals inside a muscle in severely disabled people and uses them to generate text and digitise speech, control emails, ­internet traffic, games and remote systems, including telepresence robots.

Anatomy texts printed in 3D

15th Jun 2015
THE technology of 3D printing has created shoes, cars and even an apartment block. And now, thanks to Monash University scientists, an anatomy kit can be added to the list.
Professor Paul McMenamin, director of the Centre for Human Anatomy Education, and his team, have harnessed 3D printing to create anatomically correct body parts, complete with muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels.
The team used MRI, CT and surface laser scanners to image real anatomical specimens and then printed high resolution, coloured plastic models. The anatomical models, ranging from an upper limb to a popliteal fossa, circle of Willis and portion of jejunum, will be sold to universities at a fraction of the cost of embalmed or plastinated bodies and will take only a few weeks to supply, according to a Monash news release.

One in four apps on your Android mobile needlessly mining your personal data

Date June 21, 2015 - 12:15AM

Esther Han

Consumer Affairs Reporter

One in four apps on an Android mobile phone is loaded with an excessive number of un-related "trackers" that are funnelling valuable personal information to third parties.
Popular games apps My Talking Tom and Swamp Attack in the Google Play store are among the worst apps, each loaded with more than 20 "connected trackers", a study by Australian IT research agency NICTA shows. In contrast, the top 100 paid apps had on average 1.3 trackers each.
"There is some element of the app trying to deceive the user, doing something more than its declared function," said author Aruna Seneviratne, NICTA's research leader in mobiles.

Big potential in linked data

Nicole MacKee
Monday, 15 June, 2015
LINKING hospital patient data across Australian states will open up a host of research opportunities to more accurately track patient care and better inform health policy, say researchers.
Associate Professor James Boyd, director of Population Health Research Network (PHRN) – Centre for Data Linkage, said expanding data-linkage capability across the country would allow researchers to conduct large, powerful analyses of patient movement and disease trends not possible within state boundaries.
“This includes things that we could never do before, like complete studies of rare diseases … anything that allows us to look at the whole population across Australia is really important”, Professor Boyd told MJA InSight.
Professor Boyd coauthored research published in the MJA that has, for the first time, linked patient-level data across four Australian states — NSW, Queensland, WA and SA. (1)

Tech Talk: Booking system expands

Serkan Ozturk | June 17, 2015 |
In this week’s Tech Talk, we take a look at the growth of online booking systems, Apple’s latest health app and a mental health researcher’s new online tool.
Booking system expands
Online doctor appointment booking platform 1stAvailable plans to take on market leader Health Engine, following its purchase of three other online booking services, including GoBookings.
The company’s expansion will further its attempts to create a national one-stop shop for patients to make all their healthcare bookings online.
“A few years ago, practice managers were telling us they were still thinking about whether or not to start taking online bookings,” managing director Klaus Bartosch told the Australian Financial Review.
June 15, 2015

Healthscope expands relationship with Charm Health

One of Australia’s leading private healthcare operators, Healthscope, has expanded its relationship with Charm Health by entering into a new master agreement allowing for the implementation of the CHARM™ Oncology Information Management System in Healthscope sites offering Oncology Services. The original agreement between Charm Health and Healthscope provided for a Pilot implementation of CHARM delivered under a rapid deployment methodology at Newcastle Private Hospital. The implementation at Newcastle Private Hospital was the first deployment of CHARM using the rapid deployment methodology and delivered encouraging results – with CHARM being implemented within 6 months of contract signing.

Funding and policy pose the greatest challenges to the future of healthcare in Australia

June 15, 2015
Polycom, Inc. recently announced the results of a new survey, examining the greatest opportunities and challenges impacting the future of healthcare in 2025, identified by Australian healthcare professionals. The study, which forms part of a global survey commissioned by Polycom, the leading collaboration provider, found that 43 per cent of Australian healthcare professionals believe funding is the largest inhibitor to achieve a more positive future for the local healthcare sector. This mirrored the sentiment globally, which was recorded at 41 per cent.
Government Policy
While Government policy was noted as one of the greatest barriers to the adoption of new models in 2025, healthcare professionals are cautiously optimistic about the impact technology can have on the future of the industry. For example, 42 per cent of Australian respondents believe that Government policy is gaining momentum, albeit not at the rate they would like in terms of healthcare innovation.
Conversely, 43 per cent were less convinced, believing government policy was not adequately keeping up with healthcare innovation, specifically in relation to the advancement of technology. While only five per cent of Australian healthcare professionals believe the Government is keeping pace with innovation, the global outlook was slightly more positive at 13 per cent.

Sore back? This Australian smart office chair could soon fix that

Date June 16, 2015

Hannah Francis

Technology Reporter

We've all heard it: sit up straight, don't slouch, ensure your keyboard and computer screen are at the right height and angle, and take regular breaks.
But with lower back pain caused by poor ergonomics responsible for a third of work-related disabilities, clearly some of us need to be reminded about the importance of good posture.
Now Australian researchers have created a potential solution to help renegade slouchers by turning the humble office chair into your very own physiotherapist.

Privacy issues loom with wearables data

Jeff Rowe
Jun 16, 2015
We recently pointed to a discussion of how the so-called Internet of Things will soon be making a lot more information available on how each and every one of us lives our lives, and we noted that privacy matters were bound to loom large as all that data is compiled and potentially accessed.
Data consultant Anthony Mullen has provided a glimpse at some of those privacy matters in an article on the data that is increasingly available via wearable technologies. Noting that most of us have already grown accustomed to companies having some data on us, he raises the stakes by asking, “What if companies know not just who you are, what you do, who you know – but also how healthy you are, what movements you make and how you feel?”
  • 18 June 2015 09:00

Ramsay Health Care UK Replaces HDD With Violin Memory’s All Flash Arrays Achieving Business Transformation

Network of hospitals and treatment centres deploys Violin flash storage platform to achieve zero downtime architecture with improved overall enterprise productivity
Violin Memory®, Inc., (NYSE: VMEM) a global pioneer of award-winning all flash storage platform solutions for primary storage and active workloads, was chosen by Ramsay Health Care UK to replace their hard-disk based infrastructure with all-flash storage to improve application performance and eliminate downtime. A private healthcare provider in the UK, with 30 hospitals and two specialist neurological units, Ramsay Health Care UK is a subsidiary of Ramsay Group, which operates in Australia (HQ), France (Santé) and Indonesia, with over 25,000 worldwide employees and 100+ hospitals.

Review: PEPID, Dr Mole, Worrytime, Breathe apps

Length: (02:58)

Can Telstra have a significant impact in eHealth when so many others have failed

on June 15, 2015 at 8:02 am
Everyone in Australia recognises Telstra as the previously Government-owned telecommunications monopoly that was privatised a little over a decade ago, while being opened to competition. However it has still remained the dominant provider of fixed line, internet and mobile services while at the same time expanding its reach as a provider of cloud services and also increasing its role as a provider of support services to the National Broadband Network (NBN) for a very considerable sum. It is presently one of Australia’s largest companies with a market capitalisation of more than $75 billion and annual turnover of more than $33 billion writes Dr David More.

Australia's e-health, e-education, e-government market research report 2015 published by leading research firm

WhaTech Channel: IT Market Research Reports
Published on Monday, 15 June 2015 06:37
New developments driven by IoT and M2M - cities leading the chargeSmart Societies based on Big Data.
M2M (machine-to-machine) and IoT (Internet of Things) linked to data analytics (big data) developments are accelerating, and as more companies enter this sector and spend money on developing it, we will see further astonishing innovations emerge over the next few years. Applications are already being used in infrastructure, telecommunications, healthcare, education as well as in government; we will address this in detail in this report.
Given the current social, economic and political developments, it becomes clear that we seem to have reached a ceiling in our intellectual ability to address the complex issues that society is facing. Society lacks the capacity that is required to address the holistic nature of the current challenges.

Promapp wins WA remote health services contract

Process management software provider Promapp Solutions has been contracted by Mawarnkarra Health Services (MHS) in Western Australia to deploy its solutions and services to assist doctors, nurses and administrative staff to improve the delivery of services and population health management outcomes.
Under the contract, New Zealand-headquartered Promapp will deploy standardised, agile process workflows which comply with the required standards and guidelines for community health.  It will also support MHS’s accreditation credentials to adhere to ongoing auditing requirements.

Kellene Hicks, Compliance Specialist, Mawarnkarra Health Service, said, “Promapp was selected for its reputation and achievement in deploying web-based, user-friendly and sustainable technology in both the public and private sector arenas.”

A cloud solution for doctors on call

Dealing with more than two million expected calls this year and over a million home doctor visits health care provider National Home Doctor Service found they needed a reliable, flexible call centre solution to cater to its diverse and demanding requirements.
“Our vision is to transform health care services in Australia so they are increasingly delivered at home, in a safe and caring environment, with quality patient care delivering excellent outcomes,” says Ben Keneally, National Home Doctor Service’s chief executive officer.
NHDS last year delivered over 800,000 home doctor visits across Australia with more than three quarters of patients visited within three hours of making their bookings. Having grown through multiple acquisitions over recent years, the company had inherited a diverse range of call centre technologies which were costly to manage, lacked functionality and often resulted in a less than ideal user experience.

Peter Ford’s Control Bionics key to locked-in syndrome

Chris Griffith

Paralysed and unable to speak, Michael Phillips’s only means of communicating is by contracting the frontalis muscle on his forehead, which he does admirably, up to nine times a second.
A device developed by an Australian senses that movement and synchronises it with a cursor shining up and down rows of a virtual keyboard on an Apple MacBook screen. A timely muscle twitch sends the cursor along the row, and a second twitch selects the key to be typed.
Phillips, 34, from Tampa, Florida, has a genetic disorder known as locked-in syndrome. But it has not prevented him becoming a prolific blogger. He writes movie reviews, short fiction and opines on life in general.

Adobe privacy breach sparks call to move on alert laws

Sarah Martin

A security breach that led to the personal information of up to 1.7 million Australians being hacked — including passwords and credit card information — has fuelled calls for the government to fast-track privacy alert laws.
Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim has released his final report into the investigation of software giant Adobe, finding the organisation had breached the Privacy Act by failing to protect the personal information it held.
A cyber attack on the software company in 2013 accessed the ­details of 38 million Adobe customers globally, including 1.7 million Australians.

Big data helps fight ebola with a Qlik

The era of big data delivers tools to help in all kinds of scenarios, with Qlik ensuring the major threat of ebola is no exception.
Even before the technological age brought with it so much data, public health has always involved a hefty amount of detective work.
However, the need for sleuthing is perhaps most acute in infectious diseases, where no less than the public’s health is at stake.
Qlik, the self-service data visualisation and discovery company says that ‘big data is helping to reduce this legwork for medical detectives by streamlining the process of containing diseases before they become epidemics.’
June 12, 2015 1.41pm AEST

Listen to me: machines learn to understand how we speak

VVoice recognition technology is getting better at understanding what we are saying, even if we only say part of what we mean. So how does it work?

Author Michael Cowling

Senior Lecturer & Discipline Leader, Mobile Computing & Applications at Central Queensland University
At Apple’s recent World Wide Developer Conference, one of the tent-pole items was the inclusion of additional features for intelligent voice recognition by its personal assistant app Siri in its most recent update to its mobile operating system iOS 9.
Now, instead of asking Siri to “remind me about Kevin’s birthday tomorrow”, you can rely on context and just ask Siri to “remind me of this” while viewing the Facebook event for the birthday. It will know what you mean.
Technology like this has also existed in Google devices for a little while now – thanks to OK Google – bringing us ever closer to context-aware voice recognition.

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