Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 26th January, 2016.

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

Well we have it all this week! PCEHR compulsion kicking off, apparent staff corruption, Govt. agency intrusion and some continuing IT stupidity with ongoing use of Win XP.
I wonder what fiasco we will see next week?

NQPHN kicks off consultation on My Health Record rollout

Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) will next week begin the roll-out for the trial of the $485m opt-out My Health Record system set to revolutionise the national health system.
In November last year, NQPHN was selected as one of only two PHNs in Australia to trial the Federal Government’s new “opt-out” My Health Record for around 1 million Australians, as part of the planned future of health.
The new system – changed from opt-in to opt-out – will see Australians get easier access to their medical records and be at less risk under a revamped e-health system.
All people in northern Queensland will be provided with a My Health Record unless they choose to not have one created.

Royal Melbourne Hospital attacked by damaging computer virus

Date January 18, 2016 - 10:18PM

Julia Medew

Health Editor

The health network's website is not working and says it is "currently under maintenance".
A virus has attacked the computer system of one of Melbourne's largest hospital networks, causing chaos for staff and patients who may face delays as a result.
Staff at Melbourne Health - the network which runs the Royal Melbourne Hospital - are urgently trying to repair damage to its IT system after a virus infected Windows XP computers.
An email sent to staff today said the virus had hit Melbourne Health's pathology department, causing staff to manually process specimens such as blood, tissue and urine samples instead of computers aiding the registration, testing and entry of results.

Malware attacks Melbourne Health systems

IT team rushes to implement fix.

One of Victoria's largest health networks is grappling with an unnamed strain of malware that attacked its Windows XP systems yesterday and downed the pathology department's IT services.
Melbourne Health's IT team late yesterday discovered what is understood to be a computer worm had infected Windows XP computers through Royal Melbourne Hospital's pathology department.
Pathology staff were forced to resort to manual workarounds to process blood tissue and urine samples after the malware disrupted automated processes, as first reported by The Age.

Hack attack on a hospital IT system highlights the risk of still running Windows XP

A virus attack on the computer system of one of Melbourne’s largest hospital networks is cause for concern because it affected machines running Microsoft’s Windows XP, an operating system no longer supported by the software giant.
A virus attack on the computer system of one of Melbourne’s largest hospital networks is cause for concern because it affected machines running Microsoft’s Windows XP, an operating system no longer supported by the software giant.
A report this week in The Age said a “computer virus” has affected Windows XP systems across the hospital, interfering with the delivery of meals and pathology results. Staff have resorted to “manual workarounds”, telephones, and fax machines to ensure continued delivery of these services.
A statement from the Royal Melbourne Hospital said IT staff at Melbourne Health, the network that runs the hospital, were doing all they could to “restore the remaining Windows XP computers” as soon as possible.
posted on 17 January 2016

Microsoft Is Pulling The Plug On Windows 8

by Felix Richter, Statista.com
Yesterday, Microsoft officially ended support for Windows 8.
It was the final nail in the coffin of what was arguably the least successful Windows version of all time. After its highly anticipated release in October 2012, Windows 8 failed to make an impression with users as many found its radically new user interface confusing and counter-intuitive. Microsoft quickly backpedaled and rolled out Windows 8.1 which reversed many of the UI changes just one year after Windows 8's initial release. Windows 10, released in July 2015, went one step further in returning to a more traditional desktop feel while building on some of the features introduced with Windows 8. It was received much more positively than its predecessor and quickly overtook Windows 8 in terms of market share.

Corruption watchdog to investigate eHealth Qld recruitment

CCC agrees to look into alleged nepotism.

By Paris Cowan
Jan 20 2016 1:26PM
Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission will launch a formal investigation into allegations of nepotism within the state’s eHealth agency which recently forced its CIO to step aside.
On New Years’ Day, Queensland Health confirmed it had stood down two senior executives following a complaint about internal recruitment processes.
The Courier Mail named one of the executives as Colin McCririck, CEO of eHealth Queensland and the health department’s CIO.
  • Jan 18 2016 at 4:35 PM

Health industry needs to go mobile, entrepreneur Geoff Rohrsheim says

Imagine a health system where hospitals could liaise with each other to maximise space, patients could receive their results on the go and long wait times would be a thing of the past. There's every chance this is what the sector will look like thanks to mobile devices, and Australian company Chamonix is helping hospitals make the transition.
This shift towards mobility has been kickstarted by new legislation which digitises Australians' health records.
IT consulting company Chamonix, the brain child of serial entrepreneur Geoff Rohrsheim, has connected more than a hundred Australian hospitals to the My Health Record system, formerly the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record, since it was proposed in 2010.
Under the PCEHR, Australians had to opt-in to digitise their medical data, but in November the e-health bill was passed which made it so that an online record would be created by default, and people would have to opt-out if they didn't want their data online.

90% of industries have patient data breaches: Verizon Health Information Data Breach Report

January 17, 2016
Stolen medical information is a much more widespread issue than previously thought, affecting 18 out of 20 industries examined, according to the just released Verizon 2015 Protected Health Information Data Breach Report. Yet, most organizations outside of the healthcare sector do not realize they even hold this type of data. Common sources of protected health information are employee records (including workers’ compensation claims) or information for wellness programs and are generally not well protected.
These findings are part of a first-time report from Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) team that provides a detailed analysis of confirmed PHI* breaches involving more than 392 million records and 1,931 incidents across 25 countries.
“Many organizations are not doing enough to protect this highly sensitive and confidential data”, said Suzanne Widup, senior analyst and lead author for the Verizon Enterprise Solutions report. “This can lead to significant consequences impacting an individual and their family and increasing healthcare costs for governments, organizations and individuals. Protected health information is highly coveted by today’s cybercriminals”.

Next eHealth software developer webinar announced

The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has announced the second webinar in its series designed to help software developers connect health information systems to the national eHealth record system and Healthcare Identifiers service.
NEHTA is running a series of webinars for organisations developing software to support the national eHealth programme, the first was held in mid-December and provided developers with the information they needed before they began planning an implementation.
It has also recently set up the My Health Record system Developer Community and is inviting people who attended or registered for the webinars to become a member and stay up to date support services and future programs.
The next webinar on 3 February will outline the steps for software developers to connect their system to the My Health Record system as well as cover the resources available to support an implementation.

Medical watchdog trawling metadata 'jeopardises patient privacy'

Having power to examine doctors’ phone records without a warrant would pose an excessive use of regulatory powers, consumer advocacy group says
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency is seeking warrantless access to the telecommunications data of health practitioners including doctors. Photograph: Ariel Skelley/Getty Images/Blend Images
The Consumers Health Forum says it is concerned that Australia’s medical watchdog is on a list of agencies that have applied to the attorney general to be classified as “criminal law-enforcement agencies”.
On Wednesday it was revealed the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency may gain warrantless access to the telecommunications data of health practitioners being investigated for professional misconduct, such as having sex with their patients.
Ahpra had such powers until October, when the government passed its mandatory data retention laws. Agencies were required to reapply for access to the data and the agency was one of 61 organisations to do so. According to its annual report, it used the powers 22 times last year and 23 times in 2014.

Metadata sought by agency to investigate doctors who have sex with patients

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency one of 61 agencies seeking warrantless access to telecommunications information
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has used metadata to investigate ‘allegations of boundary violations between patients and practitioners’, according to a spokeswoman. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian
The government agency overseeing doctors, dentists and chiropractors has applied to regain warrantless access to Australians’ phone and web metadata to help it investigate whether medical practitioners are sleeping with their patients.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) is one of 61 agencies on a list released by the government who have applied to the attorney general, George Brandis, for ongoing access to be classed as enforcement agenciesto gain warrantless access to telecommunications data.

AHPRA seeks ruling on access to doctors' metadata

Paul Smith | 20 January, 2016 | 
The Federal Government is to decide whether AHPRA will retain its power to access Australians’ phone and web metadata when investigating doctors.
The watchdog says it had written to the Attorney-General for advice on whether it should continue to access telecommunications data without a warrant under the government’s controversial metadata laws.
The government’s changes to metadata laws last October meant that some 60-plus agencies effectively lost their ability to access the data unless they made a formal application to the Attorney-General.

App guides cannabis users to quit

22 January 2016
ACCORDING to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s 2014 report, 10.2% of Australians aged 14 years and older have used cannabis in the past 12 months.
Given this data, there is clearly a place for an app which can support users through an attempt to quit or cut down, and Joint Effort fits the bill. 
On first using the app, the user is prompted to register and then complete a profile. This aims to give an overall picture of the extent of cannabis use including when the user started, their age and how much cannabis (cones and joints) is being consumed per day.

Digital diagnosis: intelligent machines do a better job than humans

January 18, 2016 6.17am AEDT
It takes time for a human to become good at diagnosing ailments, but that learning is lost when they retire. Shutterstock/Poprotskiy Alexey


  1. Ross Crawford
Professor of Orthopaedic Research, Queensland University of Technology
  1. Anjali Jaiprakash
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Medical Robotics, Queensland University of Technology
  1. Jonathan Roberts
Professor in Robotics, Queensland University of Technology
Until now, medicine has been a prestigious and often extremely lucrative career choice. But in the near future, will we need as many doctors as we have now? Are we going to see significant medical unemployment in the coming decade?
Dr Saxon Smith, president of the Australian Medical Association NSW branch, said in a report late last year that the most common concerns he hears from doctors-in-training and medical students are, “what is the future of medicine?” and “will I have a job?”. The answers, he said, continue to elude him.
As Australian, British and American universities continue to graduate increasing numbers of medical students, the obvious question is where will these new doctors work in the future?
Will there be an expanded role for medical professionals due to our ageing populations? Or is pressure to reduce costs while improving outcomes likely to force the adoption of new technology, which will then likely erode the number of roles currently performed by doctors?

Owner prints 3D wheelchair for cat injured in fall from sixth-floor balcony

Date January 17, 2016 - 7:26PM

Kim Arlington


Cat gets 3D printed wheelchair

After surviving a frightening fall out of a Bondi apartment building, Mozart the cat is given the very best in treatment for his recovery.
They say a cat always lands on its feet. When Mozart the Birman fell from a sixth-floor balcony in North Bondi, it seems he did just that.
He was lucky to survive with nothing more than six broken bones in his back feet. Thinking about how to keep his injured feet immobilised while he recovered, Mozart's owners Martin and Elodie Orliac hit on an innovative solution - a 3D-printed cat wheelchair.
The 3D printing process creates solid objects from a computer-designed blueprint. It adds layer on layer of material, usually plastic or metal, to create anything from medical models to high heels and coffee cups. 
Analytica Limited www.analyticamedical.com/
Analytica's (ASX: ALT) lead product is the PeriCoach System - an e-health treatment system for women who suffer stress urinary incontinence.

Analytica receives R&D funding

Monday, January 18, 2016
Analytica (ASX:ALT) has received $1.9 million from an R&D Tax Incentive Receipt from its continuing investment in the research and development of its e-health treatment for women who suffer stress urinary incontinence.
The market for the product is a sizeable one in the U.S. with spending on incontinence pads as high as $5 billion per annum.

CohortIQ hospital data play takes DataStart prize

  • The Australian
  • January 20, 2016 12:00AM

David Swan

A start-up using government and private data to maximise hospital and public health service ­efficiency has been chosen for support from government-backed incubator program DataStart.
CohortIQ was awarded $200,000 in seed capital on Monday night and will now enter a nine-month incubation program. Its use of the data helps tackle the 235,000 avoidable admissions each year. The company was one of four chosen from 200 entries to receive backing fromDataStart.
DataStart was begun late last year by the Turnbull government and start-up incubator Pollenizer to support data-driven innovation, including finding and funding start-ups that would leverage government data to develop new solutions. Right Click Capital, Google, Optus, PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia, Rozetta, CSIRO Data61 and the Australian Information Association Industry also came on board.

PowerHealth looks to Canada for export growth

Australian healthcare administration software vendor PowerHealth Solutions has broadened its horizons by establishing a partnership with change capability and management consultants Canadian Healthcare Management.
PowerHealth's PowerPerformance Manager (PPM) is used by the majority of Australian state health departments and the by the largest district health boards in New Zealand.
The company is looking to expand globally, and has entered the Canadian market though a deal with Canadian Healthcare Management (CHM), which specialises in improving healthcare services while increasing efficiency by applying its process management expertise along with emerging technologies and process.

Telstra acquires APAC cloud services company Kloud

Telstra has announced the acquisition of Kloud for an undisclosed amount to bolster its cloud services and managed network applications.
By Corinne Reichert | January 21, 2016 -- 04:56 GMT (15:56 AEDT) | Topic: Telcos
Telstra has signalled its continuing interest in expanding its cloud and managed network application services with the acquisition of Australian company Kloud.
A Microsoft partner, Kloud provides professional and managed services to enterprises for more than 80 corporate and government customers across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as supplying solutions for productivity, identity, security, application development, and cloud infrastructure for enterprise cloud applications.
According to Kloud managing director Nicki Bowers, the acquisition will make the long-standing partnership between Kloud and Telstra more official.

HCF buys 15 percent stake in telehealth startup GP2U

HCF plans to improve the convenience and accessibility of healthcare for members by running an initial pilot program using GP2U's technology platform, before rolling it out to the wider HCF membership.
By Aimee Chanthadavong | January 22, 2016 -- 05:23 GMT (16:23 AEDT) | Topic: Networking
Australian health fund company HCF has bought a 15 percent stake in telehealth startup GP2U to further improve healthcare support for its customers.
As part of the investment, HCF said it will run an initial pilot program using GP2U's technology platform to improve the convenience and accessibility of healthcare for its members, before it is rolled out to the wider HCF membership.
Specifically, this will mean greater pharmacy services for members, as GP2U has agreements in place with Terry White Chemists and Priceline. According to HCF, once a general practitioner approves a prescription it can be sent directly to the pharmacy for collection.
HCF chief strategy officer Sheena Jack said HCF is constantly looking for new ways to support members in caring for their health, and was impressed with GP2U's end-to-end technology platform.

Astronomers in seventh heaven over discovery of Planet Nine

  • The Australian
  • January 22, 2016 12:00AM

John Ross

A new ninth planet?

The astronomer who demoted Pluto to dwarf planet status has made amends, helping to discover a massive new cosmic body that restores the solar system to its full complement of nine planets.
Dubbed “Planet Nine”, it dominates a larger tract of space than giants such as Jupiter and Saturn, making it “the most planety of planets in the whole solar system”, the California Institute of Technology’s Mike Brown says.
Astronomers are yet to directly observe the new planet, even though they believe it has the mass of 10 Earths or 5000 Plutos. The planet’s existence was inferred from its gravitational effect on six cosmic bodies in the Kuiper Belt, a massive band of icy chunks beyond the orbit of Neptune.
Swinburne University astronomer Alan Duffy, who was not involved in the study, said the claims needed to be backed up with sightings. “We would all love this result to be true, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. What we’re seeing are hints of something that could explain why there are some very strange orbits in the Kuiper Belt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, let me see if I have this right....
RMH attacked, using an old OS (as are lots and lots of medical practices etc), Verizon Data Breach Report states that stolen medical information is a much more widespread issue than previously thought, PCEHR was first dreamt of in 2010 and millions upon millions have been spent on it since then with very little uptake and usage. Most people don't even know it exists, even my local medicos won't touch it. So now - when the government is supposed to be scratching in the dirt looking for savings because the country is in so much in debt - they are going to spend ANOTHER $485m on an opt-out trial! That's more than the original $467m to build the entire thing. Why? How much will it then cost if they decide to extend it nationwide - can the country afford it? Will people accept it or will it be done by stealth and how dangerous is that - that's why it was NEVER entertained by the previous government in the first place.