Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 19th April, 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

E-Health looks to have seriously got into the mainstream press this week. I hope the populous will at some point grasp what a waste of space, money and time the myHeath Record program is!

Dead people given e-health records in latest bungle for $1 billion government program

April 16, 20167:00am
Sue Dunlevy News Corp Australia Network
THE federal Health Department is setting up My Health records for people who have been dead for over two decades in the latest bungle to beset the troubled $1 billion project.
It comes as a major international technology company CSC last month warned medical practices not to use the My Health Record because of a glitch that meant data for one patient “may be saved against an incorrect patient record”.
And as the Australian Medical Association calls for a major overhaul of the records to integrate them into existing medical software because just 300 GPs are using the records each week.
Four years after it was launched only 75,000 records are populated with a patient health summary that makes them useful to doctors.

New online tool to teach young athletes about impacts of illegal drugs on sport

A new online tool with the aim of educating young athletes on the impacts of using illegal drugs in sport has been launched by the Federal Government.

Key points:

  • Sports authorities worried about levels of drug use in local community sporting groups
  • Program includes courses for athletes, coaches, officers, presenters and role models
  • Emphasis on showing illegal drugs just as off-limits as performance-enhancing drugs
The Illicit Drugs in Sport e-learning education program uses videos, interactive materials and printouts to educate people on the harmful impact of using illegal drugs in sport and was developed in partnership with the Australian Sports Commission.
Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley said the program was better than any previous resource and would be free for anyone to access.

Another resources company switches to IT

Mineral exploration company MinQuest is changing tack with the acquisition of medical software developer ePat and a decision to sell off its current mineral projects.
MinQuest has reached a binding agreement to acquire ePat, which has developed a smartphone app that uses face recognition and other indicators of pain to provide a more objective pain assessment of patients who cannot communicate with their carers, such as people with dementia.
The ePat app is based on Curtin University research, and the company plans an early 2017 release for a second version tuned for young children.

openEHR technical basics for HL7 and FHIR users

Posted on by wolandscat
Recent discussions on the FHIR chat forum with various HL7 people around the topic of how openEHR and other architectural frameworks (e.g. VA FHIM, CDISC) could work with FHIR led to a realisation that some people in HL7 at least don’t understand some of the technical basics of openEHR. This might simply because they have not been involved enough to learn them, but now that we appear to be in the era of FHIR, in which no e-health solution can be without FHIR (according to the now pervasive FHIR hype), I would argue that HL7 now needs to understand some of the basics of the other major architectural frameworks and model-based platforms in e-health – all of which precede FHIR.
One of the catalysts for this discussion was a recent post I made called Making FHIR work for Everybody, in which I proposed that FHIR could be opened up so that FHIR resources could be created that represent the reference models of other model-based architectures. This led to the above-mentioned discussions on chat.fhir.org (openehr channel), in which various misunderstandings about openEHR surfaced. I will now try to address some of these.

DHS' plan to stop people complaining about MyGov

Inaugural chief digital officer outlines vision.

By Paris Cowan
Apr 12 2016 6:45AM
The Department of Human Service’s MyGov portal is one of the biggest, most visible - and undoubtedly most complained about - digital government initiatives in Australia right now.
It has roughly 9 million registered users - more than the Commonwealth Bank’s Netbank platform and chasing hot on the heels of Qantas’ Frequent Flyer club - and 200,000 visitors every day.
But many of them tear their hair out over the platform and its stringent demands, taking their frustration to outlets like Twitter.

No more myGov? Federal government quietly plotting transformation of online services

April 13 2016 - 6:31PM
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's pet agency, the Digital Transformation Office, is quietly planning a fundamental rethink of how Australians access government services online.
The office, recently tasked with fixing the troubled myGov website, has unveiled a new prototype to replace thousands of government websites and deliver a long-overdue digital reboot.
Aware of the risks and expectations, acting head Radi Kovacevic said the office had cautiously launched a alpha version of the website to gauge feedback and concerns after an extended period of user research.
Mr Kovacevic, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet's former chief information officer, said he was personally overseeing a gradual rollout of the project to mitigate risk.

TPG to deliver 10Gbps network for medical imaging

Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 14 April, 2016 17:08
Telco strikes deal with I-MED Network
TPG will deliver high-speed connectivity to I-MED Network under a deal announced today by the two companies.
TPG did not reveal the value of the contract under which the telco will use its fibre infrastructure to hook up I-MED’s medical imaging clinics but described it as a “a significant multimillion dollar commercial agreement”.
The deal covers a network of 180 clinics. TPG said it would deliver speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second to I-MED’s offices.

TPG to flex fibre muscle

  • The Australian
  • April 14, 2016 3:58PM

Supratim Adhikari

TPG Telecom is putting its fibre assets to full use with the telco signing a multi-million dollar agreement to build a high speed network dedicated to medical imaging.
The deal will see TPG deliver a network, capable of speeds of up to 10 Gbps, that will connect the 180 sites of Australia’s largest medical imaging clinic I-MED Network.
According to TPG, most I-MED locations will achieve increases of between 20-50 times in network bandwidth.
I-MED Network chief executive officer, Steven Rubic, said that the increased bandwidth will allow the clinics to make full use of their advanced imaging hardware.

6 wearable technologies doctors need to know about

John Kron | 8 April, 2016 | 
The explosion in wearable technology in recent years may be a commercial fad but many believe it will benefit doctors in treating patients. Australian Doctor takes a look.
Basic is probably the word that best describes the technology used in most pedometers back in the 1990s.
The device attached to your belt. A sensor counted up the steps and, well, that was about it.
Now, compare this with the Samsung belt launched in January.

Setting the record straight!

Published 12 April 2016
There are a number of positive and negative assertions circulating the media, so each month we will be ‘setting the record straight’ and highlighting which My Health Record rumours are facts and which are not, so you can be confident when dealing with your customers. This month we set the record straight on privacy.
Here are some of the misrepresentations, along with the actual facts:
Assertion: Individuals cannot control who sees their My Health Record
Not true. Individuals can ask their healthcare provider not to upload certain information to their My Health Record and can also choose to be notified when their My Health Record is accessed. They can also set controls to restrict access to certain information in their My Health Record or to prevent certain healthcare provider organisations from seeing anything in their My Health Record. For example, individuals may want to restrict access or ask a provider not to upload their sensitive health information, such as sexual or mental health issues accessible by all healthcare providers.

High-quality general practice research to continue through MedicalDirector network

With concerns being raised around access to reliable sources of data on general practice, MedicalDirector is committed to continuing its General Practice Research Network (GPRN) to lift understanding around primary care and to help practitioners.
“The future of Australia’s primary health care system relies on quality sources of continuous data and insight into general practice and patient consultations,” MedicalDirector CEO Phil Offer says.
“From our longitudinal database including more than 44 million GP-patient encounters from over four million patients, we can provide extensive information leading to a better understanding of patients, interventions and results. This enables us to uncover robust insights into Australia’s health issues and outcomes.”

Does technology spell death for the retirement living industry?

By Natasha Egan on April 11, 2016
While technology offers Australia’s retirement village operators a number of opportunities, it could also mean their death, an aged care industry conference will hear this week.
Telstra Health’s national operations manager aged and community care Luke Greive is presenting on the future of technology uptake in retirement villages at LASA Queensland’s state conference on Thursday.
 “I will be covering issues around whether technology will be the death of retirement villages,” Mr Greive told Technology Review.

Why health apps are bad, and why I'm hooked

Date April 11, 2016 - 8:33PM

Jenna Price

Columnist for The Canberra Times and Daily Life

Every single day, including weekends, I check. And if it hasn't hit the magic 10,000, I ask: "Anyone feel like a walk?"
I hate exercising with a passion.
Yes, yes, I know it's good for me. And I know it will extend my life (which is already 18 months longer than I thought it might be). It will improve my sex life. It will make travelling more fun. What's not to love?
But I find it hard. Every one of the little intervals of running at 11.6km/h is like torture. The inclines, the squats. All of the repetitions of the anti-batwing exercises (where you hold weights out to the side of your body, arms parallel to the floor) are agony.
As for endorphins, it's tremendous some people experience them. Not me. I fear they are an invention of my lovely GP, Dr Pandora, whose gift for pretending fitness is fabulous is wasted on me.

WA Health locked into paying dubious data centre invoices

Lawyers say no recourse on $44m contract amendments.

By Paris Cowan
Apr 13 2016 6:47AM
WA government lawyers have told the state it has no choice but continue paying data centre operator Fujitsu for $44 million worth of additions to its contract that were signed by uncertified health officials without proper approval.
In February, WA’s auditor general Colin Murphy revealed the systematic abuse of procurement processes behind an $81.4 million blowout in the Health department's centralised computing contract with Fujitsu, which was originally signed for $45 million.
Many of the purchases, which have been traced back to just a handful of IT staff working well beyond their financial delegations, were for services and equipment that were never needed and remain unused by WA Health.

Bionic eyes set to switch from fantasy to blinking reality

Date April 11, 2016

Marc Moncrief

Consumer Affairs Editor, The Age

Samsung are attempting to patent a contact lens with a built in camera.
Aficionados of the 1970s-era television series The Six Million Dollar Man, rejoice: contact lenses are coming that could make all your bionic-eye dreams come true.
A patent application published last week shows Korean electronics giant Samsung is working on a contact lens with a tiny built-in camera.
The lens, which would be controlled by blinking, includes an antenna that will allow the lenses to speak to your phone.
The patent follows the disclosure last year that a global team of academics, funded by the US defence industry, had developed contact lenses that could give the wearer telescopic vision.

Revealed: Australia's new cyber security strategy

How the government plans to make the country a "cyber smart nation".

By Allie Coyne
Apr 11 2016 6:50AM
The federal government will lean heavily on the private sector to help it deliver its long-awaited national cyber security policy and initiatives like voluntary infosec health checks for businesses and joint threat sharing centres in capital cities.
iTnews can exclusively reveal the policy, which is expected to be released in the coming weeks, will contain five key pillars intended to help Australia grow by embracing disruptive technologies from a secure footing in all areas of the economy.
The 46-page strategy, sighted by iTnews, is the first update to Australia's national cyber security policy since 2009.

A great quality tool for health bloggers, podcasters and patients

A while back I came across a new tool for those who, like me, use Dr Google but are concerned about the quality of some of the available online health information.
The tool contains two checklists and has been designed for medical education resource producers, editors, end-users, and researchers. I’ll let the authors explain:
“Through a rigorous research process, a list of 151 quality indicators for blogs and podcasts was formed and subsequently refined to elicit the most important quality indicators. These indicators are presented as Quality Checklists to assist with quality appraisal of medical blogs and podcasts.”

HL7 and the Ringholm Effect

2016-April-14 | 18:09 By:
HL7 messages are the lifeblood of electronic health communication in many settings in many countries. In the healthcare sector in Australia, for example, they are ubiquitous in hospital settings for notification of patient Admissions, Discharges and Transfers and they are ubiquitous in both hospital and primary care settings for reporting pathology results to the ordering clinician’s or her organisation’s clinical system. Millions of HL7 messages flow between systems  every day in Australia. The vast majority are based on HL7 version 2.3, 2.3.1 or 2.4. These standards are the lingua franca for healthcare messaging.
However, their quality is often less than desirable. There is diversity in the way they are structured and represented from one system to another. The system interfaces that construct, route or process these messages are difficult and expensive to build and maintain. They are intended for point to point communication within a relatively confined and stable eco-system, rather than as components of a national infrastructure to support patient-centred care. Many of their well-known idiosyncrasies embody and epitomise the profound difficulty faced in trying to share information amongst heterogenious systems in healthcare – often dubbed “lack of interoperability”. Some of this “lack of interoperability” is due to shortcomings of, or ambiguity in the HL7 v2 standards. Some is due to ambiguity in implementation guides, or more often, conflict between various implementation guides and between implementation guides and their referenced standards. Some is due to developers’ and implementers’ ignorance or misapplication of the “standards”. Some is due to the lack of standardisation of infrastructure upon which the messages depend – e.g. lack of standardised patient and provider identification infrastructure, or the lack of adequate value set infrastructure to describe clinical concepts.

All the bottom-line action

April 11, 2016
Orion Health (OHE:NZX/ASX) has signed an agreement with Metro North, the largest health service in the Australian state of Queensland, to deliver its ground-breaking Referrals Management platform. Metro North Hospital and Health Service serves over 900,000 people, and employs more than 16,000 staff in five hospitals and eight community health centres, along with oral and mental health facilities. The Referrals Management platform will enable healthcare professionals to submit, track and manage patient referrals as the individual moves from home to hospital to community care. Orion Health CEO Ian McCrae says the contract with Metro North will be delivered as a subscription license with Orion Health Application Managed Services. “Metro North’s goal of improving health outcomes by providing healthcare professionals across the care continuum with access to comprehensive patient information is closely aligned with our company vision for enabling personalised healthcare,” Mr McCrae says. Orion Health Executive Vice President for Asia Pacific Darren Jones says that Metro North serves one of the fastest population growth regions in Australia and required a data platform that could accommodate the addition of new solutions over time. “Metro North has the ability to extend the functionality of the platform beyond Referrals Management over time through the addition of other modules that support better care coordination between its hospitals, community health centres and other healthcare providers,” he says.

Why the Orion Health Group Ltd share price jumped 30% in April

By Sean O'Neill - April 12, 2016 |
E-Health solutions provider Orion Health Group Ltd (ASX: OHE) has been on a tear in the past month, following a number of major contract announcements in quick succession.
On 30 March, Orion announced a contract with a major US health insurer. While financial specifics were not provided, if we use the number of patient records Orion manages as a proxy, then the announcement for 3 million patients represented an increase of around 3% on the company’s previous total of 90 million records.
On 6 April, Orion announced it had won a contract with Metro North, the largest health service in Queensland, to provide its Referrals Management software platform. Metro North serves 900,000 people, and Orion believes the company could be convinced to subscribe to additional services from Orion in the future.

UK expansion continues as Orion Health wins deals in England and Scotland

Currently Orion Health’s software manages over 90 million patient healthcare records worldwide.
Ian McCrae - CEO, Orion Health
Orion Health has signed two contracts that will significantly extend the New Zealand’s company its presence in the United Kingdom, following deals in both England and Scotland.
Terms of the deal will see Orion Health provide a technology solution for two leading hospitals in London, while also implementing an integrated health and social care solution for NHS Fife in east Scotland.
Orion Health CEO Ian McCrae says the success in both countries demonstrates the “substantial impact” that the company is having in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region.

Orion Health snares new contracts to boost UK presence

New Zealand-based healthcare tech solutions provider Orion Health has secured two new contracts that it says will significantly extend its presence in the UK market.
Orion Health CEO Ian McCrae said the company will provide a comprehensive technology solution for two leading hospitals in London, and implement an integrated health and social care solution for NHS Fife in east Scotland.

McCrae said both contracts will boost the number of patient healthcare records managed by Orion Health software, as the London hospitals care for one million people and NHS Fife and Fife Council serve a population of over 360,000.

Who’s who of Aussie ICT

April 11, 2016
CANCERAID formed in 2014 by three like-minded doctors with a passion for oncology. Over 14 months the team work has been to develop an application for cancer patients, caregivers and clinicians. CancerAid is a ‘first-of-its-kind innovation that addresses the deficiency in cancer care by providing patients and caregivers an easy to use smartphone application that specifically targets disease illness’s uncertainty. The team developed the product in conjunction with over 100 cancer specialists and 20 Cancer Charities. The app’s fundamental aim is to provide a comprehensive telecommunication service that helps patients particularly those in rural areas, with access to care and mental health services. http://www.canceraid.com.au/

IBM puts Watson to work on cancer with new patient-advisor tool

It will tap natural language processing and offer personalised advice
Katherine Noyes (IDG News Service) 13 April, 2016 04:36
IBM is developing a new weapon in the battle against cancer that will put Watson to work in a new way. Partnering with the American Cancer Society, IBM is building a virtual advisor that uses machine learning to give patients personalized information and advice.
The advisor will begin by looking at the type of cancer the patient is suffering from, the stage of the disease and the treatments administered so far. Using that and other data, it will try to offer care advice and answer patients' questions.
Watson's voice recognition and natural language processing will enable users to ask questions and receive audible responses.

Experts crack Petya ransomware, enable hard drive decryption for free

The technique is not exactly straightforward, but it works
Security experts have devised a method that allows users to recover data from computers infected with the Petya ransomware program without paying money to cybercriminals.
Petya appeared on researchers' radar last month when criminals distributed it to companies through spam emails that masqueraded as job applications. It stood out from other file-encrypting ransomware programs because it overwrites a hard disk drive's master boot record (MBR), leaving infected computers unable to boot into the operating system.
The program replaces the drive's legitimate MBR code, which normally starts the operating system, with code that encrypts the master file table (MFT) and shows a ransom note. The MFT is a special file on NTFS volumes that contains information about all other files: their name, size and mapping to hard disk sectors.

Breakthrough Starshot: Man’s new mission to the stars

  • Tom Whipple
  • April 13, 2016 9:00AM

Hawking, Billionaire Announce Spaceflight to Alpha Centauri

Tiny spaceships will be blasted by laser beams from Earth to explore our nearest star system 25 trillion miles away under plans for the most ambitious space mission in history.
Yuri Milner, a Russian internet billionaire, joined Stephen Hawking to announce proposals for the spacecraft that they believe could travel 1,000 times faster and 2,000 times farther than any man-made object has gone before.
Mr Milner, who will also be collaborating with Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder, said that they would achieve this feat by having a “Silicon Valley approach to space flight ... based on technology already available or likely to be available in the near future”.

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