Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 23rd May, 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

Another quiet week with the very long election campaign just dragging on. Pity the myHR isn’t an issue that can be raised and then hopefully fixed. Right now it is a financial black hole as well as a project of totally unproven benefit.
  • May 20 2016 at 12:58 PM
  • Updated May 20 2016 at 12:58 PM

Telstra-backed haptic medical robots transmit doctors' touch from city to country

Robots are on the verge of bridging the gap between the city-based doctors and regional patients.
Robots with a sense of touch, known as haptically enabled, developed by Deakin University's Institute for Intelligent Systems Research (IISRI), with funding and technical support from Telstra, could bring ultrasound patients up to 1000 kilometres away into the offices of medical professionals in city centres.
The remote technology will allow practitioners to conduct abdominal ultrasound imaging to look at patients' kidneys, gall bladder, liver, spleen, pancreas, abdominal aorta and blood vessels.
It can also alert the medical professionals who are operating the equipment hundreds of kilometres away to patient discomfort, and assess tenderness in the examination area.

Deakin Uni, Telstra create remote ultrasound robot

Can check a patient's organs from far away.

By Andrew Sadauskas
May 20 2016 12:13PM
Deakin University has developed a robotics technology with force feedback that can allow clinicians to remotely create ultrasound images of their patients.
The HER (haptically-enabled robotics) technology was developed by Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI), and received funding and technical support from Telstra’s research partner program.
The use of haptics allows medical professionals to remotely monitor patient discomfort by probing an examination area, which can be collected and compared to historical data.

WA govt launches hospital waiting times app for Perth

Enabled by open data.

By Juha Saarinen
May 16 2016 6:06AM
Perth residents now have the option to use an app on their Apple iOS and Google Android devices to check which hospital has the shortest waiting times.
The WAED app collects Perth hospital emergency department waiting times published by the Department of Health, along with traffic data, device geolocation, and local maps to give app users an estimate of travel time and the ability to identify which nearby hospital can see them sooner.
The app is hosted on Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform and covers hospitals including the Sir Charles Gairdner, Rockingham, Royal Perth, Armadale, King Edward Women's, Princess Margaret Children's, and Fiona Stanley.

Fears practices will lose e-PIP payments

Tessa Hoffman | 19 May, 2016 | 
Around 100 practices are at risk of losing e-PIP payments worth thousands of dollars due to confusion over upgrades to practice software.
Under rules introduced this month, practices have to upload a set number of health summaries to the MyHealth Record system  to receive ehealth Practice Incentives Program payments.
There are more than 4870 practices signed up to the incentive which is worth up to $50,000 a year.
However, there are fears a small number of practices could miss out follownig a recent Microsoft Security upgrade that had rendered software unable to upload, or download documents from the MyHealth Record.

Ventura Health and Fred IT Group join forces

Retail pharmacy specialist Ventura Health and Fred IT are partnering to implement the Fred NXT cloud solution nationally, providing Ventura with long term competitive gains while also catering to the individual needs of its pharmacies.

As a multi-brand pharmacy resource centre, Ventura Health supports the diverse retail management and technology needs of more than 80 pharmacies, including Cincotta Discount Chemist, Mega Save Chemist, You Save Chemist, Max Value Pharmacy, Better Buy Pharmacy, and My Medical Pharmacy.
According to Mario Capanna, CEO, Ventura Health, the group embarked upon the partnership to embrace digital changes in retail pharmacy.
“Our partnership with Fred was driven by the need for greater flexibility and future-proofing. We wanted to match the contemporary landscape facing pharmacy and provide much greater flexibility and individualised support for our pharmacies,” Capanna says.

The human factor: the untold impact of data breaches

Tracking the data from Australia’s iDcare.

By Allie Coyne
May 17 2016 11:00AM
Eighteen months on from the establishment of Australia’s national identity theft support service, the country is for the first time starting to get a picture of the impact data breaches have on their victims.
The not-for-profit iDcare was formally established in October 2014 to offer those affected by data breaches practical response plans to mitigate the effect of a compromise.
The joint government-industry organisation splits itself down two lines. Specialists and counsellors within its case management centre build a tailored response for people who have had their personal details stolen. The centre operates online and phone-based contact services, and national reporting mechanisms like ACORN and ScamWatch refer victims to iDcare for help dealing with a breach.

Digital Health Chair plans new wave of innovation for SA

Professor Anthony Maeder is one of Australia's leading experts on digital health technologies.
Australia's first Chair in Digital Health Systems says he will make South Australia a world leader in healthcare innovation by spearheading Flinders University research into a mind boggling array of smart and interactive technologies.
And with the recent signing of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on Digital Health, which establishes ongoing financial support for the Australian Digital Health Agency, Professor Anthony Maeder has joined Flinders at an opportune time.
Professor Maeder, whose position is supported by a South Australian Government Premier's Research and Industry Fund is the brains behind the Western Sydney University's TeleHealth Research and Innovation Laboratory (THRIL).

You will have an electronic health record unless you opt out

May 16, 2016, 5:33 p.m.
A FORUM last Wednesday informed Hawkesbury residents about new online health records about to be implemented in our area. 
My Health Record will mean you don’t have to repeat your medical history and medications every time you visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.
The Hawkesbury is part of a trial where residents will be automatically given a My Health Record unless they choose not to have one. 

North Queensland healthcare providers get behind My Health Record

Over 300 health care providers have jumped at the chance to get more familiar with the Australian Government’s digital health initiative My Health Record.
Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) and NEHTA (National E-Health Transition Authority) will deliver 2-hour accredited training sessions in Cairns, Innisfail, Mackay and Townsville this week to support healthcare providers in their understanding of My Health Record.
NQPHN’s Chief Executive Officer, Robin Moore, acknowledges the important role that GPs, practice managers, pharmacists, medical specialists and other allied health professionals will play in the rollout and utilisation of My Health Record.

My Health Record

Austin Health is participating in the My Health Record system, formerly known as the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record  (PCEHR).
Austin Health clinicians are now able to access your My Health Record.
In addition to being able to view your record, all inpatient discharge summaries will be uploaded to your My Health Record (if a record exists).
You have the right to withdraw consent to have your discharge summary uploaded to their My Health Record.
Please let us know at your next visit if you have any concerns about this.
19 MAY 2016

MedicalDirector Helix: The new cloud-based platform for Australian medical practices

Australia’s largest medical software and information provider, MedicalDirector, has announced its next generation cloud-platform, MedicalDirector Helix, delivering a new approach for patient-centred care.
“The Australian health sector is on the cusp of major change as it moves to using cloud-based software. We have developed MedicalDirector Helix to help practices adapt to this anticipated change, and with this platform we aim to transform their everyday patient and clinical interactions,” says Phil Offer, Executive Director at MedicalDirector.  
19 May, 2016

Let the cloud games begin!

Posted by Jeremy Knibbs
Medical Director has declared itself a starter in the race for the future of the connected health ecosystem
The company, one of the country’s major patient management system providers, announced today that they are going to launch a “cloud” version of their iconic desktop management system – Medical Director Helix.
If it is a properly architected cloud version they intend to launch – truly non-device dependent, mobile and with seamless communication and data exchange features though a secure cloud environment – then Medical Director is putting a stake in the ground that indicates an intent to take on disruptive cloud patient-management start-ups head on, and in the very near future.

Goodbye Digital Divide, Hello Digital Equity (and why we need to go the extra mile to get it)

Editor: Dr Ruth Armstrong Author: Lareen Newman and Mike Gurstein on: May 17, 2016
In the third annual Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition, entrants were asked to answer the question, “In the digital era, whose voices are being heard?”
The winning essay in the competition, by Amin Ansari, was published in Inside Story earlier this year, and it is Croakey’s privilege to post here a runner-up essay by Lareen Newman and Mike Gurstein.
As well as honouring the work and writings of Professor Mooney, the competition seeks to draw public attention to the topic he was most passionate about: social justice and health equity.

Cancer big data project eyes worldwide reach

Sees treatment patterns in individuals’ e-health record data.

By Ry Crozier on May 18 2016 5:05PM
A big data project designed to aggregate and learn from the treatment of cancer patients is looking to expand internationally after a successful first year of operation in the United States.
CancerLinQ – which counts the oncology operations of major pharmaceutical companies among its sponsors – already has access to the de-identified, anonymised health data of one million US cancer sufferers.
It hopes to grow that number worldwide to identify patterns in the way different cancers are treated and to help medical practitioners compare and search symptoms and treatments in near real-time.
“Cancer isn’t an abstract topic,” CancerLinQ CEO Kevin Fitzpatrick told SAP’s annual SapphireNow conference.

#FHIR Meeting Report – Montreal, May 2016

Posted on May 20, 2016 by Grahame Grieve

Healthdirect charts path to Docker containers

Starting small.

By Ry Crozier
May 18 2016 6:30AM
Healthdirect is emerging as another Australian early adopter of Docker containers, revealing the strategy it used to win the business over to the technology.
The company, which is fully government-funded and provides health services via web applications, “started really small” in its approach to Docker and has incrementally built upon early successes.
“We didn’t pitch Docker as if we were going to use it everywhere,” DevOps solution architect Scott Coulton said in a recent Docker webinar.
Docker provides a way to package and ship a Linux application or service into "containers" that can be easily moved between clouds or virtual machines.

Real time monitoring best chance to curb codeine misuse

ASMI and the Pharmacy Guild say real-time monitoring of OTC codeine containing analgesics, in addition to a range of other targeted measures including mandatory warning statements, reducing pack sizes and educational materials, provides the best chance to curb potential misuse.

This was in response to a report published in Addiction titled “Codeine Misuse in Australia”.
ASMI welcomed the new report, as it says there is a need for more data on the topic.
“This new report would have provided additional useful insights if the authors had separately examined the prescription and OTC products (instead of pooling them), because it has been reported that misuse and abuse of prescription opiate and psychoactive drugs have escalated significantly over the past several years,” says Steve Scarff, ASMI Director Regulatory and Scientific Affairs.

Australia's courts to rule on landmark definition of 'personal information'

Privacy commissioner welcomes critical ruling.

By Paris Cowan
May 16 2016 12:22PM
A full bench of the federal court will in August make a landmark ruling on what constitutes ‘personal information’ in the context of Australia's Privacy Act data protection rules.
The move was sparked by former Fairfax journalist Ben Grubb's three-year battle to get a hold of his metadata from Telstra.
Appeals and counter-appeals have meant the case has been bounced from tribunal to tribunal due to differences in the definition of what counts as information about Grubb, as opposed to information about his service or his device.

Privacy watchdog works on big data guidelines

OAIC seeks feedback on draft guide to big data and Australia’s privacy regime
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 19 May, 2016 12:51
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is seeking feedback on a draft guide to the interaction between so-called big data and Australian privacy law.
In particular the draft examines how the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) apply to big data.
“There is no doubt that big data practices challenge us to think about how key existing privacy principles — including notice and consent, data collection, use limitation, and retention minimisation, — work in practice,” acting Australian Information Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said in remarks prepared for the launch of Privacy Awareness Week.

The OAIC's tips for big data analytics that won’t break privacy rules

Commission releases draft guide.

By Paris Cowan
May 19 2016 3:00PM
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released its draft checklist for conducting big data activities without breaching the limits of the Privacy Act.
The guide kicks off more than two months of consultation by Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim, as his office works to iron out the peculiar wrinkles and challenges raised by using big data for business purposes without offending the privacy expectations of consumers.
Unlike the privacy laws, the guide is not legally binding, the OAIC pointed out - but it is an indicator of how it will treat certain circumstances in the event of an assessment or review.

Researchers easily extract personal details from metadata

US study debunks authorities' privacy claims.

By Juha Saarinen
May 20 2016 6:54AM
Academics from Stanford University in the United States have shown how trivially easy it can be to infer sensitive details about individuals from metadata on their communications.
They set out to test claims by the US National Security Agency that metadata is not personally identifiable information (PII).
Researchers Jonathan Meyer, Patrick Mutchler and John Mitchell collected the data for the study by running an application on Google Android phones used by 823 volunteers.

Australian Digital Health Agency 

The Australian Digital Health Agency is part of the Health portfolio, and functions in an executive management capacity.
The Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) is governed by a skills-based Board which will be responsible for deciding the Agency’s objectives, policies and strategies, and for ensuring the proper and efficient performance of the Agency’s functions. The Agency is the single accountable organisation for national digital health systems in Australia.

The Internet of Things: it's arrived and it's eyeing your job

Date May 21, 2016 - 12:15AM

Malcolm Maiden


With a plan to make them a common sight on the roads.
We have been hearing about the Internet of Things for years, but get ready. It has finally arrived, and it has the potential to unleash economic disruption that makes what the internet has delivered so far look like child's play.
Telstra CEO Andy Penn is better placed than most to watch it happen. Telstra is in the middle of it, through initiatives of its own such as e-health and through its wireless network, which supports a growing universe of apps. A Telstra SIM connection allows Tesla cars to connect to the internet in this country, for example. A new one helps graziers manage stock by alerting them when gates have been left open.
Penn also drives a Tesla, Elon Musk's sculptural electric rocket.

In Pictures: User guide to Windows 10

If you’re going for an immediate upgrade to Windows 10 from your Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 computer, this guide will get you up to speed as quickly as possible.
(I found this quite useful.)

Time’s up for Jupiter’s secrets

  • Jonathan Leake
  • The Times
  • May 15, 2016 10:30AM
A NASA spacecraft has become the fastest object humanity has yet created, reaching more than 257,000km/h on a five-year journey that is about to see it enter orbit around Jupiter, the solar system’s biggest planet.
Next month the Juno probe will trigger its engines to decelerate into an orbit that will let it skim Jupiter’s cloud-tops and probe an atmosphere thousands of times thicker than ours to see what lies beneath.
Jupiter - 318 times bigger than Earth - was for a long time thought to be just a ball of spinning gas, but scientists now suspect this is wrong. One of Juno’s key tasks will be to find out if its dense clouds of hydrogen and helium might be hiding a rocky planet similar in origins to the Earth.

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