Monday, December 19, 2016

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 19th December, 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

A very quiet week, except for the release of the paper shown first below. I bet there are a lot of Canberra bureaucrats hoping this will be ignored. We must all consider what we think of the arguments raised and what needs to be done about it, if we agree the whole thing is as flawed as suggested.
The blog will be back in the new year – after a break over Christmas etc. Have a good one!

'My [Electronic] Health Record' – Cui Bono (for Whose Benefit)?

Danuta Mendelson
Deakin University, Geelong, Australia - Deakin Law School
Gabrielle Wolf

Deakin University, Geelong, Australia - Deakin Law School

December 7, 2016

(2016) 24 Journal of Law and Medicine


We examine the operation of Australia’s national electronic health records system, known as the “My Health Record system”. Pursuant to the My Health Records Act 2012 (Cth), every 38 seconds new information about Australians is uploaded onto the My Health Record system servers. This information includes diagnostic tests, general practitioners’ clinical notes, referrals to specialists and letters from specialists. Our examination demonstrates that the intentions of successive Australian Governments in enabling the collection of clinical data through the national electronic health records system, go well beyond statutorily articulated reasons (overcoming “the fragmentation of health information”; improving “the availability and quality of health information”; reducing “the occurrence of adverse medical events and the duplication of treatment”; and improving “the coordination and quality of healthcare provided to healthcare recipients by different healthcare providers”). Not only has the system failed to fulfil its statutory objectives, but it permits the wide dissemination of information that historically has been confined to the therapeutic relationship between patient and health practitioner. After considering several other purposes for which the system is apparently designed, and who stands to benefit from it, we conclude that the government risks losing the trust of Australians in its electronic health care policies unless it reveals all of its objectives and obtains patients’ consent to the use and disclosure of their information.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: electronic health records system, privacy, Big Data, surveillance, control
JEL Classification: L18, K19, K39

Ramsay Health app gives doctors more hours in a day

By Paris Cowan on Dec 14, 2016 6:42AM

Real-time data tames the chaos of a hospital.

In the world of healthcare, time is everything.
It's why CIO John Sutherland and his team at Ramsay Health are striving to give clinical staff the right tools to best manage their time in an unpredictable hospital environment.
Their new MyPatient+ smartphone app pushes all the information a doctor needs about their patients and their daily schedule to a hand-held device.
The time management solution has been designed in close collaboration with clinical staff to address some of the most acute pain points in hospital workflows.

Is there a role for telehealth in palliative care?

Antony Scholefield | 15 December, 2016 |
Doctors who have used telehealth will have seen patients struggling with the technology. So, imagine what it’s like when the patient is at the point of needing palliative care.
It may seem an impossibility. However, SA researchers think they’ve proven that it’s feasible.
Their study, published in BMC Palliative Care, details the usability of a remote palliative care system established by the SA Palliative Care Service for 43 patients living at home.
The oldest patient was 91, the youngest 49. Most had carers, usually their spouses, and most had been diagnosed with cancer.

Google just made GP-led telehealth a whole lot easier

Antony Scholefield | 25 October, 2016 | 
Some GPs wish there was a magic word that could dispel all the technical issues that are preventing telehealth from taking off. Could that magic word be “gRPC 1.0”?
GP and software developer Dr Joe Logan has helped develop a telehealth system called Air Health — a system that is sold as more secure than Skype.
He says a big positive during its development was when Google released open-source software called gRPC 1.0 so that anybody could work with it.
It’s now common for companies to release open-source software in this way. Google released gRPC, a building block for video call software, in August.

#FHIR and Alt-health

Posted on December 11, 2016 by Grahame Grieve
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the terms ‘alt-right’ and ‘fake news’ by now. According to Wikipedia: “the alt-right (short for “alternative right”) is a loose group of people with far right ideologies who reject mainstream conservatism in the United States.” and “Fake news websites (also referred to online as hoax news) deliberately publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation to drive web traffic inflamed by social media. Note: I’m well aware that Fake news websites aren’t confined to just the alt-right, but there’s a strong link between alt-right and fake news. It’s become clear, as time as progressed, that this is just another security risk in the eco-system that is the internet. Viruses, phishing, and now fake news. Something for Google and Facebook to work on – here’s some thoughts about that.
Waiting in the wings is something else I call ‘Alt-Health’ – the spread of bad healthcare advice running like wildfire through social media. One particular aspect of if – the anti-vaxxer campaign – that’s getting air time in the mainstream press, but it’s much broader problem than just that. Bad medical advice on the internet is nothing new – e.g. Google have a team devoted to working on the quality of web pages returned for medical related searches. But the spread of bad advice on social media is outside that. And it’s not always wrong advice, actually. Sometimes, it’s extremely good advice for one patient, but wrong for another patient. But it’s handed on as gospel – ‘this worked for me, so ignore your doctor and do what’s proven to work’… if only life were so simple. Looking forward, I expect that this is going to turn into an epidemic, as people turn away from complexity and cost, seeking simple solutions. What they’ll get is outright wrong or wrong in context, and it’s going to kill people. On the other hand, we know that while a lot of the advice is bad, it can also be very good as well. In some circumstances, better than the clinical advice a patient gets, particularly for rare diseases.

A small change could bring efficiencies to pathology test requests

14 December 2016


THE RACGP Standards 4th edition requires that referrals, including requests for investigations, include sufficient information to facilitate optimal patient care, including details of the purpose of the referral.
Despite this, pathology practices report that most requests from GPs contain no clinical details. This hampers the provision of useful reports and increases the risk of adverse outcomes.
If the result is outside the reference range and the GP has not provided information that explains it, the pathologist feels obliged to advise repeat testing in case the results are artefactual. This causes waste and unnecessary patient worry.

Medical pics on personal devices a “privacy time bomb”

Authored by  Sarah Colyer
HEALTH professionals’ increasing use of personal mobile phones to take and share clinical photos is creating a patient privacy time bomb that hospitals cannot afford to ignore, experts warn.
Writing in this week’s MJA, Dr Paul Eleftheriou, deputy chief medical officer at Austin Health, together with the hospital’s former chief medical officer, Dr John Ferguson, and graduating medical student Kieran Allen, warned that even when doctors think they have protected patients’ privacy, the images they take may be identifiable.
“The capture of potentially identifiable physical features and metadata, and the unknown factor of how software developments may enable the identification of image subjects, dictate that health care organisations treat every patient image as potentially identifiable,” they wrote.
In January 2017, Austin Health will launch its own medical photo app to reduce some of the risks inherent in health professionals using their personal phones to take clinical photos.
Press release
13 December, 2016

Navy Design Gives Underfunded Health Projects Free Access to Design Expertise.

Specialist health design consultancy Navy Design has launched an initiative called Design Aid to give underfunded healthcare projects access to world class design, for free.
The initiative was launched this week for the first time, in what is set to become a bi-annual event for the Melbourne-based company, and hopes to contribute to improvements in the overall design of healthcare applications across the industry, making them more accessible for people who need it, as well as for health care professionals.
“We think great design can make a real difference to health outcomes. But some of the most promising digital health projects can’t afford to hire great designers, which is why we created Design Aid,” says Michael Trounce, General Manager of Navy Design.
Design Aid is a two week intensive design program where Navy will help one selected team take their product to the next level. It could include helping to visualise a new product or service, testing an emerging concept or improving an existing product. Navy is offering the successful company the same expertise they usually provide to their larger clients which range from software companies, to health insurers, and government health departments.

Guild, Medical Software Industry Association sign MoU

Pharmacy Guild and Medical Software Industry Association sign a new agreement

A new agreement between the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Medical Software Industry Association creates a framework for both organisations to work together for the benefit of their respective members over the next five years, they say.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations was signed by Guild National President, George Tambassis, Executive Director, David Quilty and the MSIA President, Emma Hossack.
MSIA represents the interests of the Australian commercial software industry which develops, supplies and services information management products and services for healthcare practitioners, healthcare service providers and healthcare organisations.
The Guild and MSIA say they share a common objective to support community pharmacies in performing their role – delivering medicines and services to patients – through the provision of software specifically developed and tailored to meet the needs of the pharmacy industry.

Three firms chosen to launch $500m Biomedical Translation Fund

The government has selected three funds to launch its $500m Biomedical Translation Fund.
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 14, 2016

Sarah-Jane Tasker

The Turnbull government has ­selected three funds to launch its $500 million Biomedical Translation Fund in what one manager describes as a “bold” move that will transform Australia’s biotech industry.
The three — Brandon Capital Partners, OneVentures Management and BioScience Managers — have all been tasked to select and finance Australian start-ups in health and medical research.
The BTF was first pitched as part of the government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda and sees the government provide $250m, which will be matched by the fund managers.
Each manager will now screen investment proposals to the BTF and develop a broad portfolio of investment in Australian science and research.

Orion Health extends US deal with Keystone Health Information Exchange

New Zealand-based health technology company Orion Health has inked an expanded agreement with US company Keystone Health Information Exchange (KeyHIE), allowing continued use of its platform for information sharing between healthcare providers.
An existing client of Orion, KeyHIE is managed by Geisinger Health System and is one of the largest and most advanced health information exchanges in the US, supporting approximately five million patient records.
KeyHIE’s customer base includes 19 hospitals, over 250 physician practices and 95 long-term care facilities.
Orion says the new subscription based agreement builds on the prior arrangement and allows KeyHIE to continue using Orion Health’s Amadeus open technology platform.

Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA)

Best Case Scenario are proudly working with Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) on their engagement campaign.  Our role is to use our vast event planning experience and skill to put in place key processes and infrastructure to ensure the efficient roll out of events associated with this campaign.
The Australian Digital Health Agency was established in July 2016 by the Australian Government to help improve health outcomes for Australians through the delivery of digital health services and systems. The Agency is developing a National Digital Health Strategy, and embarking on a nationwide consultation to hear from a diverse cross-section of people, in order to ensure the strategy is shaped by the needs, wants and aspirations of the community.
Multiple events, multiple teams, multiple stakeholders all requiring regular updates, in real time. We developed a bespoke online planning interface for all teams to view the status of: delegate numbers, speaker pipeline & progress, theme and content development status, marketing drop schedule, upcoming deadlines and much more.
  • Dec 12 2016 at 4:32 PM

German healthcare tech firm Lifespot Health to list on the ASX

German healthcare technology company Lifespot Health is preparing to list on the ASX later this month, hoping to capitalise on Australian investors' appetite for medical device and tech firms.
The company has a range of products that are centred on the mobile management of chronic diseases and assist with the measurement of vital functions and indicators of these diseases such as blood glucose, blood pressure and weight levels. It also has an app for the management and diagnosis of skin conditions.
Lifespot is raising up to $8 million at 20¢ a share, valuing the company at up to $14.9 million.
Chief executive Stefan Schraps told The Australian Financial Review the firm had opted to list on the ASX because local investors were willing to take on more risk than those in Europe.
  • December 13 2016 - 9:08PM

Public servants sit idle as ATO's IT melts down

Noel Towell
Vast amounts of data stored by the Australian Taxation Office have been lost in the crash that brought down the agency's internal systems and customer service websites on Monday and Tuesday.
Large numbers of ATO officials were still sitting idle on Tuesday afternoon, unable to use their computers for a second day in the latest  public service tech meltdown.
Fairfax has been told that it may be Wednesday before the Tax Office's systems are fully restored and that the ATO is trying to recover a petabyte – a  million gigabytes – of data.
It is unclear what was recorded on the lost data but Tax Office management are adamant that no taxpayer information has been compromised. 

ATO flags forensic review of IT debacle

  • The Australian
  • 3:39PM December 16, 2016

Supratim Adhikari

The Australian Taxation Office is set to undertake a forensic review of the IT failure that knocked its customer-facing sites and systems offline for two days.
While the outage has been pinned to a problem with Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) storage hardware, the ATO will now engage an independent expert to undertake an end-to-end review, especially designed to ensure that there’s no repeat in the future.
The expert has been tasked to provide a definitive description of the failure and its root cause, the factors leading to and contributing to the scale of the outage, and the effectiveness of how the ATO’s technology partners responded to the problem.
“The review will also consider our immediate response to the failure, how we managed business resumption processes and the effectiveness of our communication with the community,” ATO commissioner Chris Jordan said.

Medicare grandad claims victory as government buckles on logo threat

Heath Aston, political correspondent
Published: December 15, 2016 - 10:20AM
A retiree locked in a "Monty Pythonesque" legal stand-off with the Turnbull government over use of the Medicare logo has prevailed after the government apologised and abandoned its threats to sue him over copyright.
Mark Rogers, who created the little-visited "Save Medicare" website to campaign against health cuts, was notified in a letter from the Australian Government Solicitor that its demand to stop any use of the Medicare logo and cancel the site's domain name had been withdrawn.
Visitors to the Save Medicare site went from zero to 7000 in a day after Fairfax Media revealed the government's heavy-handed approach to the 66 year-old grandfather.

Warning – the latest spam scam is 'unsubscribe'

  • 15 December 2016
  • Written by  Ray Shaw
The latest “seasonal” scam is to link a “payload” to unsubscribe buttons. It starts with a socially engineered phishing campaign sending out copious legitimate looking newsletters or e-zines, typically on topics relevant to your interests.
Faced with an ever-increasing, bulging, email inbox and a bit of spare time over the holidays you may do the right thing and try and clean up the inbox, junk, and clutter. But cybercriminals are way ahead of you. Please note that this advisory is most relevant to Windows and its built-in mail client or Outlook/Exchange.
The first scam comes when you select the unsubscribe button; Internet Explorer opens (not the later more secure Edge), and you are taken to a fake website that asks you to confirm your email address.
It is seemingly innocuous but it has also confirmed your email address is alive and captured leaked metadata from your browser like your IP address, location, operating system and more.

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