Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 20th March, 2017.

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 with very little apparently going on.
The biggest theme seems to be that Government IT projects keep falling over and causing delays and suffering.
There were a couple of interesting job adds this week with the descriptions of most interest.
16 March, 2017

Now you need to take the MyHR and EMR apps seriously

Posted by Jeremy Knibbs
We’re great ones for predictions at The Medical Republic so here goes a couple of big ones regarding personal electronic health records and GPs.
The My Health Record system (MyHR) is finally going to do some good, but patients carrying around their personal electronic medical records (EMR) isn’t going to look anything like government agencies or doctor groups have been saying it will for a while. That’s probably a relief because no one could quite work out how the MyHR was ever really going to work if neither doctors nor patients had particularly bought into uploading and maintaining the data.
Two things are happening about the MyHR project that should be far more interesting to GPs:
  • The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) (formerly the NEHTA) is starting to cut through the murky world of pathology, radiology, pharmacy and hospital reporting to offer centralised data on the MyHR which doesn’t consist of just messily cobbled together health summaries from GPs who aren’t being paid well enough to stop and do this job properly.
  • The private sector is starting to move rapidly on the mobile opportunity of personal health records and some, such as MediTracker, have cracked the problem of talking to the major patient management systems in a live, and reasonably seamless, manner.

Dr Google probably isn’t the worst place to get your health advice

March 13, 2017 6.19am AEDT

Author Rachael Dunlop  Honorary Research Fellow, Macquarie University

Who is your preferred source for health advice? Gwyneth Paltrow? Pete Evans? Or qualified medical practitioners – like Dr Oz?
I hate to break it to you, but if you’re getting advice from any of these people, you’re quite likely being misled.
For example, contrary to Gwyneth Paltrow’s website, experts advise inserting jade “eggs” into your vagina is a very bad idea.

My Health Record: What you need to know

Pharmacy has the greatest opportunity to benefit from this system, say Shane Jackson and Vicki Ibrahim from the Australian Digital Health Agency

APP presenters Mr Jackson and Ms Ibrahim have urged pharmacists to sign up to access and upload information via My Health Record.
“The Australian healthcare system is complex and we know its complexity is predicted to rise due to an ageing population and the burden of chronic illnesses,” says Ms Ibrahim.
She says consumers want to be active participants in their health.

Govt held back by 'triangle of despair': Shetler

By Paris Cowan on Mar 16, 2017 6:24AM

Ex-digital guru diagnoses the illness within.

Bureaucracies like Canberra are suffering from a "triangle of despair" blocking them from adapting to the digital ways of the 21st century, according to the federal government’s former digital guru Paul Shetler.
Despite departing the public sector amidst a very visible spat with Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor, Shetler has continued to tout his digital mantras down under.
"[Digital transformation] can be a very painful experience," he told the audience at Sydney’s CDO Summit yesterday.
"I can tell you that because I know from experience."
Shetler argued that all complex organisations - such as his former employers, the UK and Australian governments - can be hamstrung by three "fiendish" elements conspiring to block digital change: inappropriate procurement, inappropriate governance, and ancient IT.
  • Mar 16 2017 at 12:01 AM

Australia will lead world in medical technology, says Bill Ferris

Innovation and Science Australia chair Bill Ferris has pinpointed the medical technology sector as the shining light of the country's innovation, believing it could become the world leader in genomic medicine. 
The comments from Mr Ferris come ahead of a speech on Thursday to the Australian American Chamber of Commerce, where he will outline the six key challenges for the country to become a "top tier innovation nation".
They will form the backbone of the recommendations Innovation and Science Australia is preparing to deliver to the government by the end of the year to position Australia to be a global innovation leader by 2030.

Australian data breach notification: does it really solve everything?

  • 16 March 2017
  • Written by  Alex Tilley and Ray Shaw
 Last month, the Australian Government implemented Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 legislation. It is a huge move, but in the end, does it change anything?
Analysts applauded the move but many are asking if it is the whole answer, especially exempting business with less than $3 million in turnover. They rightly ask, “Will this legislation solve the security problems – will it ensure all companies take precautions and implement top grade security?”
iTWire asked Alex Tilley, senior security researcher, Counter Threat Unit at SecureWorks (a public company spun out of Dell), to explain the issues in his own words. Alex is a former Australian Federal Police Senior Technical Analyst and prominent commenter on enterprise security matters.

Cash injection right medicine for DoseMe push into hospitals

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM March 14, 2017

David Swan

Australian medical start-up Dose­Me is looking to shake up how hospitals dose patients, landing $2.6 million in funding and deploying cloud-based technology that it says can lead to a reduction in hospital stay length by up to 10 days per patient.
“We’re about calculating a precise individualised dose of a medication,” DoseMe CTO and founder Robert McLeay told The Australian.
“When you think about the way drug dosages are calculated, they’re based on the average person. And there’s no such thing,” he said. “We give clinicians the power to calculate individualised doses; many things change what the right dose is; someone’s genes or other medications they’re on. When you calculate a more precise dose of a drug, it’s more effective and leads to better outcomes.”

Reviewing the evidence on evidence-based policy

By David Donaldson

FEATURE: Evidence-based policy is a simple and alluring concept — who could disagree with the idea of basing decisions on facts? So why don’t we have it yet? Figuring out ‘what works’ can be more complicated than it seems.
Calls for public policy based on evidence are so common as to border on the ritualistic. ‘Evidence-based policy’ is such a woolly — yet self-evidently good — idea that it is nearly impossible to disagree with.
It’s hardly a new idea. Kevin Rudd told public servants early on in his prime ministership that “policy innovation and evidence-based policy-making is at the heart of being a reformist government.” The Blair government in the UK advocated basing reform on evidence, popularising the term “what works”. Deng Xiaoping famously quipped that “it doesn’t matter whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.” Back in the nineteenth century Florence Nightingale wrote that health decisions “must be tested by results.”
14 March, 2017

The Watson cancer story IBM doesn’t talk about

Posted by John Birmingham
IBM tells a nice story about Watson and oncology in India. The country has a paucity of oncologists — roughly 2000 in fact — to cover a population of 1.3 billion. Get cancer in India and your chances of receiving specialist care are, in relative terms, almost non-existent.
Enter Big Blue’s artificial intelligence platform. The company threw its AI firepower at the problem and — by IBM’s telling — within a few years the machine had ingested so much information and learnt so much that it could outperform cancer specialists in both diagnosis and treatment recommendations. As a story it is a powerful way to illustrate the potential of artificial intelligence.
More a series of APIs and applications than a unified platform, Watson is one of IBM chief Ginni Rometty’s great bets, as she recasts the global company and oversees another operational transformation.

Future of digital health gets top billing at CeBIT

The latest strategic advancements in digital health, designed to improve service delivery and health outcomes in Australia, will be one of a number of key discussions at CeBIT Australia to be held in Sydney in May.
The CeBIT focus comes as an Austrade report says Australia’s digital health industry is set to reach a market value of $2.21 billion by 2020, an expected annual growth of 12.3%.
CeBIT takes place at the International Convention Centre Sydney, between 23 to 25 May and the CeBIT Digital Health conference will take place on 25 May.
Chris Harwood, platforms and operations at Healthdirect Australia, says the company recognises CeBIT Australia as an essential forum to discuss the future of technology in delivering healthcare services.

Surgery of the future

By Australian Hospital + Healthcare Bulletin Staff
Wednesday, 15 March, 2017
Surgery of the Future is an interactive experience which highlights research technologies funded by The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) that improve surgical procedures. Move through a virtual operating room to learn about technologies including new imaging tools, robotics, biomaterials and more. Surgery of the Future showcases government-funded technologies currently being developed to make surgery safer, more effective and less invasive.
Thanks in large part to the development of a wide range of biomedical technologies, tremendous strides have been made in surgical outcomes during the past 50 years. For example, advances in imaging technologies have made it easier for surgeons to plan surgical approaches so that they avoid cutting through healthy tissue, while robotic technologies have enabled surgeons to operate inside smaller incisions with greater accuracy and precision.

Retired Australian’s use of information technology: a preliminary study

15 March 2014
In July 2010, Coffs Harbour, Australia was announced as one of fourteen National Broadband Network (NBN) second release sites and in February 2013, a number of households and businesses in Coffs Harbour had infrastructure installed to enable them to access the NBN ( (link is external)).
High speed internet and the new generation of internet-based services has the potential to provide better health outcomes, increased social connectedness, enhanced functional capability and caregiver support for those most likely to need these services. A survey of technology use of residents of a retirement home on the Mid North Coast of NSW, Australia, showed a low uptake of technology and low engagement with online activities. An understanding of perceptions of technology usefulness, together with actual usage is necessary to assist in informing public policy and ensure that information, resources and programs aimed at increasing levels of internet uptake and use by older Australians is targeted, appropriate and effective. 

Hackers steal NHS staff data after breach of IT contractor's server

By Danielle Correa on Mar 14, 2017 7:45AM

Thousands of hospital staff affected.

A hacker has stolen the personal details of thousands of Welsh NHS medical staff following an attack on a server operated by the service's IT contractor Landauer.
NHS Wales said not every staff member was impacted in the same way since a different combination of data was held on each staffer.
Over 500 people working at Velindre NHS Trust and 654 at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board were victimised.
Hackers made off with information including names, birthdates, national insurance numbers, and radiation doses.

Guild releases latest iteration of ScriptMAP

Pharmacy owners can now access customised analyses of changes to the PBS predicted to 2020, based on their pharmacy’s own dispensing data for 12 months

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has released the latest iteration of its financial forecasting product ScriptMAP.
A spokesperson for the Pharmacy Guild says the new tool, ScriptMAP 2020, will help community pharmacy assess alternative business strategies over the next four years.
“Prescriptions account for an average 66.5% of pharmacy revenue, making intelligence on projections the necessary first step in helping owners manage their pharmacy business and minimise risk,” says the spokesperson.

National Disability Insurance Scheme rollout plagued with problems, FOI documents reveal

Exclusive by political reporter Dan Conifer and FOI editor Michael McKinnon
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) stopped processing thousands of applications from service providers, critical staff were untrained and properties were not ready when the scheme's nationwide rollout began, documents have revealed.
After a six-month Freedom of Information (FOI) battle, even more chaos plaguing the NDIS's transition from trial sites to a full scheme on July 1 can be exposed.

APS5 Executive Assistant x 2

  • Executive support to Senior Management in e-Health environment
  • Brisbane
Better use of data and technology can help people live healthier, happier and more productive lives. Digital health can make a real difference to people's health by giving them greater control and better access to information.
Tasked with improving health outcomes for Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia, the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) commenced operations on 1 July 2016.
The Agency is responsible for national digital health services and systems, with a focus on engagement, innovation and clinical quality and safety. Our focus is on putting data and technology safely to work for patients, consumers and the healthcare professionals who look after them.

EPAS Communications Advisor

S.A. Health -
  • Department for Health & Ageing, eHealth Systems, EPAS Program
  • Indicative Total Remuneration: $83,509-$93,437 – Temp F/T (up to 29/12/2017) – ASO5
SA Health is implementing a new Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS) as the foundation of Australia's first fully integrated state-wide electronic Health Record. The implementation of the EPAS signals significant change throughout SA Health, and most if not all, medical, nursing, midwifery, allied health and support staff will be affected by the introduction of the new system and in particular the new capabilities and associated ways of working that will result from the introduction of an EPAS. In this role, you will be accountable to the Program Director for implementing effective communication projects within the EPAS Communications Plan, working in consultation with the project team, vendor and other technical and clinical partners across SA Health. You will support the Implementation and Business Change Team and the Training Team to embed the EPAS Communication Strategy across SA Health sites throughout the course of the EPAS Program. This will involve building partnerships with key stakeholders to facilitate the communication of key messages and information to the right users at the right time, levering a range of communication mediums, models and forums.

Webinar: Zen and the art of managing multimorbidity

Created on Friday, 17 March 2017
The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) are holding the final webinar of its 'eHealth Enabled Management of Chronic and Complex Conditions' series on Tuesday 21 March 2017.
In this webinar, rural GPs and general practice nurses share the top tips that they have learnt, and the resources that they have discovered over many years.
The webinar will take place on Tuesday 21 March at the following times:
  • WA – 5:00pm-6:00pm
  • NT – 6:30pm-7:30pm
  • QLD – 7:00pm-8:00pm
  • SA – 7:30pm-8:30pm
  • TAS, NSW, VIC, ACT – 8:00pm-9:00pm

New national Diagnostic Imaging Program

Working towards having Diagnostic imaging reports available in the My Health Record system and accessible by consumers and healthcare providers.
Brisbane 2 March 2017
The Australian Digital Health Agency is pleased to announce the establishment of a new Diagnostic Imaging Program.
The Agency is working towards having diagnostic imaging and pathology reports available in a single location and accessible by consumers and healthcare providers. This will enhance clinical management and care by reducing wasted clinical time trying to locate results, and avoiding unnecessary repeat examinations where a healthcare provider is unable to obtain access to a reports or is unaware that an examination has been previously performed.
This work is in line with the Agency's vision of giving people more control of their health and care by better access to information.

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