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, October 30, 2017

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 30th October, 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

It has all been about the NBN (and Barnaby) during the last week of so… Seems people have noticed it is not turning out as promised. It is actually pretty sad IMVHO.
Lots of other stuff as well.

How big data is shaping the future of general practice

25 October 2017


The GPs at Dr Malcolm Clark’s group practice in suburban Melbourne felt confident in their management of diabetic patients. Then they received a data report that got them thinking.
“When we got the data back we could see this smaller group that we could do a better job with,” Dr Clark says. “We were able to identify patients who were good at dealing with their diabetes and those who were not.”
The data in question was in the form of a report produced by MedicineInsight, a data collection, storage and analysis platform provided by NPS MedicineWise (see How it works).

My Health Record data breaches caused by “fraudulent behaviour or human error”

Lynne Minion | 25 Oct 2017
Fraudulent behaviour or human error were responsible for My Health Record data breaches, the Australian Digital Health Agency has confirmed, following the release of the Australian privacy commissioner’s annual report containing details of the security failures.
"This year we received six data breach notifications from the My Health Record System Operator,” the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s annual report says.
“These notifications related to unauthorised My Health Record access by a third party.”

Healthier lifestyles for women recovering from cancer

25th October,2017
Increased physical and emotional health benefit for women recovering from cancer has been the outcome of a Griffith University wellness program which is now set to become widely used across Australia.
Led by Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland, and timely for Breast Cancer Awareness Month October 2017, the nurse-led study aimed to reduce the significant side effects associated with breast, blood and/or gynaecological cancers, whilst also reducing the risk of developing other chronic health conditions.
As part of the Women’s Wellness After Cancer Program, women aged 18 and over with cancer undertook an evidence-based e-health 12-week lifestyle intervention.

Digital health chiefs demonstrate joined-up thinking as they hold summit in Leeds

Published: 13:12 Wednesday 25 October 2017
Leaders in the digital health field from opposite sides of the world shared their expertise at a summit meeting in Leeds. NHS Digital hosted a delegation from the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) for the talks on how technology can improve health and care.
During the two-day event at NHS Digital’s head office in Leeds, executives from the two organisations discussed topics including cyber security, the NHS’s national digital systems and how to better involve patients in their own health and care.
Officials from NHS England and the Department of Health also attended. Sir Ian Andrews, non-executive director at NHS Digital and co-chair of the summit, said: “This was a really exciting opportunity to explore ways in which we can learn from each other’s experience and to identify opportunities for future collaborative working. It is clear that we face many of the same challenges.”

Government cancer screening register delayed again: Labor

The Australian government's cancer-screening register will not be operational until March 2018, Labor has said, with Telstra again delaying the service to be delivered under its AU$220 million government contract.
By Corinne Reichert for Mobile Platforms | October 27, 2017 -- 01:42 GMT (12:42 AEDT) | Topic: Mobility
Australia's Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King has accused Telstra of delaying the National Cancer Screening Register again, claiming the register will not be fully operational until March next year.
"The government said that this register and test would prevent around 140 cases of cervical cancer every year -- now it has been delayed by almost 12 months, they need to come clean about the deadly toll of this delay," King said.
"The national register will not be able to send cervical screening histories to pathology laboratories until March 2018 at the earliest, with laboratory staff concerned about the 'serious implications for patient safety'."

Vale pharmacy as we know it: technology will “inevitably” change pharmacists’ role and lead to job losses

Lynne Minion | 27 Oct 201
Game changing technology will force dramatic shifts in pharmacy practice at a pace faster than lobby groups prefer or policy can keep up with, according to a new Productivity Commission report, ending the current retail model.
The ‘Shifting the Dial: 5 year productivity review’ studied factors likely to affect Australia's medium term economic performance, and predicted that technology will lead to increased mechanisation and job losses for pharmacists.
“Disruption and automation appears likely to produce job losses for some health occupations, notwithstanding growth in the healthcare sector,” the review found.

Guild “strongly commends” real-time monitoring system

The Victorian Branch of the Pharmacy Guild has praised the state government for passing bill in Parliament last week

The Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Real-time Prescription Monitoring) Bill 2017 enables the rollout of SafeScript, which will monitor all Schedule 8 medicines such as morphine and oxycodone – which carry the highest risk of misuse – and other high-risk medicines, including all benzodiazepines such as diazepam.
Once fully implemented, it will be mandatory for prescribers and pharmacists to check the system before writing or dispensing a prescription for a high risk medicine.

New medication app for staff working with people with dementia

Dementia Training Australia has released a new mobile app to assist staff involved in medication management to provide quality use of medicines for people living with dementia.
The Medication Management app is based on popular hard copy quick reference cards that were also developed by DTA.
DTA is funded by the Australian Government to provide dementia education and training across Australia.
The Medication Management app has two sections. The first provides information on the optimal use of antipsychotic medications for responsive behaviours; this includes medication management plans, monitoring, and side effects.

Cochlear launches ‘world first’ Made for iPhone implant in Australia

Inventor of the bionic ear and hearing solutions company Cochlear has developed a “world first” Made for iPhone implant sound processor which it claims will significantly improve hearing for users in Australia.
Dubbed the “smallest and lightest” behind-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor available on the market, Cochlear says for the first time people living in Australia with severe to profound hearing loss can now reach the highest level of hearing performance with the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, streaming sound directly from a compatible iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch to their sound processor.
The Nucleus 7 sound processor is 25% smaller and 24% lighter than the previous generation Nucleus 6 Sound Processor.

Smartglasses help the hearing-impaired enjoy theatre

London's National Theatre is testing Epson Moverio BT-300 AR smartglasses to enable deaf and hearing-impaired people to read subtitles in their field of vision when they are watching any performance.
The National Theatre is one of the three most prominent publicly funded performing arts venues in the UK.
The BT-300 smartglasses feature Epson's silicon-based OLED digital display technology, enabling mobile augmented reality experiences. They are also the lightest binocular see-though smartglasses to date.

Apple and Cochlear launch product that streams calls straight to implant in ear

Esther Han
Published: October 25 2017 - 12:15AM
When Julia Sattout had a Cochlear device implanted in her head five years ago, it didn't just restore her ability to hear again, it saved her career as a lawyer.
But there was one anxiety-inducing problem. Despite using the latest accessories, the simple task of picking up a call on her mobile phone often proved difficult.
"At one point I had a double adaptor, so I had a coil hooked over my right ear and an audio cable I had to plug into my sound processor," said Ms Sattout, 45 of Concord West.
23 Oct 2017

HICAPS Go set to improve cost transparency for patients

Patients can now locate a practitioner, get a quote, pay for their consultation and claim their private health insurance benefit using a new one-stop healthcare app.
HICAPS Go, which has launched in Melbourne, provides patients with a simple and transparent experience which gives them more visibility on their out of pocket expenses before they see their healthcare practitioner and facilitates a completely digital process to pay their bill.
The app also and makes it easy for patients to locate, book and manage a health practitioner appointment.

New healthcare app helps claim private insurance benefit online

The National Australia Bank and tech start-up Medipass have launched a health app that enables consumers to locate a practitioner, obtain a quote, pay for consultation and claim private health insurance benefits.
Known as HICAPS Go, the app has launched in Melbourne. It leverages the current NAB-owned HICAPS payment/claiming terminal system.
“We have re-imagined the user experience for a digital age and built an Uber equivalent for Australia’s healthcare ecosystem,” NAB chief operating officer Antony Cahill said.

My Health Record security recommendations

The Australian Digital Health Agency recommends:
We all understand the importance of health prevention activities – it is much better to avoid illness than have to cure it. It’s just the same with information technology (IT) – it is much better to secure your IT rather than deal with the consequences of not having done so. 
There are a number of things we can do to help secure the health information we handle, and at the same time help to protect against reputational and financial loss associated with cyber security threats.

Simple steps to protect small healthcare businesses

23 October, 2017
The Information Security Guide for Small Healthcare Businesses (the Guide) is a simple tool produced by the Australian Digital Health Agency for every business to take simple steps to better protect their information.
The Guide, which was developed in partnership with the Australian Government's Stay Smart Online program, provides simple guidance for non-technical health professionals regarding issues such as privacy, passwords, software updates, back-ups and staff security awareness.
Healthcare providers are, rightly, focussed on providing quality care and patient outcomes, and sometimes information security can seem like an overly complicated and technical task.
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#FHIR and R (Stats / graphing language)

Posted on October 27, 2017 by Grahame Grieve
I’ve spent the last 2 days at the 2017 Australian R Unconference working on an R client for FHIR.
For my FHIR readers, R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. (Having spent the last couple of days explaining what FHIR is to R people).  My goal for the 2 days was to implement a FHIR client in R so that anyone wishing to perform statistical analysis of information available in R could quickly and easily do so. I was invited to the R Unconference by Prof Rob Hyndman (a family friend) as it would be the best environment to work on that.
My work was a made a lot easier when Sander Laverman from Furore released an R package to do just what I intended to do earlier this week. We started by learning the package, and testing it.

HISA joins digital health showcase HealthHorizon

MTPConnect – the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Industry Growth Centre – today announced it will provide a proposed $100,000 provisional funding to a National MedTech, Pharmaceutical and Digital Health Showcase over one year, with proposed matched funding of $100,000 coming from the sector. The funding will allow the project to catalogue and track the progress of health innovations under development in Australia and make the information accessible to all on a public online platform.
The project consortium is led by Canberra-based start-up Health Horizon, and includes national organisations like Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA), Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) and Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA). Industry members of the consortium include ANDHealth (Australia’s only national mid-stage digital health integrator and accelerator), hospital and health services intellectual property management company Hospital and Health Services IP Ltd and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia. The academic consortium members include the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health and influential health innovation groups from QUT and the University of Newcastle.

openEHR Task Planning – heading for implementation

Posted on by wolandscat
We’ve made a lot of progress since my last post on this topic. We have published a 1.0.0 version of the openEHR Task Planning specification, which will go into implementation immediately in the City of Moscow e-health project. The current version will certainly be changed by that experience, but we believe is good enough for use in implementation, having been reviewed and worked on by our development team, including people from Marand (provider of the Moscow EHR platform implementation), DIPS (largest EMR vendor in Norway) and others from Tieto (Finland) and Moscow.
We are currently looking at creating a visual language for it, of which the above diagram contains initial ideas for the TP conditional structures on the left, with BPMN equivalents on the right.

Ipsos Global Advisor survey finds Australia ranks lowest for broadband satisfaction

Matt Wade
Published: October 25 2017 - 10:00AM
Australia has been ranked last out of 28 countries when it comes to broadband satisfaction, a new international poll shows.
Just 32 per cent rated the quality of Australia's broadband fairly or very good which was down 6 percentage points compared with a year ago and much lower than the international average of 56 per cent.
There were only two other nations in the international survey where fewer than four in ten respondents rated broadband as good - Italy (35 per cent) and Brazil (37 per cent).

Problems plague transition to NBN for Aussie households: survey

Over one million (45%) Australian households who have connected to the national broadband network experienced issues when transitioning across to the service, according to a newly published research report.
Online comparison website iSelect says a new Galaxy Research study it commissioned to assess the attitudes of Australian households towards broadband services, reveals that 1.3 million Australian households who have connected to the NBN had issues with their transition.
And, according to iSelect, Australians now voice concerns about the speed of their broadband service, not so much about price and data allowance as previously raised.
  • Oct 23 2017 at 11:16 AM

Time for government to act on NBN mess

Interviews with National Broadband Network chief executive Bill Morrow published on Monday show that the controversial project to bring Australia's telecommunications infrastructure into the modern age is a mess.
Pure and simple … from whichever way you look at it, it is a disaster both politically and for the hapless Australian population being told to accept second (or third or fourth) best internet speeds simply because we happen to live in a large, sparsely populated land mass … the unlucky country eh?
The way the NBN has been set up it has two main criteria by which it should be judged – is it providing Australians with world class broadband? And is it a successful business?

Malcolm Turnbull says the NBN was a mistake and may never make money

James Massola
Published: October 23 2017 - 11:11AM
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says that, in hindsight, the National Broadband Network project was a mistake and blamed the former Labor government for setting up a new government company to deliver the mammoth infrastructure project.
And Mr Turnbull, who was previously the Communications Minister in the Abbott government, admitted the giant project might never make back the money invested by taxpayers.
Despite this, the Prime Minister said his government had no plans to impose a levy or penalty on people who connect to the internet using mobile data connections, rather than the fixed line network.

NBN CEO casts doubt on ability to turn profit

By Ry Crozier on Oct 23, 2017 6:55AM

Analysis: Your move, government.

NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow has confirmed what the industry has been saying for years: that the network builder’s economic model is broken and that - under current conditions - it may never turn a profit.
In a sensational interview with Fairfax Media pre-empting a damaging 4Corners investigation to be aired on Monday night, Morrow effectively laid out an ultimatum to the government: ditch the idea of making a return on taxpayers’ investment, or face more politically unpalatable options.
The NBN model has always been predicated on it generating an internal rate of return (IRR) on the $29.5 billion taxpayer investment in the project.

Like it or not, you’re getting the NBN, so what are your rights when buying internet services?

October 23, 2017 6.03am AEDT
When buying internet services it pays to read the fine print. Dave Hunt/AAP

Author Jeannie Marie Paterson

Associate Professor, University of Melbourne
Most Australians will be forced to move onto the NBN within 18 months of it being switched on in their area, and that means navigating what can be confusing new contracts.
So, what are your rights regarding landline and internet connections?


Many consumers can and do manage without a landline. But particularly for those without a reliable mobile service, a landline can be essential. It is included in many phone and internet “bundles” offered by internet service providers.
  • Oct 23 2017 at 12:00 PM

If Wi-Fi is KRACK-ed what can you do to keep safe(ish)?

by Peter Moon
The news that most of the planet's Wi-Fi networks are at risk of being hacked has shocked the business world. Just search "WPA2" for a litany of reports that researchers have uncovered a gaping hole in the current standard for wireless security.
In brief, everything passing over most Wi-Fi networks is probably open to interception.
At times like this, grey hairs come into their own. We looked up a couple of tech veterans for their take on the nightmare news. They don't disagree for a moment that the threat is real.

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