Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Is There Something Worrying About The Fact That The Privacy Commissioner Bails Just As National Breach Legislation Commences And With Opt-Out In The Wings?

Last week we had the rather sad news that the Privacy Commissioner has handed in his baton.

Last man standing: information and privacy commissioner Timothy Pilgrim to retire

By Stephen Easton • 20/02/2018
Timothy Pilgrim has announced his resignation from his dual-role as privacy and information commissioner, effective March 24.
Pilgrim started as the privacy commissioner in 2010, when the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner was a much better resourced body with a separate commissioner for FOI and an overarching information commissioner in John McMillan, who left in 2015, when the Abbott government intended to abolish the agency.
Soon Pilgrim was the only one of the three left, and was a steady hand during that period of uncertainty, explaining clearly what was going on even though it was not clear how long the OAIC would last.
The government accepted the Senate would not agree to abolish it so instead it drastically downsized its unwanted statutory body and Pilgrim has run it as the sole commissioner since 2016, with a reduced budget that forced him to reduce its functions and reduced its ability to meet statutory timeframes, such as those that apply to FOI reviews.
Today, Attorney-General Christian Porter said the commissioner had done an “outstanding job” in both roles and the government would soon begin the “merit-based selection process” replace him. Of course, he did not refer to his erstwhile leader’s failed plan to axe the OAIC:
More here:
The fact was covered here also with some pointing out just how hostile the present Government has been to the Privacy Commissioner.

Australia re-enters Information and Privacy Commissioner limbo

A little over a year after being permanently appointed, Information Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim is set to retire on March 24.
By Chris Duckett | February 20, 2018 -- 03:24 GMT (14:24 AEDT) | Topic: Security
(Image: OAIC)
Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter has announced that Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim is set to retire at the end of next month, with the search for a replacement to begin "soon".
With Pilgrim's departure, Australia looks set to once again enter the realm of commissioner limbo.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has been in various hobbled states ever since the the Federal Budget of 2014 was handed down and it was slated to be disbanded.
However, the office struggled on without any funding set aside for it, thanks to an obstinate Senate refusing to pass the legislation that would abolish it.
After its near-death experience, the office was eventually handed AU$9.3 million annually for four years in the 2016 Budget, although that funding was mostly siphoned off the Australian Human Rights Commission. In addition, most of its freedom of information duties were sent to other parts of the Attorney-General's Department.
Pilgrim has been in the role of privacy commissioner since July 2010, having previously served as deputy privacy commissioner from 1998, and, after a series of temporary rolling appointments over two years, finally became Australian Information Commissioner in September.
During Pilgrim's time, Australians had their privacy and security eroded under the tenure of former Attorney-General George Brandis, who instituted mandatory data retention, sought to criminalise the re-identification of de-identified government data, and forced telcos to become beholden to the Attorney-General's Department.
Brandis recently left the Senate to become the high commissioner in London.
More here:
We are really entering unknown territory here and it is really important with all the nonsense around opt-out and the myHR that there we a well informed “cop on the beat” to keep the DOH and the ADHA accountable and under control.
What happens next deserves careful monitoring!
David.

There Is Little Doubt The Game Is Changing - And Maybe Faster Than We Expect.

This appeared last week:

Google's neural networks detect heart attack risk by looking at patients' eyes

Drew Harwell & Carolyn Y. Johnson
Published: February 20 2018 - 1:50PM
By looking at the human eye, Google's algorithms were able to predict whether someone had high blood pressure or was at risk of a heart attack or stroke, researchers at the company have confirmed, opening a new opportunity for artificial intelligence in the vast and lucrative global health industry.
The algorithms didn't outperform existing medical approaches such as blood tests, according to a study of the finding published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering. The work needs to be validated and repeated on more people before it gains broader acceptance, several outside physicians said.
But the new approach could build on doctors' current abilities by providing a tool that people could one day use to quickly and easily screen themselves for health risks that can contribute to heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide.
"This may be a rapid way for people to screen for risk," Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist at Yale University who was not involved in the study, wrote in an email. "Diagnosis is about to get turbo-charged by technology. And one avenue is to empower people with rapid ways to get useful information about their health."
Google researchers fed images scanned from the retinas of more than 280,000 patients across the United States and United Kingdom into its intricate pattern-recognising algorithms, known as neural networks. Those scans helped train the networks on which telltale signs tended to indicate long-term health dangers.
Medical professionals today can look for similar signs by using a device to inspect the retina, drawing the patient's blood or assessing risk factors such as their age, gender, weight and whether they smoke. But no one taught the algorithms what to look for; instead, the systems taught themselves by reviewing enough data to learn the patterns often found in the eyes of people at risk.
The true power of this kind of technological solution is that it could flag risk with a fast, cheap and noninvasive test that could be administered in a range of settings, letting people know if they should come in for follow-up.
Lots more here:
I am sure that this is just the ‘thin end of the wedge’ as they say and that we will see more and more systems trained on vast data-sets to out-diagnose the diagnosticians. The time is slowly but surely coming!
David.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Its Been A Really Big Week For Bureaucratic Swanning And Preening - I Wonder What Will Actually Come Of It?

I first got wind of something happening in Digital Health when all these obscure Indian links began to appear.

India building digital health ecosystem: Nadda

Canberra (Australia), Feb 19 (IANS) Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J.P. Nadda on Monday said India is committed to reforms in health services delivery using Information and Communication Technology (ICT).Addressing delegates from around a dozen countries at the Global Digital Health Partnership Summit, he said the ICT had great potential to improve delivery of healthcare services and "India will take advantage of it under the Digital India programme".
Adoption of digital technology for improvement of governance had always been central to the Indian government, he noted. According to him, the four major areas where India has implemented digital technology in healthcare are health services delivery, compliance of people towards health and care, engagement of citizens in partnering with the government for planning and management of health services delivery and improving governance.
Nadda stressed on the importance of building digital health ecosystem partnerships with private healthcare providers, academia, health IT practitioners, industry, patient groups and regulatory bodies.
Present at the summit were Australian Minister of Health Greg Hunt, Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey and delegates from Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the World Health Organisation.
More here:
From then it was on for one and all.
The main release seems to have been this one:

Media Release: New Global Digital Health Partnership

---- Picture omitted to spare the children -----
The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Australian Minister for Health, the Hon. Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, the Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey with participants at the Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) Summit 2018
International participants from thirteen countries, Hong Kong SAR, and the World Health Organization (WHO) have kicked off a new global network to support best use of digital technology in modern healthcare.
The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Australian Minister for Health, and the Hon. Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, welcomed the participants to the inaugural Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) Summit held in Canberra today.
Minister Hunt said the partnership will create a common platform for international experts to share knowledge and experiences, to network, and to forecast emerging trends to support the digital health landscape.
“Digital Health is the penicillin of our time, with precision medicine and genomics offering opportunities to cure previously incurable diseases and deliver better life saving medicine”.
The Global Digital Health Partnership is an opportunity for deep, transformational engagement by governments, digital health agencies, and the WHO so they can learn, share policy and other evidence that supports them to deliver better digital health services.
Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said that the Agency is privileged to be hosting the inaugural event.
“Australia and its international partners can learn from each other and share information about what has worked in their health settings, and collaborate on initiatives together that will support digital health systems working more effectively in their countries”.
“The partnership will help deliver actionable policy and program outcomes to both domestic and international agendas,” Mr Kelsey said.
Over the coming year, the Global Digital Health Partnership will collaborate on the following topics:
  1. connected and interoperable health care;
  2. cyber security;
  3. policies that support digital health outcomes;
  4. clinician and consumer engagement; and
  5. evidence and evaluation of digital health.
“It is important that guidelines created by governments and other agencies are co-produced with the needs of innovators, industries, clinicians and the community. The GDHP activities should consider the needs and input of these sectors to improve the delivery of digital health service,” Mr Kelsey said.
ENDS
Media contact
David Cooper, Senior Media Manager
Mobile: 0428 772 421 Email: media@digitalhealth.gov.au
About the Global Digital Health Partnership
The Global Digital Health Partnership is an international collaboration between governments, government agencies, and multinational organisations responsible for policy, funding, and delivery of health services to their citizens. Following a number of bilateral and multilateral discussions, interest in the partnership has grown strongly.
Senior digital health officials from Austria, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the WHO attended the inaugural Global Digital Health Partnership Summit in Canberra, Australia. The participating countries are now engaging in an international dialogue to learn and share lessons on effective policy design and practical delivery implementation of digital health services. For further information on the Global Digital Health Partnership, email GDHP@digitalhealth.gov.au
About the Australian Digital Health Agency
The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia. The Agency is the system operator of the My Health Record, and provides leadership, coordination, and delivery of a collaborative and innovative approach to utilising technology to support and enhance a clinically safe and connected national health system. These improvements will give individuals more control of their health and their health information, and support healthcare professionals to provide informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information.
www.digitalhealth.gov.au
The release is here:
Clearly the excitement must have been overwhelming with breathless quotes like “ Digital Health is the penicillin of our time” coming for a clearly excited Minister. I wonder who gave him that line:
However these objectives seem pretty sound:
“Over the coming year, the Global Digital Health Partnership will collaborate on the following topics:
  1. connected and interoperable health care;
  2. cyber security;
  3. policies that support digital health outcomes;
  4. clinician and consumer engagement; and
  5. evidence and evaluation of digital health.”
I they are actually followed up it would be a wondrous thing to behold!
Following on the Summit (on the 21st February) there was a 1 day symposium where a lot of the usual suspects talked:

Media Release: International Digital Health Symposium brings leaders together

Digital health leaders from around the globe have met at the inaugural International Digital Health Symposium in Sydney to learn from different global approaches to digital innovation that are inclusive, evidence-based, and support sustainable, high quality health and care.
The leaders discussed the global advancement of digital health policy, how digital health can support clinical quality and safety, challenges in healthcare interoperability, data sharing for health systems improvement, and building the evidence base for digital health benefits. The management of global public health priorities, new approaches to disease prevention, and maximising the benefits of precision medicine were also discussed.
Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said that Australia and its international partners can learn from each other and share information about what has worked in their health settings to support best use of digital technology in modern healthcare.
“We are privileged to learn from our Australian and international visitors leaders in digital health innovation. The symposium is an opportunity for collaboration in the ever-evolving sphere of digital health and will help us to solve our own challenges and contribute to the advancement of health and care for the world’s citizens,” Mr Kelsey said.
The symposium was hosted by the Agency, The George Institute for Global Health, and UNSW Sydney and attracted leaders from thirteen countries together with colleagues from Hong Kong SAR, the World Health Organization (WHO), industry, universities, clinical medicine, and civil society.
Lots more here:
I look forward to refined and constructive leadership following all this - but I have to say it is hard to believe anything will change for the better. The ADHA’s furious pushing of the myHR hardly gave me confidence neither did the ongoing lack of serious program evaluation. Maybe at Senate Estimates in the coming week some facts will emerge?
We have all seen this before and the outcome has always been the same - once the canapes have been consumed back we go to the state prior - waiting for some real progress that makes a clinical difference to emerge.
Maybe this time - what do you think?
David.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 26th February, 2018.

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

Not much happening except the RACP debacle - fire the CEO I say - and the Global Gabfest where Australia suggests it is an a position to offer advice to others in Global Digital Health! Put your own house in order I would suggest - but then I would say that!
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https://www.itwire.com/government-tech-policy/81803-data-breach-law-takes-effect-on-thursday.html

Data breach law takes effect on Thursday

Australia's data breach notification law takes effect this Thursday and new resources for the public have been released by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner before the law comes into force.
The NDB scheme makes it mandatory for Australian Government agencies and other bodies that are obliged to comply to secure personal information under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and notify individuals who are affected by data breaches that are likely to result in serious harm.
One new resource, titled Receiving data breach notifications, provides guidance on what to expect when a data breach notification is received, including how organisations might deliver notifications and when a privacy complaint can be made to the OAIC.
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http://apo.org.au/node/133696

Data breach preparation and response

19 Feb 2018
Description
Strong data management is integral to the operation of businesses and government agencies worldwide. Digital platforms and technologies that utilise user data to provide personalised products or services have proliferated across communities and industries. At the same time, data analysis has been widely recognised for its value as fuel for innovation that can benefit the community in unprecedented ways, including identifying gaps in services, revealing needs for new or different products, and enabling better-informed policy-making.
In this environment, the success of an organisation that handles personal information or a project that involves personal information depends on trust. People have to trust that their privacy is protected, and be confident that personal information will be handled in line with their expectations.
As we’ve found in our long-running national community attitudes to privacy survey, if an organisation does not demonstrate a commitment to privacy, people will look for alternative suppliers, products, and services.
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https://www.itwire.com/security/81816-data-breach-law-60-of-businesses-unaware-of-basics.html

Data breach law: 60% of businesses 'unaware of basics'

Nearly 60% of Australian businesses are not aware of the details of the data breach law that takes effect on Thursday, a survey by GfK Australia for imaging solutions provider Canon claims.
Additionally, the survey, named the Business Readiness Index, found that small businesses, in particular, were seen to be least concerned about data security, stemming from a lack of awareness where only one in five (19%) were conscious of, and prepared for, the new regulations.
The survey was conducted in January and gathered insights from 400 key decision-makers from the business and IT communities. It aimed to gauge Australian businesses' existing information security practices, and determine their preparedness and ability to comply with the Data Breach Notification obligations.
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http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/important-email-likely-to-be-missed-in-flood-that-s-about-to-hit-your-inbox-20180221-p4z14q.html

Important email likely to be missed in flood that's about to hit your inbox

Mark Vincent
Published: February 21 2018 - 7:46PM
"Once more unto the (data) breach, dear customer."
To misquote Oscar Wilde, there is only one thing worse than not being told about a data breach, and that is being told about a data breach 10 times a day from 10 different service providers for the rest of eternity.
From today, Australian business enters a brave new world of data protection. Under the watchful eye of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme will require businesses with an annual turnover of more than $3 million to let their customers know if there has been unauthorised access to personal data in a way that could cause harm.
The scheme is an attempt to have Australia catch up with the rest of the world in terms of its corporate data security. Failure to notify a breach attracts fines of up to $360,000 for individuals and $1.8 million for businesses, for serious or repeated infringements.
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https://www.themandarin.com.au/88709-last-man-standing-information-and-privacy-commissioner-timothy-pilgrim-to-retire/

Last man standing: information and privacy commissioner Timothy Pilgrim to retire

By Stephen Easton • 20/02/2018
Timothy Pilgrim has announced his resignation from his dual-role as privacy and information commissioner, effective March 24.
Pilgrim started as the privacy commissioner in 2010, when the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner was a much better resourced body with a separate commissioner for FOI and an overarching information commissioner in John McMillan, who left in 2015, when the Abbott government intended to abolish the agency.
Soon Pilgrim was the only one of the three left, and was a steady hand during that period of uncertainty, explaining clearly what was going on even though it was not clear how long the OAIC would last.
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Privacy Commissioner’s small budget to make policing new data breach laws difficult, experts say

Ben Grubb
Published: February 23 2018 - 8:55AM
Australia's new data breach laws require businesses and government entities to disclose hacks and leaks that cause "serious harm", with fines of up to $2.1 million for those who don't comply, but experts say the agency responsible for enforcing them may not have the resources to do so.
The Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme — which came into effect on Thursday — is likely to cause a swell in reported breaches. Former NSW Deputy Privacy Commissioner Anna Johnston, now head of Sydney-based private consultancy Salinger Privacy, questioned whether the Privacy Commissioner could enforce the new laws, considering it hadn't been allocated any new funding by the Turnbull government.
In an interview with Fairfax Media, Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim — who recently announced his retirement — did not deny it would be tough to keep on top of the office's growing caseload, revealing there were already long wait times for existing matters in his office.
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https://www.medicalobserver.com.au/professional-news/practices-need-a-way-to-ensure-unwanted-people-dont-get-appointments

Practices need a way to ensure unwanted people don't get appointments

20 February 2018

THE ISSUE

Many businesses and professional practices screen potential new clients to decrease the risk of accepting those likely to cause unnecessary stress or disruption, financial loss, disciplinary action or litigation.
Such a strategy, however, is not commonly used in medical practice.  General practices tend to accept as new patients anybody who seeks care.  However, there are certain types of people that a practice might not want to accept automatically, including:
  • People known to have been aggressive, abusive or violent, including former partners of current patients;
  • People known to be seeking opioids, benzodiazepines, amphetamines or other medicines for non-therapeutic purposes;
  • People who seek to induce GPs to engage in behaviour that is illegal, unethical or unprofessional, including those who insist that the GP request unnecessary investigations or provide inappropriate treatments;
  • New patients who have failed to attend a first appointment; or
  • Others whose bad reputation precedes them.
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http://www.innovationaus.com/2018/02/AMA-chief-on-disruptive-tech
Beverley Head
February 19, 2018

AMA chief on disruptive tech

The Establishment
If your doctor whips out her smartphone to take a photo of your skin rash to share with a colleague, how will that image be protected, how long will it be stored and will your identity be protected? Will an artificial intelligence diagnostic tool pay any attention to the Hippocratic Oath?
Artificial intelligence in diagnostics, telemedicine, augmented reality to train doctors and surgeons, bionic eyes and ears, genome sequencing, genome editing, digital health records are all impacting the delivery of health services across Australia.
But are policy and process keeping pace?
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has been the peak national body representing medical practitioners and students since the 1960s; it has a membership of 30,000 members plus 9,000 students. Nationally there are around 100,000 registered health practitioners.
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http://www.hospitalhealth.com.au/content/technology/article/personalising-digital-health-care-1485223217

Personalising digital health care

By Ian Manovel
Tuesday, 20 February, 2018
When it comes to digital health care, one size doesn’t fit all. We look at the benefits of personalising services to cater for different attitudes — and aptitudes.
The 2017 Federal Budget revealed $10 billion would be dedicated to health spending. As the Australian healthcare system moves to implement digital services such as Telehealth, eMedical Records, eMedication Management and eHealth Records, the industry needs to reconsider its one-size-fits-all approach.
While this legacy model is attractive for its simplicity, it generates a degree of waste and inefficiency, with some patients over-serviced, some neglected and a few dissatisfied. The health system needs to ensure that existing digital health technologies are effectively implemented, used by healthcare professionals and delivering patient benefits. By harnessing the power of digital, the healthcare system can evolve to innovate, improve data sharing and secure organisational trust. Digital will play a crucial role in creating a person-centric segmentation of patients, allowing policymakers and service providers to optimise resources and deliver the right services, at the right time, in the right way.
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https://www.itnews.com.au/news/act-health-wins-award-for-barcodes-for-blood-485191

ACT Health wins award for barcodes for blood

By Staff Writers on Feb 21, 2018 6:00AM

Project delivering big results.

ACT Health's innovative effort to reduce the instances of wrongly labelled blood samples and medications was rewarded as the top IT project in the healthcare category of the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
The health department has equipped patients and clinicians with barcodes and rolled out computers-on-wheels in order to reduce the risk of labels being incorrect or misapplied.
Patients are now cross-referenced with pathology orders and medication at their bedside to eliminate errors; a patient's wristband and the clinician's ID card must be scanned before a label can be printed on the computer-on-wheels and attached to the blood sample or medication at the point of care.
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http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/google-s-neural-networks-detect-heart-attack-risk-by-looking-at-patients-eyes-20180220-p4z0z7.html

Google's neural networks detect heart attack risk by looking at patients' eyes

Drew Harwell & Carolyn Y. Johnson
Published: February 20 2018 - 1:50PM
By looking at the human eye, Google's algorithms were able to predict whether someone had high blood pressure or was at risk of a heart attack or stroke, researchers at the company have confirmed, opening a new opportunity for artificial intelligence in the vast and lucrative global health industry.
The algorithms didn't outperform existing medical approaches such as blood tests, according to a study of the finding published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering. The work needs to be validated and repeated on more people before it gains broader acceptance, several outside physicians said.
But the new approach could build on doctors' current abilities by providing a tool that people could one day use to quickly and easily screen themselves for health risks that can contribute to heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide.
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https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/the-human-body-the-next-frontier-for-technology/news-story/58fbfb2754e5066f5c762169849ac96d

The human body: the next frontier for technology

The brain could potentially be trained to operate technology planted in the body.
Get ready for the technology body invasion. Connected sensors, millimetre-sized robots and even a supplementary brain could enhance our lives from within our bodies. And we may not mind if we like the benefits. Then again, we may care if this internal technology makes us more vulnerable to hacking. Imagine being murdered from across the globe by an anonymous bot. An Inspector Morse, Holmes or a Vera might hit a brick wall trying to find the villain.
The truth is, humankind already is comfortable with some tech augmenting our bodies. We welcome Cochlear implants, pacemakers, replacement hips and knee joints when we need them, and the prospect of organs being 3-D printed or grown from stem cells is on the horizon. That will extend lives. At the cutting edge there are prosthetic limbs we can control with the brain.
But going further, the debate gets contentious. Biohacking was a discussion point at this week’s SingularityU conference in Sydney, organised by US-based start-up Singularity University.
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https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/heart-attacks-the-latest-cycbercriminal-method-to-extort-victims/news-story/da012d620e1f6232a24814ed674e1d4d

Heart attacks the latest cycbercriminal method to extort victims

  • The Australian
  • 6:00AM February 21, 2018
Cybercriminals are poised to strike their victims literally in the heart, US cardiologists have warned, with pacemakers vulnerable to hackers motivated by politics, greed or malevolence.
A new scientific paper warns that implanted cardiac devices can be rigged to fail or deliver ­lethal electric shocks, while malware or ransomware attacks can thwart the remote monitoring of heart patients.
The paper has been released this morning by the electro­physiology council of the ­American College of Cardiology.
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'Budget' contractor behind bungled RACP exam has a long record of failure

The low-cost operator has a well-documented history of mishaps
22nd February 2018
10 Comments
The company employed by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians to run its botched fellowship examination is known as a “budget” option and has been involved in dozens of testing mishaps over the past two decades, a US exam watchdog says.
The contractor, Pearson VUE, is yet to explain the "unknown technical fault" that locked registrars out of Monday's five-hour test, causing chaos, tears, and the exam's eventual abandonment.
Yet Monday was just the latest instance of the company’s examination systems causing problems.
The UK-based multinational has been involved in more than 70 testing mishaps worldwide over the past 20 years, according to the US National Centre for Fair and Open Testing (NCFOT).
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https://www.itnews.com.au/news/govt-to-ditch-pki-certs-for-medicare-look-up-system-485342

Govt to ditch PKI certs for Medicare look-up system

By Justin Hendry on Feb 16, 2018 1:11PM

DHS to accelerate move to PRODA.

The Department of Human Services will accelerate plans to end the use of PKI certificates for accessing the HPOS Medicare verification service after the federal government agreed to scrap the mechanism. 
The government today published its response [pdf] to a review into how health providers access Medicare numbers, following revelations last year that Medicare details were being sold on the dark web for around A$29 per file.
It had ordered the review after it appeared the individual selling the card numbers had exploited legitimate access - specifically DHS’ HPOS Medicare verification service for health providers - to obtain the data.
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https://www.digitalhealth.gov.au/news-and-events/news/media-release-new-global-digital-health-partnership

Media Release: New Global Digital Health Partnership

International participants from thirteen countries, Hong Kong SAR, and the World Health Organization (WHO) have kicked off a new global network to support best use of digital technology in modern healthcare.
The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Australian Minister for Health, and the Hon. Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, welcomed the participants to the inaugural Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) Summit held in Canberra today.
Minister Hunt said the partnership will create a common platform for international experts to share knowledge and experiences, to network, and to forecast emerging trends to support the digital health landscape.
Digital Health is the penicillin of our time, with precision medicine and genomics offering opportunities to cure previously incurable diseases and deliver better life saving medicine”.
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Media Release: International Digital Health Symposium brings leaders together

Digital health leaders from around the globe have met at the inaugural International Digital Health Symposium in Sydney to learn from different global approaches to digital innovation that are inclusive, evidence-based, and support sustainable, high quality health and care.
The leaders discussed the global advancement of digital health policy, how digital health can support clinical quality and safety, challenges in healthcare interoperability, data sharing for health systems improvement, and building the evidence base for digital health benefits. The management of global public health priorities, new approaches to disease prevention, and maximising the benefits of precision medicine were also discussed.
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Global digital health network announced as Australia takes a lead role in international collaboration

Lynne Minion | 23 Feb 2018
Australia has taken a leading role in digital health internationally, with the announcement of a global network of health agencies that have come together to support the implementation of digital technologies.

At a summit in Canberra this week hosted by the Australian Digital Health Agency, representatives from 13 countries, Hong Kong SAR and the World Health Organisation joined in creating the Global Digital Health Partnership.

The coalition, which will allow international experts to share knowledge, learn from each other and collaborate on projects, satisfies a global appetite, according to the Chief Medical Adviser at the ADHA, Dr Meredith Makeham.

“It's been a great honour for us to have such an overwhelmingly big response with our first call to like-minded people around the globe who also felt that this was a very important initiative to support their local policy and initiatives,” Makeham told Healthcare IT News Australia.
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Launch of the beta Health website

We're creating a new health.gov.au website that's easier for our stakeholders to understand and use.
Page last updated: 15 February 2018
You can access our new website at beta.health.gov.au.

The new health.gov.au website is the first step of Health’s new digital presence. It currently has updated corporate information about us and what we do. We have also improved our immunisation information by re-writing it to make it easier to find and understand. This is the first stage of information that has been moved to the new website.

We have created our new website to make it easier for you to use. We are:
  • Rewriting our information so you can easily understand it.
  • Better organising our information so that you can find what you are looking for.
  • Improving our search to help you find information fast.
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“We need to raise the bar”

PSA president says current levels of med-related hospitalisations are not good enough, but pharmacists can’t help without access to data

Pharmacists are expected to contribute to healthcare and reduce medication errors in an information vacuum, PSA national president Dr Shane Jackson told delegates at the inaugural International Digital Health Symposium held at UNSW Sydney on Wednesday.
“If you look at it from a community pharmacy perspective, [pharmacists] don’t have the data,” said Dr Jackson.
“The information they have is the dispensing information of the person.
“We expect pharmacists to contribute to healthcare and reduce hospital admissions in an information vacuum.”
Dr Jackson said the situation is dire considering the high levels of hospital admissions related to medication errors.
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http://www.afr.com/news/special-reports/future-of-healthcare/data-and-technology-to-transform-the-medical-system-20180219-h0wbek
Feb 21 2018 at 7:00 PM
  • Updated Feb 21 2018 at 7:00 PM

Data and technology to transform the medical system

This content is produced by The Australian Financial Review in commercial partnership with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. 
"We collect one billion times more data on our cars than our bodies," Murray Brozinsky recently stated at the Commonwealth Bank's Future of Health Conference.
A recognised digital health leader, and chief strategy officer at Conversa, Brozinsky advises some of the world's leading healthcare organisations on the changing nature of health.
Comparing cars with humans might seem a bit of a stretch but his point is we're able to get so much diagnostic information from our car every time we get it serviced yet most of us still know very little about how our bodies are performing.In his presentation, Brozinsky outlined how healthcare was evolving with augmented reality technologies and artificial intelligence and illustrated a not-too-distant future where passive invisible sensors will be able to track everything biologically relevant on the body.
"They will feed into our electronic health records and all that information will go to create rich artificial intelligence-driven conversations between care teams and patients. We will be able to move from descriptive to predictive to preventative care very quickly. Patients will be providing valuable patient-generated health data (PGHD) and will be virtually involved in the consult," Brozinsky said.
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http://www.healthcareit.com.au/article/online-patient-consent-platform-one-ten-tech-innovators-latest-hcf-accelerator-intake

Online patient consent platform one of ten tech innovators in latest HCF accelerator intake

Lynne Minion | 19 Feb 2018
It was while working on a scabies eradication program in East Timor that two dermatologists formed a bond that would lead to a new technology start-up, but the innovation epiphany that inspired the development of their PracWay platform was actually much closer to home.

A personal medical crisis showed the formidable duo – Rebecca Saunderson and Julia Rhodes – that there was a need for them to channel their altruistic ambitions into empowering patients.

“In 2017, I was diagnosed with a mass in my jaw,” PracWay co-founder Saunderson said.
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19 February 2018

Data laws might reveal horrifying levels of GP ransomware attacks

Posted byJeremy Knibbs
Changes to legislation around medical data breaches, with fines of up to $340,000 for a single GP and up to $1.7 million for a practice, are set to a create a lot more havoc than the government, and many doctors running practices, currently suspect.
From Thursday this week, GPs and GP practices will be required by changes to the Privacy Act 1988 to notify individuals likely to be at risk of serious harm because of data breach, and to notify the office of the Australian Privacy Commissioner.
Until now, breaches did not have a mandatory reporting requirement.
Not surprisingly, there have not been a lot of breaches reported by any GP practices since the legislation introducing heavy fines for allowing breaches came into effect nearly four years ago. If you have had a breach, how likely are you to want anyone to know about it? So you do all you can do to fix it and move on. That can’t happen anymore.
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https://www.themandarin.com.au/88590-digital-identity-crisis-how-many-solutions-are-too-many/

Identity Crisis: how many solutions are too many?

By Victoria Draudins • 19/02/2018
The Commonwealth may have clamped down on its agencies competing for digital identity dominance, but Australia’s state governments are playing a different game. Global trends might soon make all these efforts moot.
In United Nations project ID2020, Microsoft is partnering with Accenture to create identities for over some of the world’s poorest people without a documented identity. The system will use Blockchain to connect existing records and manage fingerprint, iris and other biometric data. The underlying system is currently being used by the United Nations to enrol 1.3 million refugees and is expected to support 7 million refugees by 2020.
Australia certainly has its own issues with digital identity, after all, our government has been thrown into crisis by a small number of our parliamentarians who can’t properly prove where they come from. But despite a great deal of work and money being thrown by government and industry to deliver identity solutions over the years, our digital identity landscape still seems confused and increasingly cluttered. There is also the risk that like Queensland’s smart driver licence, the landscape may have moved on by the time we rollout a solution.
And unlike the very real problems being solved by the UN’s ID2020, as Queensland Privacy Commissioner Philip Green has told The Mandarin, in some ways government efforts are “a solution in search of a problem”.
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Feb 18 2018 at 11:00 PM

Bank push for new digital identity regime

Banks want an economy-wide, seamless approach to establishing customer identity. Karl Hilzinger
Banks want the government to work more closely with them on the national framework for establishing digital identity, and say it must include changes to "know your customer" (KYC) rules to allow them to rely on identity information provided by other organisations. 
A new digital identity regime promises to reduce costs for banks by making it easier for customers to prove who they are. It will also make it easier to switch accounts.
The Reserve Bank of Australia says a framework for trusted digital identity "has the potential to make online interactions more convenient and secure" and "could help mitigate the scope for identity fraud". The central bank has suggested the regime could be incorporated into the government's plans for "open banking".
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https://www.itnews.com.au/news/australia-posts-digital-id-named-best-federal-govt-it-project-485017

Australia Post's Digital ID named best federal govt IT project

By Staff Writers on Feb 21, 2018 6:00AM

Clear path to success.

Australia Post's strategic maneouvre towards digital identity has earned it the top prize in the federal government category of the iTnews Benchmark Awards 2018.
The postal firm's internally developed Digital ID identity verification solution positions it as a first mover in the Australian market.
Not only does the platform make big strides in AusPost's pivot away from its declining letters business and into digital solutions, but an early partnership with the DTA also promises to cement the organisation as potentially the first identity provider on the federal government's game-changing Govpass digital identity network.
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https://www.computerworld.com.au/article/633673/government-releases-digital-id-framework/

Government releases digital ID framework

Step towards allowing private sector to provide ID services
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 21 February, 2018 13:03
The government has released the first component of the Trusted Digital Identity Framework for oganisations seeking to provide identity services.
The framework, whose development has been overseen by the Digital Transformation Agency, is intended to set standards for organisations providing digital ID for access to online services.
The framework will help underpin the development of a federated digital identity system and provide the the standards for the government's Govpass ID platform
The intention is allow individuals to only have to prove their identity once and then be able to use a digital ID across multiple government services.
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https://www.computerworld.com.au/article/633524/5-early-warning-signs-project-failure/

5 early warning signs of project failure

Far too many projects still do not meet intended goals. Here are five leading indicators of a failing project that — when caught — can drastically improve your project’s chances for success.
Moira Alexander (CIO (US)) 16 February, 2018 22:00
Project failure is costly. While the Project Management Institute (PMI) last year reported that a 20 percent decrease in project failure rates versus the previous year, the amount of money lost to failed projects remains staggering, with an average of US$97 million for every $1 billion invested in projects going to waste.
There are many reasons why projects still fail but paying close attention to and addressing these five early warning signs immediately can help keep things moving in the right direction with less strife and causes for concern, and ultimately decrease the risk of project failure.

1. A change-resistant culture

One of the first (and biggest) warning signs that your project may be headed for failure is an internal culture that is resistant to change. Projects bring about improvements in workflows and new operational best practices, often with an increased use of technology. These changes can create a significant amount of fear, as employees assume the end result will mean job losses or major disruption to their individual working world. Many projects have been internally sabotaged right from the start as result of these fears.
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https://www.itnews.com.au/news/nbn-co-told-to-expect-new-service-standards-485473

NBN Co told to expect new service standards

By Ry Crozier on Feb 19, 2018 5:55PM

Before industry consultation even finishes.

NBN Co has been warned to “expect much higher levels of regulation” this year as the competition watchdog turns its attention to the network builder’s role in the end-to-end NBN experience.
In November last year, the ACCC launched an inquiry into NBN Co’s wholesale service standards, including missed appointments, connection delays and fault rectification.
Industry submissions to the inquiry don’t close for another fortnight, but already the ACCC is indicating it will intervene.
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NBN business case, regional rollout to be scrutinised

Parliament’s NBN committee to dissect NBN financial forecasts, regional rollout progress
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 16 February, 2018 14:41
Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network will put NBN’s financial forecasts under the microscope as one of two new inquiries.
The committee will examine the publicly owned company’s business model, including the competitive risks facing the “multi-technology mix” rollout model and “the Commonwealth’s accounting treatment of government debt/investment in NBN, and the prospect of future sale, in whole or part, of NBN”.
NBN has previously indicated that the growing popularity and capabilities of wireless services could potentially have an impact on its financials.
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Enjoy!
David.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Just To Continue The Outrage For A Moment Or Two Longer - The CEO Has No Place To Go But Out!

After the blog this morning this appeared I found these:

'Budget' contractor behind bungled RACP exam has a long record of failure

The low-cost operator has a well-documented history of mishaps
22nd February 2018
10 Comments
The company employed by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians to run its botched fellowship examination is known as a “budget” option and has been involved in dozens of testing mishaps over the past two decades, a US exam watchdog says.
The contractor, Pearson VUE, is yet to explain the "unknown technical fault" that locked registrars out of Monday's five-hour test, causing chaos, tears, and the exam's eventual abandonment.
Yet Monday was just the latest instance of the company’s examination systems causing problems.
The UK-based multinational has been involved in more than 70 testing mishaps worldwide over the past 20 years, according to the US National Centre for Fair and Open Testing (NCFOT).
This week's RACP bungle sits at number 74 on the non-profit watchdog’s public list of Pearson exam failures, which stretch back to 1998 and have been widely documented in the press.
NCFOT's public education director Robert Schaeffer says the company has aggressively expanded since the early 2000s by offering "budget" computerised testing.
In 2015, Pearson was responsible for up to 40% of US secondary examinations. But the firm has been fired by the country’s four most populous states in the past five years because of its repeated failures, Mr Shaeffer told Australian Doctor on Thursday.
“This latest failure doesn’t surprise me at all," he said.
"Pearson does not seem to be able to deliver high-quality, consistently accurate assessments.
"It is easy to see online that Pearson has a very poor track record of performance."
Lots more here:

So lets add failure to test to failure to research the quality of your paid provider.

Really astonishingly pathetic.

And the Australian headline said it all!

Royal Australasian College of Physicians exam scores epic fail

  • The Australian
  • 1:00AM February 24, 2018
  • Sean Parnell
About 1200 trainee physicians in Australia and New Zealand have had to reschedule crucial exams after a serious failure with the computer-based testing process this week, throwing their lives and hospital schedules into chaos.
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians had engaged the company Pearson Vue to conduct its divisional written examination across multiple sites via computers on Monday.
But several hours into the exam a problem was detected at some sites and, although many trainees were urged to continue, the exam ultimately was cancelled.
The computer failure not only had implications for trainees — concerns for their mental health have been paramount this week — but is likely to have ongoing ramifications for the RACP and Pearson Vue. Similar incidents in the past have ended up in the courts.
The divisional written examination tests a trainee’s knowledge in adult internal medicine or pediatrics and child health at the end of basic training.
This assessment, completed before trainees undertake the divisional clinical examination, is the gateway for progression to advanced training.
Not only does the exam cost each trainee about $1800, it requires months of study and in some cases logistical work for the junior doctors to be able to set aside the six-plus hours needed just to sit the test.
Every trainee is photographed, required to provide proof of identification and their signature, and put under strict supervision during the exam.
The computer failure also comes after considerable debate in the professions about the pressure medical students, trainees and junior doctors are under, and the impact on their psychological wellbeing. The RACP previously has acknowledged the potential for trainees to have increased anxiety undertaking a computer-based exam for the first time.
More here:

I will leave it now - until I can announce the CEO and hopefully the CIO and most of the Board have resigned in shame!

David.

AusHealthIT Poll Number 411 – Results – 25th February, 2018.

Here are the results of the poll.

How Well Do You Believe The GP Community Is Being Served By The Current Generation Of Practice Systems?

Great 1% (2)

Not Bad 52% (74)

Neutral 36% (51)

Not Well 9% (12)

Badly 1% (1)

I Have No Idea 1% (1)

Total votes: 141

This is an interesting poll suggesting that there is room for more work but that mostly people are going reasonably well with their present systems.

Any insights welcome as a comment, as usual.

A really great turnout of votes!

It must have been an easy question with just 1 not sure what the appropriate answer was.

Again, many, many thanks to all those that voted!

David.

Talk About An Appalling IT Stuff-Up - I Really Feel For The Victims!

This story broke in the middle of last week.

Trainee doctors forced to resit exam after 'technical fault'

By Allie Coyne on Feb 20, 2018 6:22AM

First computer-based test failed, results voided.

Trainee doctors who sat a basic exam yesterday have had their results voided after a "technical fault" locked some students out of the second half of the test.
It was the first time the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)'s divisional written exam had been delivered online, managed by computer-based testing solutions provider Pearson Vue.
The medical college apologised to students for yesterday's technical error and said it had decided that all students would resit the exam - this time via pen and paper - "in order to be fair".
"We understand that some trainees have booked leave or holidays following today’s computer based test, and we are working as quickly as possible to reschedule a new exam," the RACP said in a statement.

"It is likely to be more than 24 hours before we can notify candidates of a new exam date."
The college said it had "explored all options" with Pearson Vue after the "unknown technical fault" locked a "significant" number of students out of the computer-based test and unable to complete the second part of the exam, but ultimately decided to call it off.
"The RACP is very disappointed that there has been a problem with today’s [exam], and we apologise to all trainee candidates for the distress caused," it said.
More here:
https://www.itnews.com.au/news/trainee-doctors-forced-to-resit-exam-after-technical-fault-485491
Harrowing reporting on the impact of the issue is found here:

Burnt-out doctors deeply distressed by botched high-stakes exam

Kate Aubusson, Jenny Noyes
Published: February 21 2018 - 9:32AM
Up to 1200 doctors are deeply distressed by the Royal Australian College of Physicians “appalling” handling of an IT meltdown that wiped out a crucial, high-stakes examination on Monday.
Senior physicians have raised serious concerns for the mental health and wellbeing of the registrars now forced to resit the test after months of gruelling study regimen, hospital workloads and personal sacrifice.
A technical fault abruptly shut down the basic training exam. The test cost each candidate $1800 to sit and is a requirement for doctors aspiring to specialise as physicians or paediatricians.
The college is facing mounting criticism from its membership, with calls for its president and others responsible for the incident to resign.
Several doctors who sat the botched exam spoke to Fairfax Media on condition of anonymity over concerns that speaking publicly could impact on their future careers.
As crowds of confused registrars poured out of exam centres across the country, many were crying inconsolably, visibly distressed and angry.
“It was just awful … complete chaos” one registrar said.
“There were a number of candidates sitting on kerbs crying ... no one [was] advising of what happens next.”
Several registrars described chaotic scenes long before the technical meltdown.
Lots more here:

Also included in a lot of subsequent coverage was commentary from some one who had sat the exam the year before:

Computer glitch in hardest exam of your life is unforgivable

Sanj Mudaliar
Published: February 21 2018 - 12:06PM
It’s hard to explain to someone outside the medical field what this examination means to those who sit it. The anguish that it can cause and the amount of time that candidates spend preparing.
After roughly 10 years of training and a lifetime of exams, the Royal Australian College of Physicians examination is the last written one you have to sit - and pass - on the road to becoming a fully fledged physician or paediatrician. It assesses your knowledge across all the medical specialties. It is the final hurdle, the finish line, what many see - correctly or incorrectly - as the point where they can stop striving for a life and start actually living one. Holidays, weddings, even births, have all been put on hold, planned around this last brutal test.
Which is why the 1200 or so junior doctors who had to abandon their attempts at the exam on Monday because of a computer glitch are so distressed.
The written exam consists of two papers -  a basic sciences and a clinical paper - and is held only once a year, on the same day nationwide. It takes 6.5 hours to complete, with a one-hour break, and covers two years' worth of study.  The written exam is like the hardest, broadest university-level final exam you have ever sat.  This year, for the first time, it was held in small venues across the country, with eight to 15 candidates per room, instead of in one central venue in each capital city.
Lots of annoyed rage found here:

Now in another life, in another time, I did a similar exam - (the Part 1 for the Anaesthetics Fellowship - which I passed on my first attempt much to my relieved amazement.) and I can say had my 4 hour exam suffered a similar fate there might have been enraged homicide ensue.

That these systems were not tested to within an inch of their life is simply unbelievable and unforgivable. My view is that the CEO of the College should resign - as simple as that - given the centrality of conducting these exams to the College’s role.

It is possible to ensure such important systems work and this should have been 100% ensured. It is really hard to understand how such a mission-critical system was not fully bullet-proof?

I feel for all the victims can I say!

David.