Quote Of The Year

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

Monday, February 05, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 5th 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

Another really quiet week with the occasional highlights – like the loss of a whole heap of Cabinet Papers! Enjoy!

Australian government cannot handle its own data securely, why give it yours?

Australia has performed an amazing act of self-leakage, selling a pair of locked filing cabinets of its own secret Cabinet documents.
By Chris Duckett for Null Pointer | January 31, 2018 -- 21:34 GMT (08:34 AEDT) | Topic: Security
It turns out the best way to get your hands on secret government documents in Australia is to head down to a furniture store and buy a locked cabinet or two full of them.
This sounds like the plot of a bad sitcom, but thanks to the reporting of Australia's ABC, we know it is the truth.
The gravity of this scenario cannot be overstated. These are some of the most secret documents that the Australian government creates, usually locked up for 20 years before being released to the public due to their sensitively and to put a bit of time between the actors and their actions, yet here they were, up for sale in suburban Canberra.

My Health Record consultation begins

Consultation has started on the My Health Record Guidelines for Pharmacists developed by the PSA

The Guidelines provide guidance to pharmacists on meaningful clinical use of the My Health Record system.
By the end of 2018, all Australians will have a My Health Record unless they choose not to have one.
Pharmacists have a professional responsibility to review their practice and, where necessary, build on their digital health competency to ensure they are ready to integrate use of the My Health Record system into patient care.
31 January 2018

GP interoperability: yawn. How about one more patient hour per day?

Wild Health Melbourne is a one day Q&A panel style summit bringing together the country’s thought leaders on interoperability and future connectivity in medicine.
Whether you’re a grass roots GP, seeking practical ways to improve patient hours per day via technology, or a ‘GP connectivity guru’ wanting to engage more effectively and network with the country’s top thought leaders ,Wild Health Melbourne, on April 17, at Collins Square in Melbourne, is an important event to get to.
Not your usual talkfest, health experts who will take to the stage include CEOs, CIOs, CMIOs, Clinicians, Innovators and Academics from: The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne Health, Monash Health, Barwon Health, Mater Health, Peninsula Health, Australian Institute of Innovation, Flinders Research Centre, Victoria’s Dept. of Health and Human Services, Western Australia’s Dept. of Health, and the Federal Government’s Australian Digital Health Agency + more.

From wearable art to wearable technology: JournalWatch

Editor: Dr Ruth Armstrong Author: Melissa Stoneham on: January 29, 2018In: chronic diseases, health and medical research, Journal Watch, public health

Dr Melissa Stoneham writes:

Wearable technology – is this one of those emerging terms that clearly shows I am not keeping up with the times?
I confess I am no IT junkie and I do know about some of the more contemporary wearable technology including pedometers, smartwatches and Fitbits. But these are just the tip of the iceberg – there is an abundance of wearable technologies, with two examples being the Smart Shoe and the Smart Hoodie.
The “Smart Shoe” provides health analytics, has Bluetooth connectivity to enable personalised messages from a coach, and includes auto lacing and regulated temperature control.

My Health Record: a  game-changer in provision  of pharmacist care

The My Health Record (MHR) system planned for opt-out implementation in late 2018 means every Australian will be provided with a digital health record unless they choose not to have one.
Patients will be able to control who has access to their MHR, and can receive information in real-time about who has accessed their information. As at 7 January 2018, nearly 5.5 million Australians had a MHR, with about 25% of pharmacies registered to access the system.
Recently, the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) announced a number of partnerships with dispensing software providers to ensure their software is compliant with the MHR so vital dispensing information is provided to a patient’s MHR which can be utilised by other healthcare professionals in the care of the patient. These partnerships will mean the overwhelming majority of dispensing software providers are able to ensure their customers (pharmacies) can access the MHR system.

Board Papers

The intent of the Board is to publish as many Board documents as is feasible. Information and attachments to Board documents that are draft, not finalised or sensitive will not be published. An exception is made for draft material already in the public domain (in this instance the Board Advisory Committee Charters released on 16 September 2016).

Board Meeting 6 December 2017 - Board Papers (Download)

Policy & Politics | 31/01/2018 8:00:17 PM
Department of Health

Embrace My Health Record for simpler, safer care wherever you are

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP
Minister for Aged Care
Minister for Indigenous Health
Member for Hasluck
31 January 2018
Embrace My Health Record for simpler, safer care wherever you are
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt has called on Australians, especially senior Australians, to embrace the rollout of the My Health Record, for secure, safer, more convenient care.
Joining Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey for the first community information session for older Australians on My Health Record, Minister Wyatt said the patient-centred digital system helped health professionals deliver the best care.
“My Health Record empowers Australians to take better control of their health and provides secure access to patients’ health information at the point of care,” said Minister Wyatt.

Ken Wyatt promotes My Health Record in Guildford

February 1st, 2018, 08:30AM Hills Gazette
RETIRED teacher Dot Price was one of more 100 senior residents to learn more about the Government’s new online health recording system.
She features in a video promoting ‘My Health Record’ as a safer, more convenient and safer way of storing personal health information.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the patient-centred digital system helped health professionals deliver the best care.

Ready or not …. here comes My Health Record!

There is no shortage of grey nomads who remain deeply sceptical about the effectiveness of signing up for the Government’s highly-promoted online medical records system.
Common complaints relate to the fact that many doctors haven’t yet ‘bought into’ the system and basically that the reality on the ground simply doesn’t live up to the hype.
The rollout continues nonetheless, and the Digital Health Agency insists that any teething troubles with ‘My Health Record’ will be ironed out. To date, more than five million Australians have signed up to use it and, by the end of the year, every Australian will have a My Health Record unless they make a deliberate decision to ‘opt out’.

Mid North Coast Residents Urged to Embrace My Health Record for Simpler, Safer Care

02 Feb 18
Mid North Coast residents, especially seniors, are being encouraged to register online for My Health Record, for secure, safer health care.
Nationals Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, said the simple system puts local patients at the forefront and can help health professionals do their job faster.
“My Health Record is particularly useful for our many so-called ‘grey nomads’ who travel from the Mid North Coast around our nation,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

CIOs buried under mounting IT complexity: survey

A global survey of 800 chief information officers by digital performance management company Dynatrace has found that a little more than three-quarters fear that the complexity of IT setups in organisations would soon make the management of digital performance impossible.
To underline the point about complexity, the survey found that a single Web or mobile transaction was now crossing an average of 35 different technology systems of components compared to 22 five years ago.
The survey covered 200 CIOs from the US; 100 each from the UK, France, Germany and China; and 50 each from Singapore, Australia, Brazil and Mexico.

Opt-out for My Health Record

Justin Warren made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Human Services
Currently waiting for a response from Department of Human Services, they must respond promptly and normally no later than March 01, 2018 (details).

From: Justin Warren

January 30, 2018

Dear Department of Human Services,
If possible, please treat this as an informal or administrative request. Otherwise, please treat this as a formal request for documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
I request a copy of this document: http://operational.humanservices.gov.au/... titled "Opt-out for My Health Record 011-04150000".
I request that the document be provided in electronic form.
I am available to discuss this request via the telephone if you provide me with a number to call.
Yours faithfully,
Justin Warren

SA health system 'still in crisis', AMA warns

8:04pm Feb 1, 2018
The nation’s peak medical body has warned work conditions and stress levels in South Australia’s hospitals are at dangerous levels.
The state’s health system is still in crisis despite hospitals, including McLaren Vale, recently receiving a significant investment from the government, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) said.
“We are hearing failure after failure within the health system, and I think there's no doubt that the health system is still in crisis,” William Tam from AMA SA told 9NEWS.

Manager, EPAS Reporting Services - Adelaide

SA Health Adelaide, AU

Job description

Department for Health and Ageing, eHealth Systems, EPAS Program
Indicative Total Remuneration*: $119,945-$124,662 - ASO8 - Full Time / Term Contract (up to 28 December 2018)
The Manager, EPAS Reporting Services is accountable for managing the program of work associated with the provision of EPAS Reporting Services to satisfy SA Health strategic and operational reporting requirements from data contained within the EPAS database; at the enterprise, health unit, corporate or where appropriate, at the individual levels. The Manager, Reporting Services is required to ensure that an EPAS data dictionary is created and maintained; report coding standards are developed and complied with; and all aspects of report development to deployment are managed in accordance with a focus on robust source control; optimal performance; resource use and compliance with EPAS Change Management processes. The Manager, EPAS Reporting Services directs, leads and coordinates EPAS Report Writers to ensure that reporting requirements are met accurately and in a timely, efficient manner.

New Australian innovation roadmap calls for focus on AI, machine learning

Innovation and Science Australia releases Australia 2030: Prosperity Through Innovation
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 30 January, 2018 13:31
Data science and artificial intelligence (AI) represent a significant economic opportunity for the Australian economy, according to a new report released by Innovation and Science Australia (ISA).
ISA was tasked by the federal government with developing a strategic plan for the Australian innovation, science and research system out to 2030.
Australia 2030: Prosperity Through Innovation, released today, argues that the emergence “cyber–physical systems” including the Internet of Things are a strategic opportunity for Australia.

APS agencies can go their own way with cloud computing

Stephen Easton / February 1, 2018
Commonwealth agencies are now encouraged make their own cloud computing plans, according to seven principles set out in the federal government’s new secure cloud strategy, which has been published on the Digital Transformation Agency website.
The Australian Signals Directorate has lost its monopoly on certification of cloud providers and a “layered certification model” has been adopted, according to the new document:
“The certification model creates greater opportunity for agency-led certifications, rather than just ASD certifications. It creates a layered certification approach where agencies can certify using the practices already in place for certification of ICT systems.”

Australian invention set to improve cancer treatment

Ben Grubb
Published: February 1 2018 - 7:13PM
The quality of cancer treatment is set to improve thanks to a new technology developed by an Australian medical start-up that initially started out as a university research project.
Called "Breathe Well", the technology developed by Opus Medical coaches cancer patients to self-regulate their breathing to assist with the accurate targeting of tumours and sparing of healthy tissues during radiation treatment. It is specifically targeted towards breast cancer patients.
According to company co-founder Dr Sean Pollock, one in three breast cancer patients will experience cardiac radiation toxicity from their radiation therapy. Of these patients, 43 per cent will require heart surgery due to their heart being unintentionally blasted with radiation.

Hi-tech health to benefit patients

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM February 3, 2018

Sarah-Jane Tasker

Hospitals without patients, NASA-style command centres in healthcare facilities, 3D-printed organs — it sounds like something from a sci-fi novel but it could be part of Australia’s healthcare system in less than 10 years.
With healthcare budgets reaching unsustainable levels as people live longer, using technology better is now at the forefront of innovation in the healthcare sector.
The issue is being tackled globally. Last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the chief executive of Nokia, Rajeev Suri, said his vision for the future of medical treatment included remote surgeries, 5G ambulances and miniaturised, wearable ­scanners.

Transforming healthcare through precision medicine

Alan Finkel and Bob Williamson
Published: January 31 2018 - 12:05AM
Lately we've both been enjoying ITV's drama Victoria. By all accounts Queen Victoria lived well, dying at the age of 81 in 1901. A girl born in Australia in Victoria's reign could expect to live to 51. A girl born in Australia today has a life expectancy approaching 85. That's right: the modern plebeian can expect to live longer than yesterday's queen.
Much of that progress can be attributed to public health interventions: vaccination, flush toilets, better nutrition. But those interventions only take progress so far before we confront the reality of our longer, more comfortable lives: chronic disease. In the 21st century, we'll go beyond, to live healthier, for longer – if we harness the power of two great revolutions.
The first is the genomics revolution. In a decade, the price to sequence a human genome – our unique DNA signature – has plummeted from $US10 million to less than $US1000.That plunge down the cost curve will continue, until genome sequencing is a routine part of care.

The future of precision medicine in Australia

31 Jan 2018
Recent technological advances have enabled assembly of a wide range of data about an individual’s genetic and biochemical makeup, as formed by their genes, environment and lifestyle. While medicine has always had personal and predictive aspects, precision medicine allows health and disease to be viewed at an increasingly fine-grained resolution, attuned to the complexities of both the biology of each individual, and the variation among the population.
ACOLA’s precision medicine project explores the current trends in precision medicine technologies and explores the role that a broader implementation of precision medicine capabilities may play in the Australian context.
Please note: for more information and to access content relating to this report, please visit the ACOLA page here (link is external)

Precision medicine runs risk of overdiagnosis

Ray Moynihan
Published: February 3 2018 - 12:15AM
One of the biggest challenges in medicine is how to offer hope without hype. Designing personalised treatments based on the science of the human genome will doubtless bring benefits, particularly for those with rare genetic conditions. But overpromoting the promise risks a tsunami of unwarranted diagnoses and unnecessary treatment. Without rigorous evaluation, widespread premature implementation of this costly new approach threatens human health and health system sustainability.
The influential Australian Council of Learned Academies published an upbeat report this week on the future of precision medicine, where scientists work to determine the genetic and biochemical makeup of an individual, and doctors use that information to tailor personalised treatments or prevention strategies.
The report intended to examine the opportunities and challenges posed by precision medicine in Australia but it makes only passing reference to the potential harms of screening and diagnosing the genes of healthy people. The very real risk of widespread overdiagnosis is not mentioned once in its 200 pages.

Aussie Helpers urges rural people to 'let their fingers do the talking'

31 Jan 2018, 7:50 p.m.
The new mental health texting service could be useful to groups dealing with cyber-bullying and veterans managing post traumatic stress disorder, as well as rural people isolated from help.
Aussie Helpers is launching a mental health texting service on Thursday morning that it expects will be a lifesaver in rural Australia.
The brainchild of Zimbabwean expat, Dervla Loughnane, the Virtual Psychologist business is already connecting rural people with mental health professionals in a way that offers anonymity, convenience and an instant response.

All-digital governing to save billions and lift online access

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM February 1, 2018

Simon Benson

A cabinet sub-committee will be established to secure billions of dollars in savings as part of a strategy to digitise data across all federal departments and agencies and a push to increase online access to a range of government services.
Mass data currently “hoarded” by government departments will also be made accessible to business under the digital transformation and public sector modernisation committee, to be chaired by ­Michael Keenan, the Human Services Minister and Minister Assisting the Prime ­Minister for Digital Transformation.
The technology driven savings will also include cloud-based ­travel expense management for all government departments. This alone would save more than $55 million in costs around information and communications technology, or ICT.

Govt heightens digital focus, launches secure cloud strategy

Keenan details cabinet committee, new DTA-developed cloud strategy
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 01 February, 2018 12:00
A cabinet committee will focus on ways to further digitise government services and move towards “a 24/7 government that everyone can access from anywhere,” while a new strategy will help further public sector adoption of secure cloud services, according to Michael Keenan who today made his first major address as the minister overseeing digital transformation efforts.
Keenan, who late last year was appointed human services minister and minister assisting the prime minister for digital transformation, revealed details of the initiatives in remarks prepared for the Indonesia–Australia Digital Forum.
Cabinet’s new Digital Transformation and Public Sector Modernisation Committee will be chaired by the minister.

Keenan lays out priorities for modernising APS

The Mandarin / February 1, 2018
Later today, at the Indonesia–Australia Digital Forum in Jakarta, the cabinet minister Michael Keenan will offer the first look at his digital transformation priorities since picking up responsibilities in the latest ministerial reshuffle.
In his own words, what’s coming is a 24/7 government that everyone can access from anywhere: “We are going to improve the experience of people dealing with government and modernise the Australian Public Service by using technology to help people.”
A new sub-committee of Cabinet — the Digital Transformation and Public Sector Modernisation Committee — has been created to achieve this. Keenan will chair.
In his new role as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation, Keenan has four key priorities:

Politicians warned to use higher-level security on social media accounts

  • The Australian
  • 9:36PM January 29, 2018

Rosie Lewis

Federal politicians and their staffers have been advised to take steps to reduce the risk of their Twitter profiles being hacked by a “malicious” new campaign after the accounts of two cabinet ministers “liked” pornography tweets.
In an e-mail sent to MPs and staff today from two of Parliament House’s top technology and cyber security experts, the politicians were told there was “no evidence” the building’s occupants had been targeted.
But the Department of Parliamentary Services said it had become aware of a “significant recent increase” in the hacking of public figures as attackers tricked people into revealing their Twitter passwords.
  • Jan 30 2018 at 10:30 AM

Inquiry could kick big four consultants off the federal government gravy train

An inquiry into the use of consultants by the federal government has set off alarm bells across an industry that has won management consulting-style contracts worth $39.4 billion from Canberra over the past five years.
The use of external advisers, driven in part by on-going caps on the size of the public service, that have helped Australia become the most attractive consulting market in the world for professional service firms.
A Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit has made it plain that there is a perception these firms have had it too good for too long in Canberra and they are going to have to seriously prove their worth if they want too avoid getting booted off the gravy train.
The committee called for the inquiry after seeing the findings of a first-of-its-kind analysis of government procurement contracts by the Australian National Audit Office which highlighted the big taxpayer dollars at stake and how little the government knows about how money is being spent across the departments.

Queensland-based blockchain startup dHealthNetwork looks to raise $150 million in ICO for its decentralised health information platform

Dominic Powell /

A Queensland-based healthtech startup is looking to raise over $150 million via an initial coin offering to help medical patients secure their medical records and fetch second opinions from medical professionals.
DHealthNetwork launched a pre-sale for its token at the end of last week. The startup has an ambitious goal of selling 60 million of its DHT tokens by February 9, followed by two more tranches of 60 million tokens to be sold by March 9. These tokens can be purchased for a price of between 2000 to 1350 DHT per Ether contributed, leading to a potential total raise value of more than $150 million at current prices.
So far, the company has raised just $142 at time of publication, according to the company’s funding contract listed on its website.

Australian Government response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network report: The rollout of the National Broadband Network: 1st Report of the 45th Parliament

19 Jan 2018
The Australian Government notes the report by the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network (the Committee) into the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The Government is disappointed that after considering 191 submissions; holding 15 public hearings; receiving testimony from 179 witnesses; and undertaking three site visits, the Committee’s majority report and recommendations indicates a failure to understand the fundamentals of the NBN. While it does not agree with all of the conclusions and recommendations contained in the majority report, the Government does however note that the report highlights the consumer experience and acknowledges that improving consumer experiences during connection and use of the NBN is an important priority. The Government fully supports the dissenting report given by the Chair of the Committee.

Leaked document details Rudd govt strategy for Telstra NBN negotiations

Cabinet documents outline principles for negotiating any potential investment in NBN Co
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 31 January, 2018 13:19
A document outlining the key points for the Rudd government’s 2009 announcement that it would fund the rollout of a national fibre network and a second document outlining a strategy for negotiating with Telstra and other potential investors in NBN Co are among those released by the ABC.
The ABC today published ‘The Cabinet Files’ — a trove of cabinet-in-confidence documents obtained from locked filing cabinets sold at a Canberra second-hand store — as well as a number of accompanying articles based on the files.
Among the leaked documents is one titled ‘NBN financing options and borrowing and budget impacts’ (PDF). The un-dated document details the Rudd government’s proposed financial commitment to the National Broadband Network including related measures to be included in the 2009-10 budget.

Labor planned to play hardball with Telstra before NBN Co set up

The Labor Government in 2009 appears to have considered Telstra its main obstacle to setting up a company that would build a national broadband network for the country.
Tactics discussed during planning in 2009 before setting up the NBN Co have been revealed in documents that were found in two old locked cabinets.
The ABC obtained the documents from the person or persons who bought these cabinets at a second-hand shop. The broadcaster has made select documents available on its website, presumably the pick of the crop.

UK achieves 95% superfast broadband coverage

The UK has achieved 95% provision of superfast broadband coverage to its residents, reports from a broadband comparison website and the government claim.
The comparison site, thinkbroadband, said that this did not mean that all areas had 95% coverage - in some. like Epson and Ewell, Tamworth, Worthing and Watford, the coverage was higher at 99%.
But in some other areas, like the City of London (50.3%), Orkney Islands (66.8%), Western Isles (71%) and Kingston Upon Hull (71.7%) the figure was lower.

Super fast mobile speeds a new threat to NBN as 5G looms

  • The Australian

Supratim Adhikari

Mobile speeds in Australia will comfortably outstrip those available over the National Broadband Network by the time the network is fully rolled out in 2020, raising the prospect of consumers choosing to give the $50 billion network a miss altogether.
5G, or “5th generation mobile”, is the next telecommunications standard that will power mobile networks, catering for more devices connected to the internet, faster data transfer speeds and cutting the time needed for connected devices to speak with each other.
While much of the conversation on 5G has been mostly theoretical, telcos are working hard to take the technology out of the labs. Singtel Optus is looking to start connecting customers to 5G services by next year, becoming the first Australian mobile operator to set a date on when it starts offering plans.

Key NBN takeaways from ABC's Cabinet documents

Documents published by the ABC have shown what the Australian government was expecting in terms of NBN funding arrangements and negotiations with Telstra back in 2009.
By Corinne Reichert | January 31, 2018 -- 06:35 GMT (17:35 AEDT) | Topic: NBN
Australian Cabinet-in-Confidence documents published by the ABC on Wednesday have shown what the National Broadband Network (NBN) funding and negotiation plans looked like back in 2009.
Two of the documents -- which the ABC obtained after someone purchased a filing cabinet during an ex-government sale that had the papers locked inside -- detailed the government's position on negotiating with Telstra and other potential investors in the project, and with the funding and rollout plans.

The government expected NBN investors

According to Strategy for negotiating with potential investors in NBN Co [PDF], the Australian government was expecting to negotiate on investors wanting part-ownership of the company rolling out the NBN.

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