Quote Of The Year

Quotes Of The Year - 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, April 23, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 23rd April, 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

Really a very quiet week and we have Anzac Day coming up so there is going to be a rather divided week again.
I wonder what the ADHA is up to or have they updated their Board notes by now?

Healthcare data a growing target for hackers, cybersecurity experts warn

ABC Science
By technology reporter Ariel Bogle
In 2016 a Californian hospital desperately paid $US17,000 in bitcoin as ransom to a hacker who had seized control of its computer systems.
But in making the payment, the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Centre unwittingly helped make the healthcare sector a growing target for hackers, says a leading cybersecurity expert.
"They paid the ransom and they were public about it," said Denise Anderson, president of the US National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Centre.
"It painted a target on the back of healthcare"

Captain courageous: New SA Health head announced to bring 'stability' and oversee EPAS review

Lynne Minion | 20 Apr 2018
The incoming head of SA Health Dr Chris McGowan will need to hit the ground running to solve problems in South Australia’s health system and introduce a new era of stability, the state’s Australian Medical Association has said, following news of the appointment of the Silver Chain CEO.
SA Premier Steven Marshall announced today that McGowan will be taking on the role at the helm of the largest department in the state government, and AMA State President Associate Professor William Tam described it as a challenging and extremely important role.
“As everyone knows, there have been big changes in SA and big projects – the RAH move, Transforming Health, EPAS and, in the future, the WCH move. We’ve seen major upheavals and a lot of turnover in senior roles in SA Health. We’ll definitely be looking for more stability across the system,” Tam said.

Do online doctor ratings have any effect?

19 April 2018


A team of researchers have tried to shed some light on the issue.
The dystopian TV series Black Mirror once featured an episode called ‘Rate Me’ that explored a world — not too far in the future — in which everybody rated every interaction they had with another human being via a smartphone app.
The 1-5 star rating was used as a real-time reflection of each individual’s worth, decided collectively by their friends, family and strangers, with disastrous results for some.
Although the series is science fiction, it’s just one step further from where we are today with the rise of online ratings systems. Whether it’s music, restaurants, insurance policies or doctors, people can rate almost anything online, and base their life choices on the views and recommendations of others.

Forrest launches global database to fight cancer

  • The Australian
  • 6:00AM April 20, 2018

Sarah-Jane Tasker

Billionaire Andrew Forrest has launched the Universal Cancer Databank, a global data sharing project aimed at breaking the gridlock on the most deadly cancers.
Mr Forrest launched the new project in London at the House of Commons with Baroness Tessa Jowell, a former British secretary of state for culture, media and sport. The Baroness, who is suffering from a rare brain tumour known as glioblastoma, became the world’s first cancer patient to give her medical data to the new global databank.
“It is my hope that through my cancer journey and sharing of my data, we will be able to develop better treatments for cancer and speed up the discovery of new ones,” Baroness Jowell said.
New My Health Record Website

What is My Health Record?

My Health Record is an online summary of your health information. You control what goes into your record, and who is allowed to access it. Share your health information with doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers from anywhere, any time.

Learn more about My Health Record


Gold standard: the role of Standards Australia in digitising healthcare

Bronwyn Evans | 17 Apr 2018
Standards Australia has been developing standards for 96 years across a number of industries and sectors with the support of over 5000 contributors. Each standard developed over these years has impacted Australian life to a different extent, none more so than in the health sector. However, in recent years there has been a rapid increase in technological advancement in the health sector with a growing reliance on digital practices.
Security accompanying growth

In line with the fast-paced improvement in technology, there is an equally strong appreciation and understanding of the need for standards-based security around patient information: how it is stored, how it is accessed and how it is shared across, and beyond, the healthcare sector.
While there is broad agreement of the need for a better exchange of clinical information, it is vital to ensure that not only are systems and the information within them connected but they’re connected securely.
This means consideration must be given to the security of patient records and record messaging. Consideration must also be given to the security of health-related payments to patients and practitioners, the security of patients’ medical devices and the information captured by and stored within them.
April 16 2018 - 10:22AM

Why you should be thinking about your end of life

·         Jason Malone
This week is Advance Care Planning Week. For many of us, advance care planning is not a concept we have ever heard of. Although expectant parents often go through an often exhaustive process of preparing for the birth of a child — going to classes, talking to family, making a birth plan — when it comes to death there is little planning and very little conversation.
Interestingly, 59 per cent of Australians have a will in place to determine how their property will be divided after they die, and 30 per cent have appointed a Power of Attorney to make financial decisions if they lose the capacity to do so. However, new research just published in the Internal Medicine Journal shows few Australians have drawn up plans for the treatment they want – or don’t want – at the end of life.
Advance Care Planning Week aims to change that. It is all about raising awareness of the fact that you can choose, right now, what you want in the future as you approach end of life, and capture those choices in an Advance Care Directive as a road map for your future treatment.
April 19 2018 - 8:30PM

Opinion | Never too early for the difficult ‘end of life’ conversation

·         Kate Munro
NEVER TOO EARLY: Everyone should have a plan for what they would like to happen in the final stages of their life, Kate Munro says.
In the event that you become too sick to speak for yourself – who would you like to speak for you?
Have you spoken to that person about the things you’d like to happen?

Australian Government commits funding for Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre

By: Priyankar Bhunia
Published: 15 Apr 2018
The Digital Health CRC is seeking to improve health outcomes for Australians through the use of digital technologies which can improve access to the right health care, lower costs and increase understanding and awareness.
The Australian Government has committed A$55 million over 7 years in funding over a period of 7 years for a Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). Government and industry partners will contribute a total of A$174.2 million in cash and in-kind over the period.
The Digital Health CRC is seeking to improve health outcomes for Australians through the use of digital technologies which can improve access to the right health care, lower costs and increase understanding and awareness. It seeks to empower consumers; help understand and manage health risks of individuals and communities; support clinical practice; improve system efficiency and access to quality care.


New CRC pitching hard for research students

The Digital Health CRC launched Friday with big announcements about the way it will use data digitally delivered and analysed to improve heathcare and profitability.
There is a plethora of partners, 84 all up, from government, industry plus 16, no less!, universities. Given the size of the venture, there is also a bucket of money to spend over the project’s seven year life, $50m from the feds plus $110m in cash and $118m in kind from partners.
The new CRC emerges from the health quality market programme of the Capital Markets CRC which developed data analytics to address, fraud, waste and errors in healthcare.
This is a professionally packaged CRC, carefully targeting benefits for participants and engaging with the government’s applied research agenda.

Some findings from my research on Australians’ use of digital health and self-tracking technologies

Today I am giving a keynote presentation at the Australian Telehealth Conference 2018 in Sydney. I am talking about the findings of four empirical projects I have conducted over the past three years on Australians’ use of digital health and self-tracking technologies.
Here are some of the key findings I will be discussing.
Women’s Use of Apps and Other Digital Media for Pregnancy and Parenting Project
This project involved two parts: an online survey completed by 410 women around Australia and a focus group study involving women living in Sydney. All participants were either pregnant or had at least one child aged 3 years or under at the time of the research.

Research planning next step at new digital health co-op

Aged care and retirement living providers and an industry peak are among 80 members of a new collaboration tasked with growing the digital health industry.
The Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre will invest more than $200 million towards developing and testing digital health solutions to assist health and aged care services, hospitals and consumers, it announced on Friday.
The Digital Health CRC, which was one of four new CRCs announced by the Federal Government last week, will have at least $111 million in cash funding, including a $55,000 grant from the Commonwealth, and $118 million in-kind funding over its proposed seven-year lifetime.
The centre will take a collaborative approach to research and development programs involving 40 government and commercial organisations across the health, aged care and disability sectors, 24 established and start-up technology, advisory and investment companies and 16 Australian universities.

New app makes taking medicine fun and games

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM April 16, 2018

Sarah-Jane Tasker

Sydney company Perx Health has secured the backing of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer for the health tech start-up’s novel app that encourages patients to stick to their medication.
Hugo Rourke and Scott Taylor, both 27, created the company two years ago after developing an app that incentivises people through games and rewards to regularly take medication.
“We founded the company in 2016 out of a frustration with our own family members not developing healthy habits around their medication and struggling to engage daily,” Mr Rourke said.

Australian Peter Ford wins Prince Andrew’s pitching event

  • The Australian
  • 8:51PM April 17, 2018

Chris Griffith

Jacquelin Magnay

Australian inventor and former TV anchor Peter Ford has won a prestigious award pitching in a technology competition initiated by The Duke of York.
Mr Ford is chief executive of Control Bionics, which develops devices that let almost paralysed people communicate with the world around them, despite their inability to move or talk.
Originally known as NeuroSwitch and later as NeuroNode, his device can pick up tiny movements of a muscle and synchronise them with a cursor shining up and down the rows of a virtual keyboard.
Motor neurone disease/ALS sufferers and those paralysed by congenital illnesses who still have some small muscle movement can then communicate with the world using text-to-synthesised voice technology.

The changing tune of mechanical voices

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM April 19, 2018

Chris Griffith

The days of severe degenerative disease sufferers such as the late Stephen Hawking using a monotonic machine-sounding voice may be over.
In a breakthrough involving an Australian company, deep learning technology is being used to clone the original voice of those with motor neurone disease, allowing them to be heard in their own voice after they can no longer speak as the disease spreads.
While voice cloning is not new, researchers say the breakthrough is achieving this more readily than before. The technology involves two to three hours of taking voice samples in the early days of the disease and, using deep learning algorithms, identifying the individual attributes and tones that makes that voice unique.

Israel innovation nation: OrCam offers vision-impaired a world of hope

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM April 19, 2018

Andrew White

The technology developed at Mobileye to help vehicles avoid collisions and drive themselves already holds the promise of safe, autonomous mobility for able and disabled people alike.
But the next breakthrough in Professor Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram’s new project, OrCam, could bring that mobility down to a more personal level for people with vision impairment.
OrCam has developed a wearable electronic aid not much bigger than a packet of chewing gum that can help vision-impaired people read text, recognise faces and even recognise barcodes, currency, credit and loyalty cards to help with shopping.

Orion releases update of patient care system

New Zealand-based global healthcare provider Orion Health has released a new version of its Enterprise 18.1 patient care solution which it says is designed to help hospitals operate more efficiently.
“In a modern hospital, enabling timely and appropriate care is critical,” said Dr. Dave Dembo, General Manager Orion Health.  
“Often there are multiple care teams involved in the care of a single patient, who need access to a holistic, up-to-date overview of the patient in real-time. Orion Health Enterprise and the updated release provides a diverse set of features for the treatment and management of patients, that takes us one step further in our effort to enable the delivery of seamless patient care.”
  • Apr 17 2018 at 11:39 AM

Spike in telco, NBN complaints triggers review

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has warned telcos they could face fines and compensation payments as part of a review of complaints handling announced by the federal government.
Senator Fifield wants a review into timeframes for connections and repairs, customer contracts, billing and debt management to be completed before the end of 2018, with the size and structure of the industry ombudsman also set to be scrutinised.
The review was announced after almost 85,000 complaints were reported in the last six months of 2017 and amid concern over services delivered from the National Broadband Network.

NBN complaints keep going up

By Ry Crozier on Apr 17, 2018 12:01AM

But fewer involve NBN Co directly.

Complaints about NBN services look set to easily pass the mark set last financial year, though NBN Co says they represent far fewer problems it has to deal with directly.
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) logged 22,827 gripes about “services delivered over the national broadband network” in the final six months of 2017.
To put that in perspective, the TIO received 27,195 NBN-related complaints in total from July 2016 to the end of June 2017.

NBN Co has 'under 500' congested fixed wireless cells

By Ry Crozier on Apr 16, 2018 12:01PM

Suspends exploration of higher speed services.

NBN Co has confirmed the number of fixed wireless cells that it classifies as congested is somewhere “less than 500” nationwide.
The network builder last month said that “around six percent of fixed wireless cells” are congested enough in the evening peak to cause average speeds to fall under 6Mbps per user.
With “about 7000 cells in the network”, the number of those impacted by congestion is somewhere less than 500, chief network engineering officer Peter Ryan told a senate estimates committee last week.

NBN to push new bundled wholesale pricing model live in May

New products combine capacity and access charges
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 16 April, 2018 00:01
NBN will launch its new bundled wholesale products in May, the company announced today.
The new pricing model is intended to help minimise network congestion by bundling access and capacity charges into a single product for the network operators’ customers — the retail service providers (RSPs) who sell services to the public.
Until now, NBN has charged separately for access (AVC — a charge per end user based on the wholesale speed of a service) and capacity (CVC — the capacity purchased by an RSP that’s shared between all of its users).

Take-up of high speed NBN plans doubles after discounts

By Jennifer Duke
16 April 2018 — 12:05am
Australians moving onto the National Broadband Network are now more than twice as likely to be on a 50Mbps speed plan or higher than in 2017, however low speeds are still the most popular.
The NBN Co's internal data shows an improvement in customers moving onto higher speed plans.
A major issue during the roll out of the network has been the 85 per cent of Australians choosing cheap low-speed tiers of 25Mbps or 12Mbps,  but aggressive discounts on the prices charged by the NBN Co as the wholesaler has moved the dial to 64 per cent, internal data released on Monday shows.

Octopuses are from space, say scientists

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM April 14, 2018

Graham Lloyd

The evolution of life on Earth was spurred on by the bombardment from space of comets carrying viral genes and frozen eggs of complete species such as the octopus, a new multi-author paper has claimed.
Published in Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, the paper looks at decades of ­research into cosmic biology.
It coincides with another peer-reviewed article by Russian scientists that found cosmic dust taken in swabs from the outside of the international space station contained DNA ­sequences typical of many terrestrial and ocean bacteria on Earth. The race is on to find out how it got there and was able to survive.

NASA launches life hunting satellite

  • The Australian
  • 8:53PM April 19, 2018

Sian Powell

The search for life in space will get a boost from NASA’s newest ­planet-hunting satellite, known as TESS, now launched into space to find distant planets that may be potentially life-supporting.
TESS, or the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, was lifted into the skies on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket yesterday.
In two months, it will have reached its planned orbit, all its instruments will have been checked, and its two-year mission will begin, hunting for habitable worlds and, potentially, alien life. On its journey through space, TESS will collect 27 gigabytes of data each day in its search for unknown planets in Earth’s solar neighbourhood.

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