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, August 06, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 6th August, 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

Opt-out Week 3 and what a fiasco – there is little else to say.
-----  Opt-Out News Start.

Statement on notifiable data breaches

Thursday, August 2, 2018 - 15:15
In the operation of the My Health Record, the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) has reconfirmed there has not been a security or privacy breach, meaning that there has been no unauthorised viewing of any individual’s health information.
There are now close to six million people who have chosen to have a My Health Record.
The system has been operating for six years.
To ensure transparency, the Agency must report notifiable data breaches to the Information Commissioner and will continue to do so.
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State and territory governments reaffirm unanimous support for My Health Record

Health ministers from across Australia unanimously reaffirmed their support for My Health Record and the national opt out approach at the Council of Australian Government Health Council meeting in Alice Springs.
3 August 2018
Health ministers from across Australia unanimously reaffirmed their support for My Health Record and the national opt out approach at the Council of Australian Government Health Council meeting in Alice Springs.
I welcome the bi-partisan support from both Labor and Liberal state governments for this important health reform.
As health ministers noted at the meeting, the expert clinical advice is that My Health Record will deliver better health care for patients.
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Parents encouraged to use e-health records

A day after the opt-out period for the federal government's controversial electronic health system was extended, parents are being urged to learn more about it.
3 August, 2018
Australian parents have been told storing their children's information on the federal government's controversial electronic health system may save their life in an emergency.
The Digital Health Agency behind My Health Record says children are at risk of serious harm if their parents can't remember information such as their allergies and immunisation history, which the system can keep handy.
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Alarming new My Health Record privacy flaw

My Health Record: Sensitive health information could be made available to more than your GP
Sue Dunlevy,
National Health Reporter, News Corp Australia Network
August 3, 2018 10:00pm
A MAJOR privacy flaw has been identified in the $2 billion My Health Record which means podiatrists and dietitians will be able to see if you have a mental illness or sexually transmitted disease.
The former deputy privacy commissioner of NSW and privacy consultant Anna Johnston says she is very concerned the default setting of the My Health Record is open access and it needs to be changed.
Every Australian will get an online My Health Record that will reveal if they have had an abortion, a mental illness, a drug addiction or sexually transmitted disease unless they opt out by November 12.
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Minister wrong on privacy, says News Corp

There have been nine data breaches involving My Health Record to date, claims an article in News media

Health Minister Greg Hunt has on a number of occasions asserted that there have been no breaches of the system as yet.
“Almost a quarter of Australians have a My Health Record and that’s roughly six million Australians, so there have been no releases,” the Minister told ABC News Breakfast’s Michael Rowland on 1 August.
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3 August 2018

ADHA in bid to quell MHR privacy fears

Posted by Julie Lambert
Health Minister Greg Hunt has ordered digital health boss Tim Kelsey to hose down security fears around vulnerable Australians using My Health Record.
“The advice I have is that there are very, very strong protections, but we’re always working with different groups,” the minister said.
“The head of the Digital Health Agency will meet with … those groups and take their concerns very seriously.”
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Data breach; privacy breach? What has gone on with the My Health Record system

By Katherine Gregory on AM
Share
The Federal Government moved this week to improve safeguards around the My Health Record system, telling Australians their private data would remain just that — private.
But is that a promise it can realistically make?
Last year's Information Commission report reveals there have already been a number of breaches of the My Health Record system.
But the Government maintains no-one's privacy was put at risk.
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Labor calls for My Health Record to be suspended

Greg Hunt backs down on My Health Record amid public outcry

  • 8:34AM August 1, 2018
Labor health spokeswoman Catherine King has called for the online My Health Record system to be suspended until privacy concerns can be allayed, despite Health Minister Greg Hunt announcing measures to bolster privacy and security overnight.
Following a public outcry highlighted by 20,000 Australians pulling out of the scheme on the day the three month opt out period began last month, Mr Hunt last night met with Australian Medical Association President Tony Bartone and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners President-elect Harry Nespolon.
The Health Minister agreed to legislate to ensure a court order is required for police or government agencies to gain access to people’s health data, to ensure records are expunged if people opt out of the system, and to discuss extending the three month-opt out period another month to mid November with state and territory health ministers this week.
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My Health Privacy Changes 'Just A Few Band-Aids', More Needed

Josh Butler

Ten daily Senior News Reporter

"It’s a bit of a joke," critics said.

The government's abrupt backdown on certain privacy issues around the My Health Record system is welcome but does not go far enough, according to critics who remain concerned about security of sensitive data.
Health minister Greg Hunt announced on Tuesday that protections would be strengthened around the disclosure of health information from the government database. The My Health Records Act 2012 allows system operators to legally disclose health information if "reasonably necessary" to prevent or investigate crimes, or for "the protection of public revenue" -- but the Australian Digital Health Agency said internal policies, which are superseded by legislation, would require a court order to pass on health info.
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E-health records opt out period extended

The deadline to opt out of the federal government's controversial electronic My Health Records system has been extended by a month.
Marnie Banger
Australian Associated Press August 2, 201811:23am
Australians will have a month longer than planned to opt out of the federal government's controversial electronic health records system.
Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters in Alice Springs, ahead of a meeting with state and territory health ministers on Thursday, that the mid-October opt out deadline has been pushed back.
The move comes after Mr Hunt revealed on Wednesday the My Health Records laws will be changed so police and government agencies will need a court order to obtain patient data.
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Data breaches linked to My Health Record kept secret

by Sue Dunlevy
2nd Aug 2018 3:28 AM
A NEWS Corp investigation can reveal there has already been nine data breaches involving the Federal Government's My Health Record system.
The revelation comes as Health Minister Greg Hunt bowed to mounting public pressure and strengthened privacy provisions relating to accessing the record.
Mr Hunt also announced there would be changes to the deletion of records and also extended the opt-out period after meeting with doctors from the Australian Medical Association and College of General Practitioners on Tuesday night.
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Hunt backs down over My Health Record's patient privacy

Growing backlash prompts government promise to remove legal ambiguity
1st August 2018
Police and government agencies will no longer be able to access a patient's clinical information in My Health Record without a warrant, the Minister for Health has promised.
The billion-dollar system has copped a public backlash over the lower legal thresholds that allow its operator, the Australian Digital Health Agency, to pass on clinical information without court oversight if it “reasonably believes” it is necessary to protect the public revenue or could prevent the breach of any law that imposes a penalty or sanction.
But Minister for Health Greg Hunt has announced the 2012 legislation underpinning third-party access to My Health Record will be changed to “remove any ambiguity”.
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OAIC welcomes strengthening of privacy protections in My Health Records

1 August 2018
Statement from the acting Australian Information Commissioner and acting Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk
I welcome the Government’s decision to strengthen privacy protections under the My Health Records Act.
The proposed amendments to require a court order to release any My Health Record information without consent will create certainty and enhance privacy safeguards for all Australians.
Significantly, the proposed amendment to allow an individual to permanently delete their record will give the community greater control over their health information.
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Labor still wants My Health Record suspended, even after concessions from Greg Hunt

Greg Hunt backs down on My Health Record amid public outcry

Rachel Baxendale

  • August 1, 2018
Former health minister Tanya Plibersek says Labor still wants the online My Health Record program suspended, despite Health Minister Greg Hunt announcing measures to bolster privacy and security overnight.
Following a public outcry highlighted by 20,000 Australians pulling out of the scheme on the day the three month opt out period began last month, Mr Hunt last night met with Australian Medical Association President Tony Bartone and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners President-elect Harry Nespolon.
The Health Minister agreed to legislate to ensure a court order is required for police or government agencies to gain access to people’s health data, to ensure records are expunged if people opt out of the system, and to discuss extending the three month-opt out period another month to mid November with state and territory health ministers this week.
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Govt moves to reinforce My Health Record privacy

By Ry Crozier on Jul 31, 2018 7:00AM

Promises to strengthen laws, let records be deleted.

The government will redraft part of the My Health Record legislation to make it harder for agencies and police to gain access to the contents of an electronic health record.
Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the change on Tuesday night following an emergency meeting with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) over mounting privacy concerns that threaten to derail the My Health Record project.
Hunt said that police and government agencies wanting to access any health record information would now need a court order to access it.
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Health Minister backs down on My Health Record

By Dana McCauley
31 July 2018 — 8:53pm
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has bowed to pressure and agreed to tear up the controversial legislation behind the My Health Record to protect patients from having their medical records accessed by police.
Following crisis talks with the head of the Australian Medical Association in Melbourne on Tuesday night, Mr Hunt confirmed in a statement that the My Health Record Act will be redrafted.
"The amendment will ensure no record can be released to police or government agencies, for any purpose, without a court order," the statement said.
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Doctors to hold crisis talks with Health Minister Greg Hunt over My Health concerns

By Dana McCauley
31 July 2018 — 4:03pm
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt will hold crisis talks with the head of the Australian Medical Association in Melbourne tonight following ongoing concerns about the safety of the system.
Privacy concerns about the My Health Record Act - including the section that empowers authorities to access patient records without a warrant - will be discussed at the meeting, after the association's president, Tony Bartone, last week vowed to do "whatever it takes" to safeguard patients' interests.
It is understood that support for a redrafting of the legislation has grown within the Liberal Party after last weekend's byelections, in which Labor bolstered its position in part by attacking the Turnbull government's record on health.
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Bill Shorten links Cricket Australia furore to My Health Record

  • July 31, 2018
Bill Shorten has linked privacy concerns over the Turnbull government’s My Health Record scheme to allegations the Tasmanian Liberal government leaked personal information about a woman who had attacked their policy on abortion to her employer Cricket Australia.
Angela Williamson, 39, yesterday revealed she had to leave the state to have a pregnancy terminated and was sacked last month by CA after a government staffer alerted cricket authorities to her critical tweet about access to abortion.
Mr Shorten, the federal Labor leader, seized on the news, saying it showed Liberals in both levels of government needed to “smarten up their act” on privacy.
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Australians are 'rightly' concerned about trusting My Health Record, says Privacy Commissioner

By Ben Grubb
Updated31 July 2018 — 2:14amfirst published at 1:00am

Talking points

  • There were 242 breach notifications made in the quarter under the NDB scheme
  • The healthcare industry was the top sector for reporting data breaches
  • The main causes of data breaches were malicious or criminal attacks
  • Human error accounted for 88 breach notifications
  • The notification scheme doesn't paint a full picture of breaches, say experts
Australians are “rightly” concerned about the Turnbull government’s controversial My Health Record scheme and the security and privacy requirements of the record may need to change in order for government to maintain the public's trust, Australia’s Acting Privacy Commissioner says.
In an interview with Fairfax Media, federal Acting Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said she had been in discussions with Health Minister Greg Hunt and the Australian Digital Health Agency, which administers My Health Record, about her concerns with the system.
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Greg Hunt pushed opt-out My Health record on states

Sean Parnell

  • 12:00AM July 31, 2018
The backlash against an all-but-compulsory My Health Record comes 16 months after the commonwealth told the states of the “reach and relative simplicity of national communications, education and readiness” to move to an opt-out model.
Leaked documents suggest the Turnbull government may have underestimated the level of privacy and security concerns over electronic records.
Only two weeks into a three-month opt-out period, key stakeholders want the communi­cations campaign ramped up and the legislation tightened, worried Australians will unnecessarily abandon the scheme.
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Denham Sadler
July 30, 2018

AMA push for MHR changes

Australia’s most powerful doctors' group is urging the Commonwealth to clarify the contradictions between its assertions that no medical information will be passed on to authorities with a warrant and the actual legislation underpinning it.
Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone told the National Press Club last week that he would meet with Health Minister Greg Hunt, calling on government to do “whatever it takes” to remove the ambiguity currently surrounding the MHR service, including potentially amending the legislation.
While Mr Hunt and the agency behind MHR, the Australian Digital Health Agency, have maintained that no sensitive data stored on the electronic record would be handed over to authorities without a warrant, this requirement is not reflected in the legislation.
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Life insurers cautious about My Health Record

BY HARRISON WORLEY  |  MONDAY, 30 JUL 2018   10:55AM
As My Health Record draws criticism and scrutiny, life insurers are cautious as to the merits of the initiative and its potential implications for the industry.
The e-health policy has hogged much media attention in the last fortnight as Federal members of parliament on both sides of the political spectrum voiced concerns about privacy issues; and in the wake of about 20,000 Australians opting out at the first opportunity two Mondays ago.

Currently life insurers are unable to access My Health Record data, alongside health insurers - which have been lobbying the Federal Government for secondary access. Life insurers are cautious as to how the data could be used to improve customer health and insurance efficiencies.
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30 July 2018

Police can access medical data MHR or not

Posted by Felicity Nelson
An examination of the legislation underpinning Medicare Australia has revealed that the precedent for the police accessing MyHealthRecord without a warrant was set a long time ago.
Medicare Australia is legally allowed to share linked PBS and MBS data with law enforcement without a court order, so long as the disclosure is “reasonably necessary” to enforce criminal law, a law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or the protection of the public revenue.
Once linked, PBS and MBS data can tell a very detailed story about an individual’s medical history. 
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State threat to derail My Health Record rollout

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM July 30, 2018

Deborah Cornwall

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles has threatened to derail the federal government’s three month opt-out deadline for the My Health Record in an expected showdown at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Alice Springs this week.
In a letter to federal Health Minister Greg Hunt on Friday, Mr Miles accused him of botching the rollout of the MHR and creating “very serious concerns” about the privacy implications for Australians, including uncertainty about who would be given access to a patient’s private health record.
“You are no doubt also aware of the flood of news stories and opinion urging consumers to opt out for a wide range of reasons, ­including the system being vulnerable to hacking,” Mr Miles said in the letter. “At this point in time, it is clear that the Australian government and ADHA (Australian Digital Health Agency) are failing to adequately address the broader community concerns.”
-----  Non Opt Out News i.e. All The Rest!

“Yet another wake-up call”: Privacy Commissioner releases new data breach report, with health sector top of the list

Lynne Minion | 31 Jul 2018
The healthcare sector has topped the list for data breaches once again, with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner releasing its delayed quarterly report into the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, with most caused by malicious conduct and human error.
According to the report released today, 49 notifications of data breaches in healthcare were made from April to 30 June 2018, surpassing the finance sector’s 36 notifications. A total of 242 notifications were received during the quarter.
Included within the healthcare component were breaches reported by online booking app HealthEngine, which connects to the Federal Government’s My Health Record, and Family Planning NSW.
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Chronic care patients forced to have My Health Records to access government's Health Care Homes program

Lynne Minion | 03 Aug 2018
The Federal Government’s Health Care Homes is forcing patients to have a My Health Record to receive chronic care management through the program, raising ethical questions and concerns about discrimination.
The government’s Health Care Homes trial provides coordinated care for those with chronic and complex diseases through more than 200 GP practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services nationally, and enrolment in the program requires patients to have a My Health Record or be willing to get one.
But GP and former AMA president Dr Kerryn Phelps claimed the demand for patients to sign up to the national health database to access Health Care Homes support is unethical.
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Data tool used to redesign clinical care at Waitemata DHB

Wednesday, 25 July 2018  
eHealthNews editor Rebecca McBeth
Waitemata DHB is using a business intelligence tool to drive the redesign of clinical care.
The board bought the Qlik Sense business intelligence tool in June 2017. Head of analytics Delwyn Armstrong says a key focus of the project is the implementation of change in clinical processes, driven by access to data.
“We started with a strong mandate that the data needed to be used not so much for operational reporting, but for clinicians to help them understand their patient load and patterns of care,” she says.
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  • Updated Aug 3 2018 at 11:00 PM

Why artificial intelligence will have very human frailties

It's 2022 and Australia has its first artificial intelligence scandal. 
A freak storm has just hit Melbourne, and an algorithm designed to help emergency services deal with high volumes of requests for help has a stunning and unusual flaw – calls from men are shown to be getting attention faster than calls from women.
It's an extreme example that would never happen. But when you hear from Catriona Wallace,  the chief executive and founder of ASX-listed Flamingo AI, which develops machine learning software for financial services, you start to think it just could be possible. 
"Ninety per cent of coders who are actually coding and tagging the data that will go into algorithms are male," she told The Australian Financial Review's Innovation Summit this week
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Don’t worry, world-leading AI expert doesn’t know what AI is either

Too much power in hands of too few says former Time Inc data chief JT Kostman
George Nott (Computerworld) 03 August, 2018 12:45
 “On any shortlist I’m considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on applied artificial intelligence,” said JT Kostman at a NetApp breakfast in Sydney yesterday.
The American’s claim has substance. Kostman is a former Time Inc chief data officer, was once Samsung Electronics’ chief data scientist, and says he has advised the US Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the Department of Defense on AI and analytics.
But even he isn’t quite sure exactly what AI is.
“I don’t think anybody really does know what artificial intelligence is. I’m not sure that I’m really sure, what it really means. My definition of AI, truly, I define artificial intelligence as getting computers to do stuff that they do on TV and in the movies. That’s really a great definition of AI. That’s what AI really is,” he says.
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Thousands of SA children's medical test results online for 13 years: SA Health

4th August, 2018.
SA Health has revealed that thousands of children's medical test results have been publicly available online for the past 13 years.
The data with the names, date of birth and test results for about 7,200 pathology tests was embedded in a document on the Women's and Children's Hospital website from 2005.
It was removed in 2006, but two other document-storing websites kept it available until Thursday, when the department's IT security teams asked them to remove the data.
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Private health providers called out in quarterly Australian data breach report

OAIC finds private health service providers and finance are the two most-breached sectors from April to end of June.
By Chris Duckett | July 31, 2018 -- 00:42 GMT (10:42 AEST) | Topic: Security
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released its first full quarterly update since the Notifiable Data Breach scheme (NDB) came into effect in February, and once again, private health continues to be the most breached sector.
For the period April to June, OAIC received 242 notifications, an increase of more than 380 percent compared to the previous period's 63 notifications. One breach impacted over 1 million Australians, the office said, with 52 affecting between 100 and 1,000 people, 55 between 11 and 100 individuals, 42 hitting from two to 10 people, and 51 events affecting a single person.
Nearly half of all notified breaches involved financial details, and almost all involved contact information such as home address, phone number, or email address.
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3 August 2018

ADHA chief’s surprising admission on the MHR

Posted by Jeremy Knibbs
With all the “hoo haa” over the MHR in the last few weeks, you could excuse the Australian Digital Health Agency’s head honcho, Tim Kelsey, for getting just a little rattled when faced with some fast and hard technical questions about the future of the electronic health record.
But in a very small session at this week’s Health Informatics Conference in Sydney, Mr Kelsey said one thing that was either him deflecting on the run, or a pretty big admission that the current iteration of the MHR is nothing like it will be in the near future and a lot of the hard work of the ADHA could soon be redundant.
The whole thing started with a question to the founder of a new health information sharing standard FHIR, which is starting to gain huge traction in the US, and which is being touted as a major piece of the digital health puzzle on efficient and secure health information sharing over the web.
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3 August 2018

Why telehealth still has a long way to go

Posted by Julie Lambert
Seven years after specialists were granted rebates for remote telehealth consultations, rural GPs hope their time has finally arrived to break the access barrier for patients in the bush.
Dr Ramu Nachiappan, a GP in Broken Hill in New South Wales for 27 years, is indignant that general practice has been locked out of technology-aided solutions to the problems of time and distance that impede rural healthcare.
“Medicare’s requirement for physical attendance by GPs is very restrictive of our ability to provide service for rural patients, especially isolated patients and patients who are unable to come at a certain time or have transport problems,” he said.
“In my humble view, when they rolled out video consulting for specialists they should have done the same for GPs. There is no Medicare rebate for a GP to take part in a video consultation except as a chaperone sitting with their patient.
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Navigating mandatory personal data breach notification obligations around the world: what do I need to do?

In February 2018 mandatory personal data breach notification laws were introduced in Australia as part of amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), requiring organisations to notify eligible data breaches to both the impacted individuals and the Australian Information Commissioner. The introduction of mandatory personal data breach notifications reflects a growing global trend towards giving individuals more control and awareness over how organisations that access their personal data behave. This is also reflected in the recent introduction in Europe of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the recent Californian Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, introducing many GDPR like rights for individual consumers in that state from 2020.
The reality for organisations handling personal data is that these laws often reference vague concepts, which may require that different standards of protection and breach notification be applied in each country or region, while potentially exposing the organisation to very significant financial penalties for non-compliance. This makes a difficult task for compliance officers to ensure that relevant regulatory requirements are met. Further complicating the task is the fact that the GDPR (and indeed other privacy regulations) can apply without there being an obvious link to an organisation's day-to- day operations, simply by virtue of where personal data is stored or processed, or where customers reside.
Below is an overview of requirements for notification of personal data breaches in some key jurisdictions.
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Canadian pharmacist snooped in the health records of 46

A pharmacist spied on the electronic health records of people she knew and shared what she saw with her spouse

Catherine Tully, the Information and Privacy Commissioner for the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, has released privacy breach investigation reports regarding the activities of the pharmacist.
On December 21, 2017, she began investigating a series of privacy breaches involving a pharmacist, Robyn Keddy, who was employed as the manager of a rural community pharmacy operated by the Sobeys National Pharmacy Group.
The Commissioner determined that the pharmacist had inappropriately accessed personal health information, including prescription history and medical conditions of 46 individuals over a period of two years.
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Minister sorry after health records found in derelict aged-care building

3 August 2018 — 9:15am
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has promised an investigation after sensitive patient records were found in an abandoned building.
More than 1000 confidential medical records were found strewn around a room at the former site of the Garrawarra Centre for Aged Care in Helensburgh, between Sydney and Wollongong, the ABC reported on Thursday.
"To those people whose medical records were put in such storage arrangements in the early 2000s, I express my sincere apologies and can assure them and their families I will get NSW Health to do whatever I can to rectify the situation," Mr Hazzard said in a statement.
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NSW Government criticised after hundreds of medical files found abandoned in derelict aged care building

3 August, 2018
Privacy advocates are demanding the New South Wales Government explain how hundreds of medical files were left abandoned in a derelict building south of Sydney.

Key points:

  • New South Wales Health says it is investigating the matter
  • It says the site was accessed illegally
  • ABC sources maintain the building was not secured
The privacy breach, uncovered in a triple j Hack and ABC News investigation, is believed to be one of the largest of its kind in Australian history.
The documents date from 1992 to 2002 and were found at the former Garrawarra Centre for Aged Care in Helensburgh.
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Medicare payments overhaul procurement dumped

By Justin Hendry on Aug 3, 2018 7:00AM

Bespoke platform shelved.

The federal government has radically altered plans to overhaul its 30-year-old Medicare payments processing system, opting not to proceed with the planned procurement of a new platform.
The Department of Health has been working to replace the health and aged care payments system since early 2016.
The system currently delivers 600 million payments worth $50 billion every year for Medicare, the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, veterans and aged care recipients.
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Children's Health Qld looks to real-time data analytics

By Ry Crozier on Aug 2, 2018 12:00PM

Powering referral triage, future health policy and more.

Children’s Health Queensland is embarking on a “health intelligence” program of work that aims to bring together real-time data streams to improve clinical and policy decisions.
Chief digital officer Alastair Sharman told iTnews that health intelligence - essentially an umbrella term for data analytics initiatives - is one of four “key streams of work” that the agency has driven over the past few years.
A large part of the momentum for digital transformation at CHQ came from the 2014 establishment of the $1.2 billion Lady Cilento children’s hospital in Brisbane.
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TGA eyes tougher regulation for smartphone health apps

Endocrinologists say most glycaemic control apps pose a risk of inappropriate dosing
31st July 2018
Smartphone apps that offer therapeutic advice, such as insulin dosage calculations, will be assessed by the TGA for safety under a new proposal to protect patients.
The national medicines watchdog is preparing to examine the regulation of health apps following criticism from clinicians that most apps used by patients have not been proven to be efficacious or accurate.
Writing in the MJA, endocrinologists say glycaemic control apps are categorised as Class I (low risk) devices, and therefore escape independent assessment.
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Healthcare start-up Tyde puts emphasis on privacy and security

Supratim Adhikari

  • 12:00AM July 31, 2018
Digital healthcare start-up Tyde has appointed Tyro co-founder Andrew Rothwell as chief operating officer and brought in a new head of people, culture and operations, Reshmi Buthello, as the ­debate around the government’s My Health Record program hits fever pitch.
Tyde, which is one of the four official medical apps connected to the MHR system, raised $3 million in April to support the national rollout of its new mobile platform aimed at helping Australians manage their medical data.
According to Mr Rothwell, Tyde stands apart from its peers not only when it comes to securing the health data, but also on its ­effective use of the data to deliver better patient outcomes.
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https://www.itnews.com.au/news/cyber-attacks-rise-in-australias-data-breach-numbers-499323

Cyber attacks rise in Australia's data breach numbers

By Ry Crozier on Jul 31, 2018 7:08AM

Health sector continues to have most incidents.

Most cyber attacks disclosed as potential data breaches by Australian companies last quarter involved compromised user credentials.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner released its highly-anticipated first full quarter of numbers under the notifiable data breaches (NDB) scheme in the early hours of this morning. [pdf]
The report reveals the OAIC received 242 notifications in the first full quarter of the scheme’s operation.
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Health sector tops the list as Australians hit by 300 data breaches since February

AUSTRALIA introduced mandatory disclosure laws earlier this year — and we now know just how vulnerable our data is.
news.com.au July 31, 20188:10am
HEALTHCARE data is highly coveted by cyber criminals and the health sector is the biggest target of hackers in Australia, according to new data.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has revealed Aussies have been the victim of more than 300 major data breaches this year — with hackers and criminals getting access to the private data of hundreds of thousands of people.
The 305 breaches have taken place in just the past five months, since February 22, when Australia’s new mandatory reporting laws came into force which demand businesses disclose when they have been hacked.
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Health service providers suffer the most data breaches, as overall numbers jump

ABC Science
By technology reporter Ariel Bogle
Australia's health service providers suffered more data breaches than any other sector between April 1 and June 30, 2018, according to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
Out of a total of 242 breach notifications, 49 were reported by the health sector — mostly due to human error.

Key points:

  • The OAIC received 242 data breach notifications between 1 April to 30 June 2018
  • The private health sector reported the most data breaches of all sectors
  • Most reported breaches overall were due to malicious or criminal attacks, followed by human error
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Notifiable Data Breaches second Quarterly report released

Tuesday, 31 July 2018
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has received 242 notifications under the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme in the period 1 April to 30 June 2018, according to the second quarterly statistical report on data breach notifications received under the scheme, released today. This is the first full quarter of operation of the NDB scheme since it commenced on 22 February 2018.
The growing number of notifications under the scheme demonstrates an awareness by entities of their obligations to notify the OAIC and affected individuals where a breach of personal information is likely to result in serious harm. The report provides statistical information on breaches occurring in Australia and the reasons why they happen. Understanding causes will help everyone to take steps to prevent reoccurrence.
Since the scheme commenced on 22 February 2018, the OAIC has received 305 notifications in total.
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Software cuts through costly hospital pharmaceutical procurement

24 July 2018
Software helping select the most cost-effective pharmaceuticals
The University of Sydney has developed a software program which could significantly reduce the amount spent by the nation's hospitals currently estimated at more than three billion dollars a year.
The ground-breaking software, which streamlines the pharmaceutical purchasing process, is also expected to free up hospital staff for activities more closely related to patient care.
The software was developed in conjunction with Sydney’s Westmead Hospital by Dr Aldo Saavedra, a Senior Research Scientist with the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, and Dr Erick Li, a senior lecturer in the Business School’s Discipline of Business Analytics.
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  • Jul 30 2018 at 1:57 PM

Ed Husic's AI centre of excellence to focus on ethical, humanist AI

The Labor party's $3 million pledge for a new artificial intelligence centre of excellence will aim to make Australia a hub of "ethical" AI development at a watershed moment of backlash against the internet giants, opposition spokesman for the digital economy Ed Husic has told The Australian Financial Review Innovation Summit.
Mr Husic said 2018 would be remembered as a "threshold year" in technology as momentous as 2007, when the internet surpassed 1 billion users, the iPhone and the Android operating system were launched, and Airbnb and bitcoin were conceived.
"Ten years later, 2018 has emerged as the threshold year for how​ we use those tools and how they are used on us," Mr Husic said.
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Digital health receives funding boost from Federal Government

King & Wood Mallesons

Australia’s digital health sector received a major boost in April this year when the Federal Government announced a $55 million cash injection to launch the new Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and its programs which will bring together a consortium of more than 60 health, medical technology and pharmaceutical companies, universities and research institutes operating across the health, aged care and disability sectors. Combined with the Government’s investment, the Digital Health CRC will have more than $111 million in cash funding and $118 million in-kind contributions to invest in a range of collaborative research and development programs that are set be rolled out from July 2018.
The research and innovation programs driven by the Digital Health CRC and its partners will focus on “optimising the use of evidence to improve personal healthcare, wellbeing and health and human services policy, planning and management and in doing so advance the Australian economy[1]. More specifically, the Centre’s research agenda will be developed to achieve three major outcomes:
  • Improving the health, welfare, quality of life and wellbeing of citizens;
  • Improving the efficiency and integrity of health services; and
  • Increasing the value of every health dollar spent[2].
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Clinicians can drive innovation in digital health age

Zachary Tan
Raghav Murali-Ganesh
George Margelis
SIMILAR to many other facets of our lives, the delivery of health care is undergoing a period of rapid digital change. The advent of innovative new technologies in health care, including mobile applications, wearable devices and artificial intelligence, has entered mainstream discourse, and health care is often described as the last frontier of “disruption”. Indeed, given time, these technologies have promise in empowering patients and transforming the way we prevent, diagnose and manage disease – fundamentally changing the clinician–patient relationship.
Digital health innovation has a checkered history in delivery. As we enter this period of transformation, we believe that clinicians should be at the forefront of this change. Clinicians, working with other stakeholders, are best placed to ensure that future innovations are safe, effective and genuinely clinically useful.
Call to arms
Clinicians see the inefficiencies that are harming patients daily. Poor information transfer between primary and hospital care, non-adherence with treatment, and poor engagement with chronic disease care are examples in which the correct digital health intervention may reduce preventable patient morbidity and unnecessary health care costs.
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Diabetes apps: regulation concerns grow

Authored by Sarah Colyer
PATIENTS with diabetes should be warned about the potential for insulin dosing errors with glycaemic control smartphone apps, experts warn, as regulators struggle to oversee the rapidly growing sector.
There are over 1500 diabetes apps available online – a number growing faster than any other health care sector, according to Dr Rahul Barmanray and Dr Esther Briganti, Melbourne endocrinologists writing in this week’s MJA.
“Although apps increasingly advise on insulin doses, there is minimal published information on safety and efficacy, despite these apps effectively providing drug treatment recommendations without health care professional oversight,” they wrote.
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  • Updated Jul 29 2018 at 10:00 PM

We're missing a huge health data opportunity, says Daniel Petre

Australia is missing a big opportunity by ignoring the potential for Medicare data and machine learning to transform diagnosis and treatment of common diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, melanoma and oesophageal cancer, says venture capitalist Daniel Petre.
Mr Petre acknowledged valid concerns over health data security, which have flared up because police and tax officials can access health records without a warrant. He said tax officials should never have access to health data and police should need to get a warrant, but the debate about the value of a repository of health data had "lost all perspective".
"If I fall sick I want the doctor I am seeing to know everything about every treatment I have ever had," said Mr Petre. "The more she knows the better the chances are that I will get an effective diagnosis and treatment. In terms of data use by third parties there is a big difference between someone getting my health data with my name attached and someone getting health data on a 50-year-old male and using this data to create predictive diagnosis tools that will save lives."
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The robot will see you now: could computers take over medicine entirely?

They already perform remotely controlled operations – now robots look set to be the physicians of the future
Hands-off healing: urologist Greg Shaw with the £1.5m machine which helps the UCH team do 600 prostate operations a year. Photograph: Jude Edginton for the Observer
Like all everyday miracles of technology, the longer you watch a robot perform surgery on a human being, the more it begins to look like an inevitable natural wonder.
Earlier this month I was in an operating theatre at University College Hospital in central London watching a 59-year-old man from Potters Bar having his cancerous prostate gland removed by the four dexterous metal arms of an American-made machine, in what is likely a glimpse of the future of most surgical procedures.
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Enjoy!
David.

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