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, September 03, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 3rd September, 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

A quiet week – other than a huge amount more commentary on the various ins and outs of the myHR. A few bits of other news as well!

ACT Health hunts down next pathology system

By Justin Hendry on Aug 29, 2018 6:50AM

Wastes no time after budget windfall.

ACT Health has kicked off the search for the territory’s new pathology laboratory information system that was funded in this year’s budget.
The system will replace the existing Kestrel pathology laboratory software used by the ACT hospitals to conduct more than two million group tests each year.
The health directorate was funded with $18 million, including $6.7 million in capital, in the June territory’s budget, part of a $40 million windfall to replace several core IT systems.

Vic to start prescription medicine monitor

The Victorian government is rolling out a prescription medication monitoring system in the state's west to help combat addiction to drugs such as opioids.
Georgie Moore
Australian Associated Press September 1, 201810:59am
Real-time prescription medicine monitoring will be rolled out in Victoria to help combat doctor-shopping and opioid misuse.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the system, to be used by prescribing doctors and pharmacists, will be rolled out in western Victoria from Monday and the rest of the state from early next year.
It's aimed at combating the misuse of medications such as opioids and benzodiazepines, following the deaths of 417 Victorians last year associated with prescription drugs.
"It helps us ensure that we're not having those very, very dangerous cocktails of prescription medicines being given out to patients," Ms Hennessy told reporters on Saturday.

From gag orders to dubious data: how your hospital keeps you in the dark

By Farrah Tomazin & Tammy Mills
30 August 2018 — 3:35pm
There’s a hospital in Victoria where the chance of something going tragically wrong is significantly higher than in the hospital across town.
But you’re not allowed to know which one it is, because complication rates are hidden from the very people who need them most: patients and doctors.
Complications can involve shocking incidents, such as the cluster of potentially preventable baby deaths at Bacchus Marsh Hospital in 2013 and 2014, or less scandalous problems, like a basic infection contracted after an operation.

Cheap and cheerful: those medication compliance apps have some value

Basic versions are just as good as the advanced ones
28th August 2018
They’re low-cost, commonplace and have now been shown to be an effective way to improve heart medication compliance, a study shows.
Mobile phone apps are a simple way of improving adherence to medication regimes, and they don’t need to have whistles and bells to be effective, according to the University of Sydney researchers.
They randomised more than 160 patients with coronary heart disease attending a large Sydney hospital (average age 58, 88% male) into three groups, comparing adherence in a usual care group with those supported to download and use medication apps.

Garvan Institute revamps HPC cluster

By Matt Johnston on Aug 29, 2018 12:01AM

Preferencing FPGAs over GPUs.

Sydney’s Garvan Institute for Medical Research has revealed efforts to revamp its Dell EMC high performance computing (HPC) cluster as it probes deeper into the human genome and the tantalising possibilities of personalised medicine.
“When you think about it, every disease comes down to DNA,” said Garvan’s chief of informatics Dr Warren Kaplan at the Dell Technologies Forum in Sydney on Tuesday.
This includes genetic illnesses, how viruses or bacteria interact with their hosts, or even how individuals respond differently to medicines.
And in order to unravel the secrets in the double helix, you need a lot of compute power.

Garvan Institute eyes FPGA boost to genomics research

Researchers at a leading genomics research institute will take advantage of the parallel processing capabilities of FPGAs
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 29 August, 2018 00:01
The parallel processing capabilities of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are set boost to the efforts of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research as it works to understand the human genome.
The Garvan Institute is one of Australia’s highest-profile biomedical research institutes and a leader in genomics — a key component of precision medicine: The idea of delivering medical treatment specifically tailored to a particular individual.
Advances in computing have dramatically reduced the cost and time it takes to sequence a genome, from close to US$3 billion and 10 years for the Human Genome Project to today where Garvan can sequence around 50 genomes a day for US$1000. However, the institute looks set to speed up the process even further following a significant expansion of its high-performance computing (HPC) cluster.

Dutton is Morrison’s cyber man

Ministerial reshuffle appears to deprioritise cyber security, digital transformation
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 27 August, 2018 09:17
The government no long has a dedicated cyber security minister, with responsibility for information security policy being the domain of the minister of home affairs.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday unveiled his ministry, revealing that Peter Dutton had been restored to the position of minister for home affairs. David Coleman has been appointed minister for immigration, citizenship and multicultural affairs.
Angus Taylor, previously minister for law enforcement and cyber security, has been appointed energy minister.

Cyber security and digital transformation ministries scrapped

By Justin Hendry on Aug 27, 2018 7:00AM

Roles deleted from ScoMo's cabinet.

Australia is without a dedicated Cyber Security Minister for the first time in two years after Prime Minister Scott Morrison removed the role from his first ministerial line-up. 
Changes to the cabinet unveiled by the newly appointed PM on Sunday afternoon deletes any mention of the cyber security remit from the ministry, effectively demoting its importance after it was heavily pushed by Malcolm Turnbull.
The removal of the cyber ministry comes as the government is preparing to introduce controversial legislation to crack down on encrypted communication services, which could require service providers to weaken the security of their services.
The cyber security ministerial role - a key action of the national cyber security strategy - was introduced in July 2016, with the appointment of Dan Tehan as Minister Assistant the Prime Minister for Cyber Security.

Deloitte to upgrade DHS child support system

By Justin Hendry on Aug 27, 2018 12:00PM

But which system remains unclear.

The Department of Human Services will spend the next six months working with Deloitte to upgrade the country’s beleaguered child support IT system.
The big four consultancy firm was recently handed a $6.5 million deal to help modernise the system, which comprises of a legacy ‘Cuba’ back-end system and newer year-old front-end ‘Pluto’ system.
The work follows on from Deloitte's assessment the Pluto rollout after the department paused major development work on the system last November.

New MEDi robot to help kids with their treatment

Released 24/08/2018
The Centenary Hospital for Women and Children has welcomed ‘MEDiZen’, the first NAO humanoid robot with MEDi applications in a paediatric ward in Australia.
‘MEDiZen’ is programmed to help our youngest patients return to being fighting fit by calming and distracting them during medical procedures.
In welcoming ‘MEDiZen’ to the Centenary Hospital today, Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris said that the use of the technology was found to significantly improve the hospital experience for young patients.

Special report: E-health play MedAdvisor has signed a deal with Australia’s biggest provider of pharmacy services to private hospitals.

The deal with HPS — a subsidiary of healthcare giant EBOS — will deliver a digital solution to help patients and medical practitioners better manage medication and access to medical records.
MedAdvisor (ASX:MDR) markets an app that tracks medications and scripts for patients and connects to doctors and pharmacists without the hassle of juggling paper scripts.
It’s estimated half of medication errors occur at a patient’s “transition of care” from one specialist to another. Errors often result from a lack of access to accurate information and medical records.

Centre for Robotic Vision uses bots to cull starfish

  • 12:00AM August 30, 2018
While some fear artificial intelligence is preparing to take over the world, Australian scientists are using AI and robots to save it.
Researchers at the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision are using the crown-of-thorns starfish robot, or COTSbot, to manage the species that is devastating the Great Barrier Reef.
COTSbot uses computer vision to locate starfish and inject them with a toxin. The robot moves above the coral, keeping a map of its path and a list of starfish it has injected.
These robots “see” and adapt to their environment. The COTSbot is 100 per cent vision guided, the centre’s chief operating officer Sue Keay says.

Small businesses face “devastating” consequences from breaches every day: expert

CarbonCore small-business service driven by consultants’ past experiences in cybersecurity incident recovery
Watching one small business after another get destroyed by cybersecurity breaches motivated the creation of a security management portal specifically for small businesses, the head of security consultancy Enex Carbon said as the Melbourne-based firm took the wraps off of its new CarbonCore small-business cybersecurity solution this week.
“We have been involved from a professional-services perspective when these businesses get impacted by cybersecurity,” CEO Mark Jones told an audience that included Victorian minister for small business, innovation and trade Philip Dalidakis and AustCyber CEO Michelle Price.

The case for sharing health data

Tuesday, 28 August 2018  
Digital Vision: A regular column by Ann-Marie Cavanagh, Ministry of Health
It is important to strike the right balance between access to information and constraints on information sharing, especially if we are seriously considering the creation of a national health information platform. 
There is no doubt that data is a valuable currency in this modern, digital age. However, as we have seen recently with some social media organisations, the power of data can be misused unless the right controls and foresight are in place. But what about health information?
A person’s health information is some of the most valuable data that is held about them – it is made up of sensitive, private details about their health and wellbeing, treatment and care. At every point of contact with the healthcare system, health information is recorded about a person.

HDC says DHB’s weak IT systems a “major risk to patients”

Tuesday, 28 August 2018  
eHealthNews editor Rebecca McBeth
The inability of Wairarapa DHB’s IT system to allow for electronic sign-off of results presented a major risk to patients, a new report from the Health and Disability Commissioner says.
The report identifies a weak and aged IT system as key to the DHB failing to provide an elderly man with reasonable care and skill, and therefore that the Commission found the board had breached the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights.
It details how DHB staff did not pick up on the man’s cancer symptoms for several months because the DHB did not have a clear, effective and formalised system in place for the reporting and following up of test results.

Why this under-the-radar tech stock could light up in the market in FY19 

Tech and software solutions provider Citadel Group Ltd (ASX: CGL) has had a fantastic year. The company, which specialises in IT security and data management, generated record revenues for FY18 of $108.5 million. And net profit for the year was up 26% versus FY17 to $19.4 million. 
The growth was driven by a record number of new and extended contracts in FY18 that together brought in $74 million.
Most contract wins were for its flagship Citadel-IX cloud-based enterprise information management platform. The platform allows clients to securely access or transfer proprietary and sensitive information remotely.  

Vodafone and TPG confirm plan to merge

New group to be named ‘TPG Telecom Limited’ and be listed on the ASX
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 30 August, 2018 08:40
Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG have agreed to a “merger of equals” the companies announced this morning.
The merged group will be owned 49.9 per cent by TPG shareholders and 50.1 per cent by VHA shareholders: Vodafone and Hutchison Telecommunications Australia.
The new ASX-listed group will be named ‘TPG Telecom Limited’ and have approximately 20 per cent of the Australian mobile market share and 22 per cent of the fixed line broadband market share. Together, the new company would have some 6.4 million mobile subscribers and 1.9 million fixed line broadband customers.

Turnbull's tech legacy: the MTM (Malcolm-technology mix) NBN

Whenever a prime minister departs for good, there is talk of his or her legacy. And this time it is no different; in the case of Malcolm Turnbull, who was scythed down last week by right-wing ideologues in his own party, that talk has already begun. But Turnbull has little to show on the tech front, even though he has often been lauded as a politician who "gets tech".
Every resident of this big brown land who is now struggling with the horrible reality of using fibre-to-the-node and HFC as the means for their NBN connections will, no doubt, remember Turnbull with distaste.
He was the man who brought in what I call the Malcolm-technology mix — what he called the multi-technology mix — after he was made communications minister in 2013 by Tony Abbott. His stance towards the NBN — indeed, the party's stance — was foreshadowed by the fact that the policy launch during the election campaign was held at Foxtel Studios - a property owned by Rupert Murdoch, the fear of whom has driven much of the broadband policy (or more accurately the lack of it) in Coalition ranks since the days of John Howard.

Labor says new ACMA report shows NBN 'a nightmare for small business'

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has released a new report entitled "NBN consumer experience: Households and businesses – the end-to-end journey", and Labor sees bad news. 
The new report reveals some worrying statistics abut NBN reliability for small businesses.
Labor isn't traditionally seen as the party of small business, but when there's an opportunity to savage the Liberal Party that is traditionally seen as the party of small business, there's clearly an opportunity to strike hard – especially with the recent political leadership ructions in the government still reverberating.

Completing build of NBN to cost an extra $2bn

  • August 31, 2018
NBN Co has raised the peak funding needed to finish building the National Broadband Network from $49 billion to $51 billion, to cover for the suspension of services over the hybrid coaxial fibre (HFC) portion of the NBN and increased investment in fixed wireless services.
The company also expects the internal rate of return (IRR) to land at 3.2 per cent, on the lower end of the previously flagged guidance of 3.2 per cent to 3.7 per cent.
NBN Co’s latest corporate plan, covering full year 2019-22, forecasts total revenue at $3.9bn in full year 2020, down from the previous guidance of $4.9bn, again on the back of the HFC pause and NBN Co’s decision to temporarily discount wholesale prices.

Complaints way down as NBN gets up to speed

  • By John Stanton
  • 12:00AM August 30, 2018
It has been one of the toughest years in recent memory for the Australian telecommunications sector, and for some of its customers. In an environment marked by fierce competition, pressure on margins and the most disruptive network event in a generation, delivering an excellent consumer experience became more challenging for Aussie telco service providers, large and small.
It was never in doubt that the task of moving the national population and their telco services to a new network and new technologies would be difficult. Some mistakes were made by a range of players, co-ordination across a more complicated supply chain was not always perfect and the industry encountered thousands of situations where a combination of technical and other factors created the need for bespoke customer solutions, outside the capacity of standard procedures to handle.
Complaint volumes rose after four years of consistent reductions, and the federal government reacted by directing the industry regulator, the ACMA, to implement a slew of new regulation, covering complaint handling and service continuity.

NBN Co says rollout by 2020, but HFC, wireless take a toll

The rollout of Australia's national broadband network will be completed by 2020 as has been repeatedly stated, the company behind the rollout, NBN Co, said during the presentation of its corporate plan for 2019-2022 on Friday.
The presentation marked the change of leadership from Bill Morrow to Stephen Rue in the role of chief executive. The only mention of Morrow was by Communications Minister Mitch Fifield during his introductory remarks.
But earlier advertised targets have been compromised to some extent by the travails of the HFC network — activations were suspended in November last year and only resumed recently — and also issues dogging the fixed wireless network.

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