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, October 22, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 22nd October, 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

It has mostly been about the release of the Senate Inquiry into the myHR and the shocking audit report on the NSCR as not really delivered by Telstra Health.
Other bits and pieces as well.

Government should consider tearing up Telstra cancer contract: Inquiry

Still no go-live date for bowel cancer screening register
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 18 October, 2018 14:03
The Department of Health should consider terminating its contract with Telstra Health to operate two cancer screening registries, a parliamentary committee has concluded.
Telstra’s health arm in May 2016 was awarded a five-year, $220 million contract to establish and operate the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR).
In the wake of the announcement there was controversy over having a for-profit entity operating the new service.
When the project was first announced in 2015, the then health minister Sussan Ley said that it would replace eight separate state and territory cervical screening registers and “an outdated, paper-based, bowel screening register which has created a fragmented system”.

Audit committee suggests Telstra Health contract termination over cancer screening register delay

The Department of Health should consider terminating its AU$220 million contract with Telstra Health over delivering the long-delayed national cancer screening registers, the joint audit committee has recommended.
By Corinne Reichert | October 18, 2018 -- 03:04 GMT (14:04 AEDT) | Topic: Mobility
A joint audit committee has suggested that delays in delivering cervical and bowel cancer screening registers by Telstra Health could result in a termination of the AU$220 million contract, or with penalties to be paid by the provider.
In Report 472: Commonwealth Procurement -- Second Report Inquiry based on Auditor-General's reports 9 and 12 (2017-18) and 61 (2016-17) [PDF], published on Thursday, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit made several recommendations to the Department of Health.
These included reporting to the committee on whether due to the "serious underperformance by Telstra Health" the Commonwealth should terminate the contract and "pursue other options for either or both registers", which were meant to be delivered by May 1, 2017, and March 20, 2017.

Government should consider tearing up Telstra cancer contract: Inquiry

Still no go-live date for bowel cancer screening register
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 18 October, 2018 14:03
The Department of Health should consider terminating its contract with Telstra Health to operate two cancer screening registries, a parliamentary committee has concluded.
Telstra’s health arm in May 2016 was awarded a five-year, $220 million contract to establish and operate the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR).
In the wake of the announcement there was controversy over having a for-profit entity operating the new service.
When the project was first announced in 2015, the then health minister Sussan Ley said that it would replace eight separate state and territory cervical screening registers and “an outdated, paper-based, bowel screening register which has created a fragmented system”.

Telstra Health: Cancer screening register rollout delay could have put women at risk

Sue Dunlevy, National health correspondent, News Corp Australia Network
October 18, 2018 6:31pm
THE extended delay in rolling out a new cervical cancer register has seen a Senate committee raise questions about whether up to 80 cancer cases may have gone undetected.
A unanimous Senate inquiry into the scandal has slammed the performance of cancer screening register Telstra Health, and asked the government to consider cancelling its $220 million contract with the company citing serious under performance in delivering the vital scheme.
It comes after an Auditor General’s investigation found evidence senior health department officials involved in the decision to award the contract failed to declare their Telstra shares as a potential conflict of interest.
The Senate inquiry found the tender evaluation process was so flawed the department could not rule out the possibility that Telstra Health may not have even won the contract if the department had followed its own tender evaluation plan.

Telstra could lose $220m cancer register contract

By Ry Crozier on Oct 18, 2018 3:07PM

Joint committee asks Health to examine its options.

The Department of Health has been asked to consider terminating Telstra’s $220 million contract for the late-running national cancer register.
The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit also suggested Health could consider pursuing damages against the telco “given the significant extra costs incurred” as a result of delays.
“The committee recommends that the Department of Health give consideration and report back to the committee on whether, in the circumstances of such serious underperformance by Telstra Health, it may be in the Commonwealth’s interests to terminate the contract and pursue other options” for the register’s build, it said. [pdf]
The committee also asked Health to provide any advice it had sought or received on either contract termination or the pursuit of damages.

ADHA's non-process for releasing My Health Record data revealed

Australian Digital Health Agency documents obtained under Freedom of Information show that a 'feelpinion from the board' now counts as a policy, according to Future Wise's Dr Trent Yarwood.
By Stilgherrian | October 19, 2018 -- 05:26 GMT (16:26 AEDT) | Topic: Security
As of July 2018, the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) appears to have no detailed policy or process for releasing My Health Record data to support regulatory and legal requests.
The only internal policy guidance appears to have been the agency's commitment, stated publicly, not to release data except "where the agency has no discretion", such as when responding to a court order.
This state of affairs was revealed in documents released on Friday under a Freedom of Information request made on July 25 by infectious diseases physician Dr Trent Yarwood, who represents Future Wise on e-health and privacy matters.
  • Updated Oct 19 2018 at 11:00 PM

Before artificial intelligence we need to understand human intelligence

by Cade Metz
In the global race to build artificial intelligence, it was a missed opportunity. Jeff Hawkins, a Silicon Valley veteran who spent the last decade exploring the mysteries of the human brain, arranged a meeting with DeepMind, the world's leading AI lab.
Scientists at DeepMind, which is owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet, want to build machines that can do anything the brain can do. Hawkins runs a little company with one goal: figure out how the brain works and then reverse engineer it.
The meeting, which had been set for April at DeepMind's offices in London, never happened. DeepMind employs hundreds of AI researchers along with a team of seasoned neuroscientists. But when Hawkins chatted with Demis Hassabis, one of the founders of DeepMind, before his visit, they agreed that almost no one at the London lab would understand his work.

SafeScript proves its worth in real-world pharmacy

It has taken less than two weeks to identify patients in need of help
15th October 2018
It took less than two weeks for pharmacist Jarrod McMaugh to gather proof that Victoria’s new real-time monitoring system will improve patient safety.
His use of the SafeScript program revealed that a long-term patient had stock-piled 700 tablets of oxazepam in 90 days.
The patient, who has been attending Mr McMaugh’s pharmacy for several years, had seen four different doctors and visited seven pharmacies.

Tech can help mental health

  • By Sam Duncan
  • 11:00PM October 15, 2018
 “Overconnectedness” and “too much technology” are often cited as the cause of more stress, anxiety and isolation in our lives. The lesser-told story is the potential for technology to detect and help manage mental health conditions.
The emphasis of current research is on new ways of using technology to detect mental health conditions, says director and chief scientist at the Black Dog Institute, Helen Christensen. It’s very much “blue skies”, she says, but it’s also where the exciting science comes in.
Companies around the globe, including Google and Verily, are looking at whether you can detect anything about a person being at risk by what they do with their mobile phone, Christensen says.

Small pharmacies claim MedAdvisor is steering patients away from them

They say the app favours the branded chains
17th October 2018
Small pharmacies say they are being disadvantaged by deals between chains such as Discount Drug Stores and MedAdvisor that appear to direct patients away from them towards bigger businesses.
For months, Small Pharmacies Group (SPG) members have raised concerns with MedAdvisor that its app gives preferential treatment to Discount Drug Stores (DDS).
The problem is patients who sign up for MedAdvisor through a DDS pharmacy or select a DDS pharmacy as their favourite are only ever directed to DDS pharmacies when they search for pharmacies in a new area.

Chemist Warehouse could create an internet of medicine

By Ry Crozier on Oct 18, 2018 11:57AM

'Considering' large-scale sensor deployment in retail stores.

Chemist Warehouse is "considering" installing thousands of sensors in each of its stores to understand consumer foot traffic and what products they are most interested in buying.
AMS solutions architect Antoine Sammut - who has spent five years at the retailer - told VMWare’s vForum in Sydney that the pharmacy chain was interested in both IoT and augmented reality.
“The opportunity that IoT gives us is tremendous,” Sammut said.

Tech trends for the next 10 years

  • By Jane Nicholls
  • The Deal
  • 11:00PM October 18, 2018
The coming decade “will see significant advances in sensory systems, machine learning, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence generally”. That’s the pronouncement in the latest Digital Megatrends report from CSIRO’s Data61. These innovations – a mix of now, soon and blue-sky – offer a glimpse of how these talked-about technologies will be deployed in our daily lives. People who watched The Jetsons as kids are now seeing the cartoon come to life around them. Solving the myriad legal, ethical and social challenges as the AI-enabled world advances remains a human endeavour (at least for now), but innovations that successfully tap into human nature and somehow make life better will inevitably shape our future.
Additive manufacturing
The industrial cousin of consumer 3D printing, additive manufacturing is changing factories from the ground up. The old process of making things by removing material is flipped, along with the economics of production lines: additive manufacturing builds a piece rather than carving it out. There’s little waste, and the process affords endless design iterations, customisation, much lighter end products and the ability to vastly reduce the number of parts needed. GE Aviation is creating additive manufacturing production lines for aircraft engine parts. GM Holden in Melbourne is 3D-printing parts for old cars. They’ve also revved up their engineering department to work on autonomous and electric vehicles.

Medibank boss warns lack of transparency is breeding suspicion among consumers

  • 4:12PM October 19, 2018
Medibank chief Craig Drummond has warned that the lack of transparency on outcomes in the healthcare system is breeding suspicion and driving value concerns among consumers.
Mr Drummond, who previously worked in the financial sector, said the healthcare industry was unlike any industry he had seen because of the lack of disclosure and transparency.
He added that Medibank (MPL) would soon publish patient reported experience measures based on around 30,000 customer surveys that had been completed since 2016.

Dr Google in the ED: searching for online health information by adult emergency department patients

Anthony M Cocco, Rachel Zordan, David McD Taylor, Tracey J Weiland, Stuart J Dilley, Joyce Kant, Mahesha Dombagolla, Andreas Hendarto, Fiona Lai and Jennie Hutton
Med J Aust 2018; 209 (8): 342-347. || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00889
Published online: 20 August 2018


Objective: To determine the prevalence, predictors, and characteristics of health-related internet searches by adult emergency department (ED) patients; to examine the effect of searching on the doctor–patient relationship and treatment compliance.
Design: A multi-centre, observational, cross-sectional study; a purpose-designed 51-item survey, including tools for assessing e-health literacy (eHEALS) and the effects of internet searching on the doctor–patient relationship (ISMII).
Setting, participants: 400 adult patients presenting to two large tertiary referral centre emergency departments in Melbourne, February–May 2017.
Outcome measures: Descriptive statistics for searching prevalence and characteristics, doctor–patient interaction, and treatment compliance; predictors of searching; effect of searching on doctor–patient interaction.
Results: 400 of 1056 patients screened for eligibility were enrolled; their mean age was 47.1 years (SD, 21.1 years); 51.8% were men. 196 (49.0%) regularly searched the internet for health information; 139 (34.8%) had searched regarding their current problem before presenting to the ED. The mean ISMII score was 30.3 (95% CI, 29.6–31.0); searching improved the doctor–patient interaction for 150 respondents (77.3%). Younger age (per 10-year higher age band: odds ratio [OR], 0.74; 95% CI, 0.61–0.91) and greater e-health literacy (per one-point eHEALS increase: OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.06–1.17) predicted searching the current problem prior to presentation; e-health literacy predicted ISMII score (estimate, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.20–0.39). Most patients would never or rarely doubt their diagnosis (79%) or change their treatment plan (91%) because of conflicting online information.
Conclusion: Online health care information was frequently sought before presenting to an ED, especially by younger and e-health literate patients. Searching had a positive impact on the doctor–patient interaction and was unlikely to reduce adherence to treatment.

Digital Health Update - October 2018

October 15, 2018

West Moreton Health is now uploading pathology results to the My Health Record system

West Moreton Health is now sending finalised pathology results to patients’ My Health Records. Healthcare providers registered with the My Health Record system can access this information as soon as it is uploaded to a patient’s My Health Record.
With an increase in Queensland Health documents being sent to the My Health Record system, GPs can expect to receive an increase in patient enquiries. 

Farewell: Outgoing RACGP president reflects on his 'humbling' tenure

Dr Bastian Seidel has written a farewell letter to college members
17th October 2018
The departing head of the RACGP has cited the “exponential growth” in media coverage for the college and the re-indexation of Medicare as two of his biggest achievements in the role.
Tasmanian GP Dr Bastian Seidel, who officially stepped down as RACGP president last week after two turbulent years in the top job, has written to college members to thank them for their “humbling” support during his tenure.
He also reflected on his record as president, which he said had seen the college transformed from a side-player to one of the country’s most trusted sources of health policy development.
“In the last two years, we’ve moved from the periphery of reacting to health policies to the centre of actively shaping them,” he said.

AI in health raises privacy concerns

Friday, 12 October 2018  
eHealthNews.nz editor Rebecca McBeth
Health providers and consumers need to consider questions of privacy and confidentiality before using artificial intelligence to assist in healthcare, an Otago law expert says.
Associate professor of law Colin Gavaghan is part of a three-year multi-disciplinary project funded by the Law Foundation looking at applications of AI in New Zealand that raise legal, ethical and social questions.
AI has big implications for medicine, as tasks that are currently done by a human doctor or nurse could be done by a machine.

New Zealand ready to reap benefits of full end-to-end EMRs

October 19, 2018
eHealthNews.nz editor Rebecca McBeth
New Zealand health providers have the skills and digital maturity to reap the benefits of full end-to-end electronic medical record systems, says Phillips chief medical officer – EMR Dr Luiz Arnoldo Haertel.
Haertel  is a keynote speaker at the HiNZ Conference 2018 in Wellington from November 21–23 on EMR: The processing agent of the healthcare industry revolution.
He tells eHealthNews.nz that New Zealand has so far taken a “best-of-breed” (BoB) approach to EMR adoption rather than “best-of-suite” (BoS).

Apple says decryption should 'alarm every Australian'

By Ry Crozier on Oct 13, 2018 10:49PM

The security weaknesses and spying it could be forced to do.

Apple has laid out some of the ways it could be forced to spy on its customers if the decryption bill before Australian parliament passes into law.
The bill “could allow the government to order the makers of smart home speakers to install persistent eavesdropping capabilities into a person’s home, require a provider to monitor the health data of its customers for indications of drug use, or require the development of a tool that can unlock a particular user’s device regardless of whether such tool could be used to unlock every other user’s device as well," Apple said in a parliamentary submission [pdf].
In addition, Apple said it was “deeply concerned that the government may seek to force providers to provide real-time interception of messages or internet-based audio or video calls should the law pass in its current form.”

Encryption bill will cause 'significant risk' to Internet: Mozilla

Any measure that permits a government to lay down specifications for the design of Internet systems would cause significant risk to the security, stability and trust of such systems, the Mozilla Foundation has said in a submission about Australia's proposed encryption bill.
The Foundation, which serves as an umbrella group for development of the open-source Web browser Firefox among other well-known projects, said in its submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security that the technical capability notices that were part of the Bill, along with other notices that could be used to demand changes in software, would "significantly weaken the security of the Internet".
The organisation's comments focused on the three new powers for investigative and intelligence agencies in the Bill:
  • a “technical assistance request” that allows voluntary help by a company. The staff of the company will be given civil immunity from prosecution.
  • a “technical assistance notice” to make a communications provider offer assistance; and
  • a “technical capability notice” that can be issued by the Attorney-General at the request of an interception agency. This will force a company to help law enforcement, by building functionality.

Australia's encryption-busting bill also after PINs, passwords

By Ry Crozier on Oct 19, 2018 11:09AM

Home Affairs proposes simpler mechanism to get at data.

The government has raised the prospect of using so-called decryption laws to simply get a provider to turn over a user’s PIN or password to get access to a target’s encrypted communications.
While much of the debate on the Assistance and Access Bill so far has concentrated on the prospect of encryption being weakened, the Department of Home Affairs indicated today encryption may not even be its primary target.
At a joint parliamentary committee hearing, shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC noted the bill contained just one reference to encryption in its 171 pages, preferring instead to use an umbrella term “electronic protection”.

  • Updated Oct 16 2018 at 10:25 PM

Cochlear's next big breakthrough: 24/7 hearing for the profoundly deaf

New technologies and new ways of doing things in healthcare are not limited to start-ups. In some cases, incumbents are continuing to re-invent themselves and, in turn, improving the lives of patients.
When Melbourne surgeon Graeme Clark implanted the first hearing device in a patient with profound hearing loss 40 years ago, it was a big breakthrough. The device was the forerunner to the Cochlear implant, and Cochlear – a $10.7 billion ASX darling today – was launched four years later in 1982.
Prior to Clark's landmark operation at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne, "it was not understood that you could restore hearing" in patients with profound hearing loss, surgeon Robert Briggs says. Now Cochlear and Briggs reckon they're ready for the next big breakthrough – 24/7 hearing for such patients via a fully implantable Cochlear.

Australian e-health company G Medical Innovations eyes Nasdaq listing

11:58 15 Oct 2018
G Medical Innovations Holdings Ltd (ASX:GMV) CEO Yacov Geva sits down with Proactive Investors' Christine Corrado in New York to update investors on the mobile and e-health company's move to list on the Nasdaq.
Geva says the company, which specializes in software and devices that aim to reduce inefficiencies in health care delivery, will remain listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, but will begin trading on the major US exchange in early 2019.
18 Oct 2018 12:55 PM AEST -         

 App Diagnoses Snore Danger While You Sleep

 Want to know if your snoring is damaging your health? Perhaps just ask your smartphone!
 Exciting new research to be presented at an Australasian sleep congress in Brisbane on Saturday shows smartphone technology can potentially diagnose a serious disorder, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), in snorers.
The technology, not yet commercially available, might allow the thousands of Australians living with the common but concerning condition to get a diagnosis quickly and cheaply from the comfort of their own bed for the first time.

Telstra CEO demands $20 a month NBN price cut

By Ry Crozier on Oct 16, 2018 10:40AM

Renews criticism of wholesale charges.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn has called for a “more than $20” a month cut to NBN Co’s wholesale charges because reseller margins are “rapidly falling to zero”.
Penn used the telco’s annual general meeting to renew his criticism of NBN charges, which he first raised back in April.
He had been hoping for regulatory intervention on the wholesale pricing and had set an arbitrary deadline of July for that to occur, however that deadline passed without action.

Talk of NBN sale to Telstra highlights the network’s failings

  • By David Forman
  • 11:00PM October 10, 2018
That some people in the communications industry are seriously suggesting the NBN will be “flipped” to Telstra any time soon speaks to two things: how badly the project execution has been botched to date, and how uninformed some industry players continue to be.
To the second point first — the NBN was carefully wrapped up in legislation from the day it was conceived to prevent certain things ever happening.
It cannot sell retail services.
It cannot favour one of its wholesale customers (retail service providers such as Macquarie Telecom, Telstra and Optus) over any other one.

Writedown an option as Labor vows to repair NBN

  • 11:00PM October 14, 2018
Fixing the broken business model of the National Broadband Network will be Labor’s key priority if it comes to power at the next election, with a potential multi-billion- dollar writedown a live option, according to the opposition communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland.
“The Coalition has ruled out a writedown but we are keeping all of our options open,” she told The Australian.
“There’s little wriggle room for either government, whoever wins the next election. There is no way NBN Co is going to meet its average revenue per user forecast [$51 by 2021-22] and there are alternative players popping up everywhere.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR), the (not)My Health Record, Health Care Homes to name a few, must surely be evidence enough that the Department of Health is falling short in it ability to manage public funds and deliver real outcomes for the people of Australia. The ADHA is little more than and extension of DoHAS. Rather then lead they are being led, dragged around by the jurisdictions, highly paid advisors, and fooled by skilled consultancies that it would seem have little interest in delivering much beyond invoices.