Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late 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, November 19, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 19th November, 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

Well this has been an amazing week as we saw the surrender of this dying Government to common sense and extend the myHR opt-out period with the support of Senator Pauline Hanson who would not know a myHR if it bit her. What was all that about and what does she want in return do you reckon?

Senate passes motion calling for extension of My Health Record opt-out period – as it happened

The Senate has just passed a Labor motion with crossbench support calling on the government to extend the opt-out period for the My Health Record rollout.
All Australians who have not opted out by 15 November (Thursday) will have a My Health Record automatically created in their name, sparking fears from privacy experts that the public has not had sufficient time to opt out as demand increases.
The motion calls for the the opt-out period to be extended “until the legislation and any amendments are passed, outstanding privacy and security issues are addressed and public confidence in this important reform is restored”.

My Health Record phoneline in meltdown as Labor pursues last-ditch push to delay deadline

MILLIONS of Australians are about to be signed up to a controversial scheme, despite a last-minute push for a delay.
Charis Chang and Sam Clench
THE My Health Record phoneline is in meltdown as people who want to opt-out of the controversial scheme scramble to make their choice known.
Adelaide father-of-two, who wished to be known only as Ben, said he and his wife had been trying to get through on the phoneline for days.
“My wife has been on hold for an hour and it has just dropped out,” he said.
“I’ve been on hold a couple times and it has dropped out, including this morning. I was on hold for 15-20 minutes before it dropped out.”

My Health Opt-Out Deadline Extended To January 31 As Website Crashes Under Demand

Josh Butler

10 daily Senior News Reporter

The Senate has voted to extend the My Health Records opt-out period to January 31, as experts say privacy issues still need to be addressed.

My Health is a new database from the Australian Digital Health Agency to keep track of your health information, giving access to medical staff. The idea is your information won't get lost or overlooked if you move between different doctors or medical facilities, with the online records allowing staff to check on allergies, medication, medical conditions and test results.
The system has been under the microscope since the opt-out period began in July.
Opting out was only meant to be available until October.
However, outrage from privacy and health groups -- as well as Labor and the parliament's crossbench -- over how records could be accessed, and by who, as well as calls for greater public education around the system, saw the government rush through changes. Privacy protections were tightened, and the opt out period was extended to November 15.

Privacy concerns prompt My Health Record opt-out extension

  • 2:41PM November 14, 2018
The Senate has backed a more than two-month extension for Australians who want to opt out of My Health Record, as an insurance lawyer warns it’s a matter of “when, not if” the system will be breached.
Crossbench senators backed a motion to expand the opt-out period to January 31, after a Labor motion to expand the opt-out period by 12 months failed.
Health Minister Greg Hunt had prolonged the opt-out period by a month after ongoing concerns about personal data shared between doctors could be at risk from cyber attacks and privacy breaches.

Hidden conflict: My Health Record boss privately giving advice to health firms

By Esther Han
15 November 2018 — 12:00am
The chairman of the agency responsible for the bungled My Health Record rollout has been privately advising a global healthcare outsourcing company.
The Herald discovered the relationship between the UK based government contracting giant Serco and the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) chairman Jim Birch after obtaining internal documents that detail the board members' conflicts of interest.
The revelation comes as federal Health Minister Greg Hunt was forced to extend the My Health Record opt out period after a compromise deal with the Senate crossbench and a last minute meltdown of the website left thousands of Australians struggling to meet the original deadline.

How do you get the best out of online booking systems?

Doug Hendrie 13/11/2018 1:16:26 PM
RACGP eHealth experts say the careful management of online appointment systems is essential.
Online appointment systems have real benefits – but also complications to manage.
People in 2018 are accustomed to doing almost everything online, from buying a plane ticket to signing up to parent–teacher interviews.

Unsurprisingly, that means many patients expect to be able to book their GP appointments online.

But these increasingly popular appointment-booking systems must be well managed to ensure the best results for patients and doctors, say two RACGP eHealth experts.

Dr Rob Hosking, Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Practice Technology and Management (REC–PTM), told newsGP that online appointments have genuine benefits – but also challenges to overcome.

The top takeaways from HIMSS AsiaPac18

Hafizah Osman | 12 Nov 2018
Health IT heavy hitters from across the globe descended on Brisbane last week, for the HIMSS AsiaPac18 conference and exhibition, bringing together an extensive roster of industry experts and leading thinkers.
Themed Healthcare Anytime, Anywhere, this year’s conference was the platform for many topics that are affecting the healthcare space, as well as key insights to be shared to improve operations in this space. 
A major milestone in Australian healthcare history, two local digital healthcare pioneers were recommended for their digital efforts at the event
UnitingCare Queensland’s Saint Stephen’s Hospital in Hervey Bay and the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) outpatient service division in Melbourne were praised for having attained HIMSS Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) Stage 7 accreditation. 

Healthy body of evidence for AI: Murray Brozinsky

  • 12:00AM November 13, 2018
It is now a matter of when, not if, artificial intelligence is widely used across the healthcare system, says technology strategist Murray Brozinsky, who adds it will drive down costs and improve patient outcomes.
US-based Mr Brozinsky, in Sydney to attend CBA’s Future of Healthcare conference, said the convergence of conversational AI with sensors and remote monitoring would significantly improve patient outcomes.
He explained that conversational AI asked the patients questions such as how they were feeling or how a wound was healing, while connected devices were checking signs such as weight and blood pressure via remote sensors.
 “By collecting biological information with what the patients are revealing through conversational AI, healthcare professionals get a very good picture of what is happening with that patient on a continuous basis,” Mr Brozinsky said. “These technologies are at an inevitable point because when you look at the people who use it, they love it. The data is pointing to improved outcomes and lower cost.

Any health data for sale? Google is ready to slurp it up

If Australian health data brokers are looking for a buyer with plenty of money, then they need look no further than the world's biggest search engine.
Google has indicated that it will now turn its attention to mining health data after folding its DeepMind Health unit into the main company and getting rid of the independent review committee that was part of the unit.
But DeepMind has, in the process, broken a pledge which it made to Britain's National Health Service, with whom it worked, that "data will never be connected to Google accounts or services”.
"We commit to only using patient data to help improve care, under the instructions of our partners, who will continue to act as our data controllers at all times," DeepMind said at the time.

Australia : Medical sector vulnerable to health data cyber attacks

By AIR team | 16 Nov 2018
Medical providers are urged to take precautions in the lead-up to the deadline for the digital electronic health record system My Health Record, a leading health insurance lawyer has warned. Barry.Nilsson. partner Robert Samut said under current data protection laws in Australia, the onus on a medical provider is to take all "appropriate measures" to protect a patient's health data.
“A cyber criminal is able to sell personal health information for far more on the black market or the dark web than a credit card,” said Mr Samut. “With medical information, cyber criminals are able to gain access to prescription medication, receive medical care, access financial data and steal a person’s identity.”
The warning comes as the deadline to opt out of the controversial My Health Record was extended to 31 January 2019 by the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.
According to figures released by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner during April to June 2018, the largest source of reported data breaches was in the private health sector (20%). The second largest source was the finance sector (15%) followed by the legal, accounting and management services sector (8%), the private education sector (8%), and the business and professional associations sector (6%). Mr Samut said the data showed that it isn’t a matter of “if the data would be hacked, but when”.

Diagnostic dunny just the start of biological revolution

  • 12:00AM November 17, 2018
American bioscientist Raymond McCauley calls it the toilet of the future, one full of gene sequencers, which will make it the most networked appliance in the home.
“It will be able to look at your cells, the cells of what you eat, what infects you and then process it all on the cloud. Then we will send emails to you, your doctor, your nutritionist, your spouse and probably the people trying to sell you things,” he told The Australian after presenting at the Sohn Hearts & Minds investment conference.
“Not only will we be able to sense the health of your body and diet, we will be able to provide tips such as ‘You’ve really got to stop eating chorizo’.”
He says a South Korean entrepreneur, whose family has a toilet manufacturing empire, has already been developing a diagnostic toilet.

Cloud move means sky's the limit for Australian genome research

The human genome consists of seven billion DNA base pairs and it takes 100GB to represent the unique sequence for a person. Australian National University researchers have turned to the cloud to enable clinical applications.
The Human Genome Project was a vast long-running and internationally collaborative project to determine the sequence of nucleotide base pairs that make up human DNA, and identify and map all the genes of the human genome, both physically and functionally. In fact, it is the world’s largest collaborative biological project across all of history.
However, it’s massive. Who’d have thought humans are so complex? With a genome of seven billion DNA base pairs, it takes 100GB to store the unique genetic sequence for any individual human being as a string of text using the letters A, T, C and G that refer to the bases – adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine.

Doctors raise alarm over first TripAdvisor style website for healthcare

Sue Dunlevy, National Health Reporter, News Corp Australia Network
November 15, 2018 8:00pm
Exclusive: Health funds have been accused of trying to influence which surgeons your GP refers you to under a controversial new TripAdvisor style online referral system.
Doctors are concerned the new service that will be provided via medical software on the desktop computers of all GPs from February could be the slippery slope to the introduction of US-style managed care.
But the CEO of health practitioner comparison website Whitecoat which is running the service says it will help patients find the best performing surgeons with the lowest out-of-pocket expenses.

Clarifications about the FHIR Trademark

Posted on November 16, 2018 by Grahame Grieve
HL7 owns the “FHIR” ®  trademark (along with the FHIR flame icon). While the specification itself is licensed under Creative Commons Public Domain, and can be used in anyway possible, the Trademark is not public domain; HL7 defends the trademark carefully.
What that means is that anyone can use the term “FHIR” to refer the FHIR specification – that’s called nominative use – it’s naming the thing that FHIR identifies. Note that HL7 asks that people use (R) along with the FHIR mark, at least once). But if an organisation uses the word “FHIR” to refer to something of their own, this is not nominative use, and they require written permission from HL7 to use the trademark in this fashion.

Australia wins bid to host 15th International Conference on Nursing Informatics

HISA and Nursing Informatics Australia (NIA) have won the bid to host the 15th International Congress in Nursing Informatics in Brisbane 2020, in conjunction with HIC 2020.
The conference, founded by the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA), will take place on 26-29 July 2020.
Stay up to date with the latest developments, including expressions of interest to present, registration, and program announcements by clicking here and selecting the NI 2020 option.
  • Updated Nov 15 2018 at 3:20 PM

Navis Capital Partners makes biggest ever investment, buys Australian health care company

Asian private equity firm Navis Capital Partners has signed its biggest ever deal. 
It is understood Navis Capital, which was founded in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and is headed locally by Phil Latham, has acquired medical supplies business Device Technologies for a price just north of $700 million. 
A deal was signed on Thursday, sources said. It's believed Navis Capital will invest from its own Asia-based funds and will seek to complete the deal before the end of the year.
It is Navis Capital's biggest deal in Australia and globally. The firm's best known locally for formerly owning clothing brands business Retail Apparel Group and Guardian Early Learning, and has traditionally written equity cheques worth up to $100 million. 

Phishing email identified by Australian Digital Health Agency

The Australian Digital Health Agency has identified an email phishing campaign that contains a link to download malicious software (malware) on a user’s device.

Initial assessment indicates only 4 out of 57 anti-virus products detected the zip file as malicious. The malware opens a back door and steals passwords and connects to a command and control centre and also has the ability to spread to other devices.

The email subject contains a fake summons to attend a court hearing or trial and also includes a link to a PDF document hosted on Google Docs.

The Australian Digital Health Agency have provided a Digital Health Cyber Security Alert with some recommended actions by IT departments and useful references.

If you have feedback or information you wish to share about this matter, please contact the Digital Health Cyber Security Centre at cyber-incidents@digitalhealth.gov.au.

Canterbury transfers one million patient records to SI PICS

Monday, 12 November 2018  
eHealthNews.nz editor Rebecca McBeth
More than one million patient records have been transferred to Canterbury DHB’s new patient management and administration system, the South Island Patient Information Care System.
SI PICS went live across CDHB on 6 October.
Provided by Orion Health, it will eventually become the region-wide solution for patient management and administration across the South Island’s five district health boards.
The system went live at Nelson Marlborough DHB in May 2018. West Coast and South Canterbury DHBs will implement it in 2019, followed by Southern DHB, with all due to be live in 2020.

Data retention: Centrelink, councils, Australia Post among organisations accessing ‘metadata’

Telco group reveal dozens of agencies accessing ‘metadata’
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 13 November, 2018 15:41
Telecommunications industry group Communications Alliance has revealed details of dozens of state and federal departments and agencies that are accessing so-called communications ‘metadata’.
The 2015 legislation that introduced the data retention regime authorised a list of “criminal law-enforcement agencies” to obtain warrant-free access to metadata. Those agencies included federal, state and territory police agencies, a number of anti-corruption bodies, Border Force, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission; and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
However, last month at the hearing of an inquiry into the government’s bill aimed at enhancing police access to encrypted communications services, Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said that a significantly larger number of organisations were accessing information kept by telcos to meet their data retention obligations.

Greens flag AU$1.5 billion NBN policy, Aussie GDPR, data retention repeal

The Greens party wants to invest AU$1.5 billion to make the NBN more equitable, AU$100 million in video game development, and AU$63 million in digital inclusiveness, as well as repealing data retention and setting up a Digital Rights Commissioner and GDPR-esque laws.
By Corinne Reichert | November 14, 2018 -- 08:00 GMT (19:00 AEDT) | Topic: Mobility
Australia's Greens party has announced its policies across National Broadband Network (NBN) connectivity, as well as on digital rights across privacy and security, also calling for the mandatory data retention scheme to be repealed.

AU$1.5 billion NBN policy

Announced by Senator Jordon Steele-John on Wednesday night at Canberra Technology Park, the Greens party criticised the Coalition's NBN multi-technology mix approach to providing broadband across the nation.
The Greens party's NBN plan would see a AU$1.3 billion Federal Telecommunications Concession established; a AU$250 million NBN migration program to close the digital divide in regional areas; ensuring NBN infrastructure will remain publicly owned; and see the NBN rollout completed using "best-choice technology".
It would also make "quality" connectivity more affordable, and ensure regional telecommunications are "funded, fair, and fit for purpose".

ACCC figures reveal telcos buying more NBN capacity

However, latest ACCC data doesn’t include impact of end of NBN Co pricing promotion
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 13 November, 2018 12:03
Figures released today by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reveal that the average NBN bandwidth per household increased in the three months to 30 September — from 1.66 megabits per second at the end of June, to 1.71Mbps.
However, the data on the increased capacity (CVC) purchased by telcos came ahead of a major NBN Co discount scheme ending, with the company last month warning that there may be some fluctuations in congestion levels on its network.
“It is important RSPs [retail service providers] maintain sufficient CVC capacity to ensure consumers get the service they have paid for, particularly in the busy period,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said in a statement.

Time to ditch dud NBN

  • By Laurie Patton
  • 9:56AM November 16, 2018
The contrast could not be any starker. As warnings emerged that Australia’s telcos are seeing their profits squeezed by the end of NBN Co’s short-lived wholesale price discount, across the ditch came word that New Zealanders are about to see their broadband speeds greatly increase while the price of connecting to the internet comes down. How could this be?
Back in 2013 communications minister Malcolm Turnbull was ordered by prime minister Tony Abbott to “destroy” the NBN. As Turnbull fatefully decided to abandon a 21st Century fibre-based rollout — on flawed advice from a bunch of so-called mates — over in New Zealand they kept deploying fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP).
NBN Co was forced to effectively spin its wheels for months on end, as it reworked all its rollout plans in order to use Telstra’s ageing copper wires and run-down 25 year old pay TV cables. Meanwhile, Chorus New Zealand was busily perfecting ways to reduce the cost of fibre installations. These days it costs Chorus around 50 per cent per premises less than it did five years ago.


Anonymous said...

Just where does your data end up - without your knowledge?

Late last week I got an SMS out of the blue from some mob called Whitecoat, (who at that point I hadn’t heard of) asking me to ‘review UR healthcare provider on Whitecoat by 30 Nov 4 UR chance 2 win $5k’ with a link to a webpage. Being a suspicious type, I thought it suss till I indeed checked them out. And then I started wondering just how they got my details, where from and how much they have, given I only ever contact my providers via phone ...

Thank heavens to Betsy I never had a MyHR!

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

Your details may well have come from an insurance company, or just plain old shotgun spam.


Welcome to the future of health care - you are a consumer to be influenced.

That's why you are getting slick ads not honest explanations.

Anonymous said...

Well seems they have a Chief Digital Officer, seems a nice bloke, lots of health experience missing and hard to map back to the role profile. I do hope he knows what he has signed up for.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

You know things aren't going your way when you get cartoons like this:


from this not very complimentary article in the Spectator Australia

And the author gets it wrong (he must be reading the governments slick ads) he says:

"The aim of My Health Record is enabling doctors to see at a glance everything they need to know for your treatment, including medical history and the drugs you’ve been prescribed."

The ADHA should be thoroughly ashamed with themselves (although it may well be deliberate) that so many people think it's a comprehensive record

Anonymous said...

At first chance it seemed an odd match. However, this might not be.a Tim Kelsey appointment and might signal the start of a change. Tim and Roman have not exactly excelled in customer service.

As for the reference to Roman being the CIO, a search on LinkedIn would suggest the ADHA already has a CIO.

Anonymous said...

What's a Chief Digital Officer?
Someone who gives everyone the finger?
They have enough of them already.

Anonymous said...


The new Chief Digital Officer, fresh from Service NSW.... where you apply online, then print out a paper copy of your new licence, then wait up to 10 days for the plastic version to arrive in the post! Ordinary mail, if you don't mind, for a key ID document, not even registered mail, See instructions

Enter your payment details.
Print your transaction receipt and your temporary paper licence (also known as a Driver Licence Receipt).
Sign the temporary paper licence and carry it with you at all times when driving, along with your old licence card if you have it.
Your new NSW driver licence card will be posted to you at the mailing address on record with Roads and Maritime Services. You should receive it within 10 business days.


Maybe doctors will be able to apply online for someone's MyHR, then wait for the post.... well, they did want to get rid of the fax!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon Nov 20 12:29pm - got rid of the fax alright!

Common sense too at 'Service' NSW. Last time I got my drivers licence there a few years ago, they printed it on the spot. You know, instant and nice and securely. But since then, these other bureaucratic twits have got involved and you have to do it online, yaddah yaddah yaddah, whether you have the capacity to or not. And so often where I live, in rural Oz, what you expect in the post just NEVER turns up. That's down to the "improvements" to Australia Post but lets not get bogged down in that debacle …

My new licence is due soon, I can hardly wait for the ensuing drama, maybe it'll be enough to send me into conniptions such that I will need medical support.

Anonymous said...

Haha! Nov21 1.01am

This week I've (unexpectedly) received a new Medicare card in the mail.

For some reason, a family member who has lived o/seas for nearly 20 years has suddenly been added to my card!

Presumably he'll be the proud owner of a shiny new, empty MyHR one day soon

Medicare's records must really be in a mess!