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, December 17, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 17th December, 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 the Silly Season has arrived and it is time to have a break. Barring exciting news this will be the last full week with the last regular post on the 22nd December.

Dump the apps: automated instruments 'no good for melanoma'

Doctors who perform examinations to detect the skin cancer should instead be trained in dermoscopy, according to new guidelines
10th December 2018
Automated instruments have no place in the detection of skin cancers and should be avoided, leading dermatologists warn.
New clinical practice guidelines for melanoma detection and skin monitoring in high-risk individuals suggest doctors who perform skin checks should instead be trained in dermoscopy.
Professor John Kelly, co-author of a summary of the guidelines published in the Medical Journal of Australia, says there’s little evidence to support the use of automated instruments, such as smartphone apps, which allow patients to self-assess suspicious skin lesions.
“There is no automated instrument that has value at the moment,” says Professor Kelly, a consultant dermatologist at the Victorian Melanoma Service in Melbourne.

How do you feel what you can't touch? Scientists crack the nerve code

By Liam Mannix
12 December 2018 — 11:37am
Look at the tip of your index finger. About two thousand nerve receptors are embedded in it, ready to tell you about the world.
Some sense vibration, others pressure. There is even a sensor to measure ‘stretch’ – how much your skin is being pulled and in which direction.
Now, touch something with your finger. As you do, each of those receptors will send out a tiny signal, along nerves that run to the brain. The signal takes about a hundredth of a second to reach the brain.
Everything you touch creates a unique pattern of nerve signals – some nerves fire energetically, others go silent. It’s like Morse code. Your brain surveys those 2000-plus signals, and tells you you’re touching ... well, whatever it is you’re touching.

8 things to know about radiology and AI

When it comes to the future of artificial intelligence in healthcare, it's time to separate the fact from the fiction, says RANZCR president
Dr Lance Lawler
13th December 2018
Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to be a hot topic in healthcare, and this is no more so than in radiology. But sometimes there's more hype in the discussion than heat.
Dr Lance Lawler, president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR), briefly examines the likely impact and promise of AI. And busts some myths too. All in eight key points...

1. If you aren’t at the table, you become the menu

If you think AI is a distant dot on the healthcare horizon, then think again. As Dr Stefan Harrer, from IBM Research, put it recently: "The future comes earlier these days than it used to."
AI will affect all areas of healthcare, which is why RANZCR has spent the past two years discussing AI with its members and established a dedicated working group to examine its impacts.

HPOS: use it or lose it, GPs told

The warning is in response to last year's apparent data hack
13th December 2018
GPs who do not log in to Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) for six months will have their accounts suspended under new rules starting this month.
The changes are in response to a media furore in July 2017 over claims that a cybercriminal had used HPOS to access Medicare numbers to sell on the ‘dark web’ for $30 each.
The unknown vendor reportedly sold about 70 numbers, making $2000, before they were exposed and investigated by the federal police.

Failure to transfer GP data blamed for vax record holes

Researchers say the national register data is not up-to-date for 14% of children
13th December 2018
More than one in 10 children are incorrectly identified as overdue for a vaccine when in fact they’re up-to-date, according to a national audit. 
And in many cases, problems with transferring vaccination records from GP software to the Australian Immunisation Register appear to be behind the errors — which can have far-reaching consequences for children and parents.
Researchers from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) examined the accuracy of 905 children’s records randomly selected from the register, which said the children were overdue for specific vaccines at one, two and five years of age.
The report — the first of its kind since 2001 — found 86% of the children were truly overdue and needed catch-up doses.

Hospital developments struggle despite “exciting” digital buildouts: report

Hafizah Osman | 11 Dec 2018
Despite some “exciting” digital buildouts, a number of hospital developments are still struggling with the design, development and operation of new healthcare facilities, a recent report has found. 
The Government is set to deliver more than $30 billion in additional public hospital funding under a five-year National Health Agreement, amplifying hospital infrastructure development and funding for every state and territory.
But even with the boost, healthcare providers are still bogged down with some challenges, according to the report.  
The State of the Australian Healthcare Industry Report: Top Trends Transforming Australia's Healthcare Sector in 2019 and Beyond report identified that these challenges include competing priorities, a lack of understanding of potential and budget limitations. 

Australia's digital services future is now locked to myGov

By Justin Hendry on Dec 10, 2018 7:00AM

Analysis: DTA puts faith in platform, redesigned or otherwise.

If there’s one thing Australia’s new digital transformation plan has made clear (which, let's be honest, is not much), it’s that myGov will remain at the forefront of the federal government’s thinking around digital services.
But to what extent the defecto whole-of-government online services portal will change, or stay the same, as part of its grand plan to have all services available through online channels by 2025 is still an open question.
The strategy, laid out by the Digital Transformation Agency last week, is the first time the agency – or its predecessor, the Digital Transformation Office – has pulled together its thinking in single 49-page document.

Essential innovation for Australian emergency services

Jack Molloy
  • 9:23AM December 12, 2018
Australia is gearing up for another severe bushfire season with the Bureau of Meteorology and state fire authorities issuing warnings for increased danger levels following some of the worst drought conditions in history.
Queenslanders are bracing for firestorms as an extreme heatwave sweeps the state. Meanwhile, in Victoria, fire restrictions were introduced in some regions as early as August and September, highlighting the increased risk.
Bushfires are of course not unique to Australia. As a citizen of the United States I am grateful that around 200 highly trained firefighters from Australia and New Zealand were recently flown in to help combat the devastating California wildfires.

AustCyber calls for cool heads after encryption bill passed

Recognises fears of local cyber sector, but “unwise to jump to conclusions”
George Nott (Computerworld) 07 December, 2018 18:21
AustCyber – the government funded not-for-profit tasked with growing the Australian cyber security sector – has called for cool heads following the passage of the so-called encryption bill by parliament.
The organisation (also known as the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network) said a number of local cyber security businesses had raised their concerns about the bill, which passed in bizarre fashion last night.
“At this stage, it is important to recognise that there are many unknowns regarding the content and implementation of the legislation,” AustCyber’s co-chair Doug Elix and CEO Michelle Price said in a joint statement issued this evening.

Encryption: for the majority of us, life goes on

By Robert Merkel
10 December 2018 — 12:57pm
After being caught up in the broader drama of the last day of Parliament for 2018, the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 passed both houses on Thursday, with the support of the Coalition and Labor.
The bill is long and complex, but arguably its most significant new provision is the ability to issue companies or individuals with a “technical capability notice”.
These notices compel companies to modify software and the services they provide to allow access to information that could not otherwise be obtained. There are large financial penalties for companies that do not comply.
A technical capability notice can be issued at the behest of law enforcement bodies, including state, federal, in some circumstances foreign law enforcement bodies (via the federal Attorney-General), and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Apple hits out at Australian anti-encryption law as community anger deepens

  • December 12, 2018
US tech giants Apple, Microsoft and Google have joined forces to decry Australia’s controversial ‘anti-encryption’ bill that passed the federal parliament last week.
A coalition of tech companies, which also includes Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Snap and Yahoo parent company Oath, called the law “deeply flawed” and said it will undermine the privacy of users.
“The new Australian law is deeply flawed, overly broad, and lacking in adequate independent oversight over the new authorities,” the Reform Government Surveillance coalition said in a statement, first reported by TechCrunch.

ASD chief insists new encryption laws won't see Aussie tech shunned like Huawei

By Ry Crozier on Dec 12, 2018 4:33PM

"The comparison is absurd".

The Australian Signals Directorate says the idea that Australian technology will be seen as untrustworthy in the wake of encryption-busting laws and therefore blocked from use “is absurd”.
Director-general Mike Burgess published what he called seven “myths” of the controversial new laws, which the major parties passed in the last hours of parliament last week.
In particular, Burgess targeted the significant doubt that has been swirling in the days since around how Australia’s technology sector will now be treated by foreign buyers.
“It’s been repeatedly claimed that Australian tech companies will be regarded as no different to the high-risk foreign vendors that have been blocked from supplying equipment in Australian 5G networks,” Burgess said.
“The comparison is absurd.

Fitch warns Australian encryption laws could hit local and global tech giants

By Paul Smith and Natasha Gillezeau Updated 13 Dec 2018 — 5:15 PM, first published at 4:51 PM
The research division of credit ratings group Fitch has warned Australia's controversial new anti-encryption laws could harm the local tech sector as well as the global operations of companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter, as one of the Defence Department's top experts sought to hose down resistance to the legislation.
In commentary published by Fitch Solutions Macro Research on Thursday afternoon it said the new rules – which are nominally aimed at catching terrorists or criminals in the act of plotting on messaging services like WhatsApp – would weaken the broader tech industry as other governments looked to copy Australia.
Though the laws explicitly say they do not wish to create backdoors in software, Fitch agreed with many critics in the tech sector in saying that the moves to allow law enforcement to crack encrypted messages would weaken overall security and harm the performance of tech stocks globally.

Australia's war on encryption: the sweeping new powers rushed into law

Australia has made itself a global guinea pig in testing a regime to crack encrypted communication
In the hit US TV series The Wire police are initially baffled when the criminal suspects they are investigating begin to communicate through photographic messages of clock faces.
After several seasons of plots driven by the legalities and logistics of setting up telephone intercepts on suspected drug dealers, the police can’t keep up when overheard conversations are replaced by an inscrutable form of pictorial code.
The Wire cops eventually break the clock-face code but they’d have a great deal more difficulty in 2018 if they were chasing criminals using WhatsApp, Wicker, iMessage or other encrypted communications.
End-to-end encryption is a code so strong that only the communicating users can read the messages.

Dangerous overreach on encryption leaves 'backdoor' open for criminals

By Damian Cronan
15 December 2018 — 12:05am
Australia’s encryption laws represent a dangerous overreach by the federal government and create more problems than they solve.
There’s good reason why the overwhelming majority of the technology community, in Australia and around the world, is so resoundingly against the legislation.
As a technologist with a career in digital services, I can understand the issues at stake.
The bill would compel business to open 'backdoors' – deliberate gaps – throughout Australia's information networks, leaving them ripe for targeting by foreign governments or criminal enterprises.

Scott Farquhar: Encryption bill ‘a gut punch to tech sector’

  • 11:00PM December 14, 2018
Atlassian co-chief executive Scott Farquhar says the government’s anti-encryption bill is a “big gut punch” to Australia’s tech sector, and has called on Canberra to reduce the scope of the new laws.
The software company is listed on New York’s Nasdaq exchange but still does most of its engineering in Sydney.
Australian Signals Directorate chief Mike Burgess this week said tech concerns about the new anti-terror encryption laws were ­hyperbolic, but Mr Farquhar said the bill had already had a real impact on his company, its employees and customers.
 “The impact is already happening. Our employees are worried; they’re asking us if they’ll be getting $50,000 fines if they don’t comply and they can’t tell their employer, and a lot are asking if they’ll lose their job if they do this,” Mr Farquhar said. “The ­reality is a bit more nuanced than that, but we as an employer are trying to interpret this bill for our employees, and that’s incredibly difficult given this was completely rushed through.

Electronic systems needed to prevent medication errors

Thursday, 13 December 2018   (0 Comments)
The Health and Disability Commissioner is calling for the nationwide roll-out of electronic systems to reduce the significant harm caused by medication errors.
Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill has released a report analysing complaints to the HDC where a medication error had occurred.
“There is a person and whānau at the centre of every error and it is important to take every opportunity to learn and reduce harm,” says Hill.
“Human error happens so it is important that organisations have systems with defences built into them to prevent those errors from reaching a patient.

National group to explore linking regional clinical portals in New Zealand

If successful, the project would allow any clinician involved in a patient’s care to view that person’s computerised health data from anywhere across New Zealand.
December 10, 2018 10:15 PM
A national group is being formed to start work on linking the country’s four regional clinical portals, with approval from the district health boards’ (DHBs) chief information officers.
The group is being led by Stella Ward, chief digital officer at Canterbury DHB.
If successful, the project would allow any clinician involved in a patient’s care to view that person’s computerised health data from anywhere across New Zealand.
Waitemata DHB clinical adviser digital innovations Lara Hopley is a key driver of the project and says clinicians are very keen to be able to see patients’ data from other regions as they often move around the country.

Technology to Help Senior Australians Live at Home Longer

High-tech movement monitoring promises to help more senior Australians live safely in their own homes for longer, thanks to a $260,000 investment by the Australian Government.
14 December 2018
High-tech movement monitoring promises to help more senior Australians live safely in their own homes for longer, thanks to a $260,000 investment by the Morrison Government.
The funding will enable IT company Ericom to trial its Monitoring Data Response Solution (MDRS) system, which allows early detection and intervention, should safety issues arise for older people living at home.
This is Australian innovation at its best, enabling remote monitoring and tracking of an aged care recipient’s daily routine, to help prevent misadventure or the possible deterioration in their wellbeing.

International health data comparisons 2018

11 Dec 2018
Comparing health and health care data between countries facilitates international comparative reporting, supports policy planning and decision-making, and enables health-related research and analysis.
The interactive data visualisations across these web pages allow you to compare data from 36 Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) member countries across a range of health and health care indicators, with a focus on Australia’s international performance.
The visualisation on this page provides a snapshot of Australia’s health and health care performance in comparison with the OECD average and with other OECD countries.

Ellume spreads global wings with GSK deal

  • 11:00PM December 11, 2018
Brisbane medical diagnostics company Ellume has signed a significant deal with pharmaceutical giant GSK for digital consumer products, ahead of a potential market listing.
Ellume founder and managing directory Sean Parsons said the global deal was the biggest of its kind in Australia.
“A GSK deal of this type is a pivotal change for a business like Ellume,” Dr Parsons said.
 “It will enable the product to scale into a global market and it provides an external validation of the quality of the technology.”

Fast Growing Australian Medtech Startup RxMx Partners with InterSystems to Enhance the Safe Use of New Medicines

Deloitte Technology Fast 50 2018 Company Will Migrate to InterSystems IRIS for Health to Increase Agility in Developing Clinically Proven Patient Monitoring Systems

SYDNEY, Australia, December 10, 2018 – InterSystems, a global leader in information technology platforms for health, business and government applications, today announced that fast growing Australian medical technology company RxMx will expand its partnership with InterSystems to increase its agility in developing solutions that enhance the safe use of medicines.

Using the InterSystems database platform, RxMx has built and deployed an automated patient monitoring system for complex medicines that require ongoing laboratory testing for potential adverse effects. The system uses real-time algorithms to detect at-risk test results and notifies or provides reminders to doctors, nurses and patients via emails, texts and mobile apps.

RxMx picks InterSystems Iris for Health

Sydney-based medical technology company RxMx is adopting the InterSystems Iris for Health data platform.
RxMx has already built and deployed - using InterSystems' database - an automated patient monitoring system for complex medicines that require ongoing laboratory testing for potential adverse effects.
The system detects at-risk test results and notifies or provides reminders to doctors, nurses and patients via emails, texts and mobile apps.
RxMx co-founder Associate Professor Sean Riminton said the company will migrate to InterSystems Iris for Health data platform for healthcare, to help it adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
"It is an incredibly fast moving field. We are fortunate that InterSystems is willing to innovate with us to keep ahead," he said

Healthlink appoints new CEO

Monday, 10 December 2018, 10:52 am
Press Release:
Australasia’s largest Health IT network, HealthLink, has appointed Aucklander Michelle Creighton as its new chief executive officer.
Michelle joined HealthLink’s Auckland office in 2012 as finance manager and has previously worked as a business analyst in various information technology companies.
HealthLink is the largest provider of clinical messaging services in New Zealand and Australia.
Michelle says she’s looking forward to her new role as CEO, which she officially started on 28 November.

Ransomware still dominates the global threat landscape

Ransomware attacks continues as the main world’s main security threat and the most profitable form of malware, but a new global report indicates that despite “copious” numbers of infections daily there’s emerging signs the threat is no longer growing.
According to the top security predictions for 2019 from security firm Bitdefender, ransomware lost its spot as the number one cyberthreat to consumers and enterprises during the first half of 2018, after topping the list for many years, and growth is now plateauing as the year comes to an end.
Bitefender attributes the slowdown in growth to ransomware taking a “well documented” back seat to crypto-jacking in the past year as bad actors moved towards stealing computing power to generate digital currency whilst flying under the radar.

Using a password manager: 7 pros and cons

This veteran security pro feels more secure now that he's using a password manager, but there are still risks.
Roger A. Grimes (CSO (US)) 06 December, 2018 22:00
I’ve written about what I consider the best current password advice for websites and services you need to keep secure. In a nutshell, here’s the advice again:
  • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  • Where MFA is not an option, use password managers, creating unique, long-as-possible, random passwords for each website or security domain.
  • Where password managers aren’t possible, use long, simple passphrases.
  • In all cases, don’t use common passwords (e.g., “password” or “qwerty”) and never reuse any password between different sites.
This advice might appear to go against my simultaneous support of NIST Special Publication 800-63  Digital Identity Guides. NIST SP 800-63 recommends using non-password methods where possible, and although the recommendations are definitely against forcing users to use very long and complex passwords, they don’t limit password length or complexity.
When people are forced to create and use long, complex, and frequently changing passwords, they do a poor job at it. They reuse the same passwords among different websites or use only slightly different passwords, which create an easy-to-decipher pattern.

Australian 5G spectrum auction hauls in $852m

  • 9:11AM December 10, 2018
Telstra, TPG Telecom and Vodafone Hutchison Australia have ended up paying through the nose for 5G spectrum, with the Australian Communications and Media Authority harvesting $852 million from the sale of 3.6 GHz band spectrum.
The 3.6 GHz spectrum is widely seen as the optimum band for the deployment of 5G services and the final auction price has blown the reserve price blown out of the water.
ACMA had set a reserve price of around $185 million for the full 350 lots of 125MHz of spectrum, at 8 cents per megahertz per population (the amount of spectrum owned in a region multiplied by the number of people reached.)
However, the average price paid by the telcos has ended up around 29 cents per megahertz per population, close to one of the highest price paid for 5G spectrum in the world.

NBN Co looks to earnings from businesses to avoid write-down

The NBN Co, the company rolling out Australia's national broadband network, plans to create new plans for businesses in order to earn $1 billion in revenue from the sector.
The new plans will be 30% to 50% cheaper than those available and will include high speeds and data quotas, a statement from the company said on Monday.
The move is part of the company's efforts to raise its average revenue per user which $44 when it announced its latest quarterly results, the same as that for its fill-year 2018.

Telstra says no to free emergency texts

Telstra has rejected the Queensland government's calls for them to foot the bill for emergency warning texts.
Staff reporters
Australian Associated Press December 12, 201810:15am
Telstra's boss says the Queensland government's suggestion that disaster warning texts should be provided free was "ridiculous" and "disgraceful".
Telstra CEO Andy Penn said on Wednesday that the telco sent out more than 1.2 million texts to Queensland residents during the recent bushfire crisis as part of a commercial contract signed off on by the state government.
He rejected outright Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's assertion that the service should be free.
"We provide the Queensland government with very significant technology and telecommunications networks - at their request we provide those services to them, so to suggest that Telstra's responsibility then to provide that for free is ridiculous," he told ABC radio.

NBN Co reveals 58 percent of HFC network still unserviceable

By Ry Crozier on Dec 13, 2018 12:16PM

Almost 1.2m premises can’t support a retail service.

NBN Co has revealed that 58 percent of its hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) footprint remains unserviceable, seven months after the sales freeze on connections was lifted.
The network builder said that as of November 16 there were still 1,192,965 premises in the HFC footprint whose connections were classed as unserviceable.
That equated to 58.2 percent of all HFC premises declared ready for service, the company said.
“The HFC figure is temporarily inflated during the period of the activations pause,” NBN Co said in notes accompanying the 58 percent figure, repeating verbatim a statement it previously made back in April.

Adelaide to be home to Australian Space Agency

Lot Fourteen to house space agency
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 12 December, 2018 08:54
The Australian Space Agency will be headquartered in Adelaide, the federal government announced today.
“This agency is going to open doors for local businesses and Australian access to the US$345 billion global space industry,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement.
“Our government’s $41 million investment into the agency will act as a launching pad to triple Australia’s space economy to $12 billion and create up to 20,000 jobs by 2030.
“This agency is part of our plan for a stronger economy for South Australia and the country which is about delivering long-term, high-wage, high-skills jobs.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Big week, all right! The news for ADHA and the MyHR just goes from bad to worse!

At least the agency and the govt have managed to really put the spotlight on their handiwork!!!

Looking forward to the final opt-out figures...