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 31, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 31st 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

A really quiet week leading up to 2019. However, a few sleeper issues seem to have emerged. Read on….

Happy New Year To All. For the record the Blog started in 2006 - A while ago now!

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‘Fast-track tool’ to save aged-care sector $250m

  • 12:00AM December 27, 2018
Bureaucrats will enter the homes of older Australians destined for care and separate them into “cost classes” using a one-hour ­assessment tool that will save providers and businesses a quarter of a billion dollars each year.
Documents obtained by The Australian under Freedom of ­Information laws provide the first details of a new funding model being considered by the federal government that would ­replace the Aged Care Funding ­Instrument.
The report from Pioneering Economics reveals that aged-care providers currently spend more than $250 million each year on performing assessments of residents’ care needs, while the federal government spends just $5m to check these claims.
Despite overall savings to the sector, a new system would cost the federal government $145m ­annually. So-called ACFI assessments are the foundation for the basic care subsidies taxpayers provide to the $17 billion aged-care sector each year, but the system is so unwieldy that it has been criticised by providers and government and is due for reform.
In 2016, Scott Morrison as then treasurer cut $1.2bn from the ACFI by freezing indexation rates and changing the scoring matrix for the care subsidies that flowed to providers which has, for the first time in more than a decade, seen rising care costs jump ahead of the amount organisations receive from taxpayers to pay for that care.

Amazon's plan to mine GP data may be Christmas miracle

A new medical machine-learning program 'reads' clinical notes to draw inferences about patient health
Antony Scholefield
18th December 2018
It's that time of year when a certain bloke takes credit for flying millions of presents across the world.
Yes, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the $150 billion man.
His retail mega-corporation is celebrating one year since launching in Australia, but back in the US, it has announced its latest product, called Amazon Comprehend Medical.
It’s a machine-learning program that can supposedly analyse unstructured ­doctors’ notes and extract specific information such as diagnosis, treatment and symptoms.
Amazon says it will help — for a fee — identify patients eligible for clinical trials or build population health databases.

How to fix your family’s tech problems

  • By David Pierce
  • December 25, 2018
If you’re the tech-savvy person in your family, you know what the holidays really mean: getting ambushed by a year’s worth of tech-support questions. Why is everything slow? Where did those icons go? Can you really get an Amazon gift card by clicking on this survey? (Answers: Because, somewhere and NO!)
Since it’s the giving time of year, I present my cheat sheet for solving in-home IT problems. I can’t help with everything, and some issues will unfortunately involve customer-service calls. For that I can only recommend a nice cup of spiked eggnog — or a meditation app.
But most problems, I’ve found, are simpler than they sound. And we can fix ’em before those chestnuts are done roasting. Let’s get into it.

Is Googling Your Symptoms As Bad As Everyone Says?

We’ve all done it – heading online to figure out whether that throat tickle may be something more sinister, or whether the cough you’ve had for weeks could really mean something more. But while using Google as a medical database to look up health issues has been typically discouraged and has generally not been super helpful in specifying actual health concerns in the past, a new study suggests it could actually be helpful in some ways, after all.
While there’s very little actual systematic research on how our relationship with Google might affect real-world interactions with medical professionals, and the medical field as a whole, particularly in fields that impact he emergency department, a new team of Australian health researchers have set out to survey a representative sample of ED patients in two clinics, St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and Austin Health.
The Australian researchers began their study by gathering anonymous data from 400 participants. Unsurprisingly, the researchers discovered that more than one-third of the adults did indeed consult the internet about their medical problem before attending the ED. In fact, 49 percent of the survey participants admitted that they searched for online health information regularly.

All I want for Xmas is a reliable connection': Telco customers irate

By Jennifer Duke
26 December 2018 — 2:20pm
Telstra customers were left irate after a National Broadband Network-related outage caused some Australians to be without internet services late on Christmas Eve and stretching into Christmas Day.
A disruption for some NBN-connected households in Victoria and Tasmania on Monday and Tuesday came at "the worst time of the year" for telecommunications companies and their customers, with network staff at Telstra working through the night on Christmas Eve to get services back up and running.
Global internet measurement company Ookla's Down Detector (also known as Aussie Outages locally) shows the issue was largely kept to the two states, with some complaints from NSW. Some reported their NBN-connected landlines were also not working during the outage.
It's unclear how many customers were affected, with many Telstra customers using a recently introduced smart modem with a 4G back-up that kicks in when there are drop outs or issues. Vodafone Hutchison Australia also offers a 4G option in its modems in case of outages.

My way or the Huawei: Chinese firm deserves inclusion in 5G network

By Clive Williams
29 December 2018 — 12:00am
Much of the recent media reporting about the potential security threat posed by Huawei telecommunications and networking equipment, and Huawei consumer electronics products, is poorly informed and smacks of hysteria.
Huawei (meaning “Splendid Act” or “Able China”) was started in China in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei a former People’s Liberation Army engineer. He started by developing phone switches, but soon realised that future success in the electronics industry required advanced research. Some of Huawei’s early research knowledge may have come from China’s global industrial espionage program.
Although China has managed to shortcut research across the board through industrial espionage, I suspect China's advanced IT capabilities largely came about because the US leaked like a sieve during a critical period of IT development.

Hold the phone. A 5G future is still quite far away

By James Fernyhough
27 Dec 2018 — 11:00 PM
Around this time next year the first 5G smartphones will have started to hit the shelves, and already the buzz around this fifth generation of mobile technology is getting deafening.
When you ask experts what 5G is, the conversation quickly descends into futuristic discussions of smart cities, with cars that drive themselves and fridges that do your shopping for you.
But the question most consumers will want to know is: How will it change what I can do with my smartphone? The answer lands with a disappointing thud: It probably won't change much, at least initially.
That's because 4G technology is already more than capable of doing what we demand from our phones.That has led analysts and commentators to warn consumers are unlikely to pay a premium to access a service they don't need.

Pluto explorer ushering in new year at more distant world

By MARCIA DUNN 28 December, 2018
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The spacecraft team that brought us close-ups of Pluto will ring in the new year by exploring an even more distant and mysterious world.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will zip past the scrawny, icy object nicknamed Ultima Thule (TOO-lee) soon after the stroke of midnight.
One billion miles beyond Pluto and an astounding 4 billion miles from Earth (1.6 billion kilometers and 6.4 billion kilometers), Ultima Thule will be the farthest world ever explored by humankind. That’s what makes this deep-freeze target so enticing; it’s a preserved relic dating all the way back to our solar system’s origin 4.5 billion years ago. No spacecraft has visited anything so primitive.

Dark liquid: Radical new model of the universe revealed


Trevor3130 said...

Does any service in digital Health use Managed Service Provider, as in this Wired article on APT10 hackers? Maybe the question should be "Would any service own up to using MSP?"

Grahame Grieve said...

Yes lots of them do. The government has dramatically increased certification requirements for health data aimed at both vendors and MSPs to try and keep on top of this, but looking at the timelines, people should assume that the Chinese have quite a bit of disparate health data on Australians from before the last few years.

To put that in perspective, though, it's pretty low quality data, in that it's partial, fragmented, hard to understand and assemble, and very low value for them. If they want identity, they have much better sources. If they want blackmail material, it's very hit and miss even if they assemble the data correctly. Again, there are better sources. And mostly, this just isn't the kind of thing they're after.