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, December 03, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 3rd 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

An eclectic mix of articles with lots on AI and all sorts of other interesting material – enjoy the browse. Oh, and a big bit of news on the #myHealthRecord!

My Health Record opt-out officially extended to January 31

The House of Representatives has agreed that delete now means delete.
By Asha McLean | November 26, 2018 -- 03:04 GMT (14:04 AEDT) | Topic: Security
Those wishing to opt-out of the federal government's My Health Record now officially have until January 31 to do so, with the House of Representatives on Monday passing amendments agreed upon in the Senate earlier this month.
A day before the original opt-out date, Pauline Hanson put forward an amendment to extend the opt-out period by just over two months, after the federal opposition had its request for a 12-month extension blocked. It would be two weeks until the House of Representatives had the opportunity to agree to the changes.
The opt-out period was originally meant to end on October 15, but was in August extended until November 15.

There’s “a long way to go” before we eradicate fax in healthcare: panel

Hafizah Osman | 26 Nov 2018
The Australian healthcare industry is preparing itself for a wide-scale replacement of the fax machine with secure messaging systems for patient information sharing, but the former’s use will still exist in many organisations, a panel discussion has heard. 
At the Wild Health Summit in Sydney, industry leaders stressed the importance of digital change, but said, during the panel discussion, that fax machine usage could still benefit some players in the sphere.  
Medical Software Industry Association CEO Emma Hossack said by this time next year, there will be the opportunity to do away with fax machines, but some may choose to keep using them. 
“In some small clinics, it may not be worth using anything more than a fax machine. They will still serve their purpose, so they won’t need to get rid of them,” she said.  

NSW’s hospitals enroute to state-wide Electronic Record for Intensive Care (eRIC) implementation

Once implemented across 44 ICUs of NSW in Australia, eRIC will be one of the largest system-wide ICU clinical information systems in the world.
November 28, 2018 09:32 PM
Last week, Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital in New South Wales (NSW), Australia became the 17th Intensive Care Unit (ICU) across the state to replace paper charting with Electronic Record for Intensive Care (eRIC), which digitally integrates patient data from bedside monitors, ventilators and other specialised equipment every minute. With this latest go live, more than a third of NSW’s 44 ICU hospitals are onboard the eRIC clinical information system.
The electronic Record for Intensive Care (eRIC) is an electronic clinical information system within an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) that integrates patient data every minute from multiple systems, to improve patient safety and provide better clinical decision-making.
“eRIC will cut manual documentation work, which is very time consuming,” said Kelly Duff, Clinical Nurse Educator and Change Manager at Calvary Mater. “With eRIC, we expect that documentation and compliance will improve, resulting in fewer mistakes relating to these.”
  • Updated Nov 26 2018 at 11:00 PM

The Implant Files: How the Therapeutic Goods Administration regulates medical devices

There is good reason why the building that houses Australia's powerful regulator of drugs and medical devices is known as "Fortress Symonston". It stands in the Canberra suburb of Symonston and is impenetrable and immune from liability.
"We don't know what's happening inside the walls," says Associate Professor Wendy Bonython, who has a special interest in medical device regulation and consumer protection.
A law academic at the University of Canberra, she says the Therapeutic Goods Administration is inward-looking. It is not keen to engage with the research or university sector where it could pick up good intelligence, or with consumers with whom it could build a useful rapport, she says.
For the media, although there is only one arrow slit through which members of the press can shoot an email, it is always promptly answered.
The TGA is often in the firing line. When a medical device becomes problematic, people tend to point a finger at the manufacturer for providing faulty equipment and then target the regulator for approving it.

AI-infused humans: Elon Musk wants to create a hard drive for our brains

By Peter Holley
27 November 2018 — 6:20am
In recent years, Elon Musk has become one of the most vocal critics of artificial intelligence, issuing numerous warnings about the threat that powerful machines pose to the future of mankind.
Now the 47-year-old billionaire inventor and Tesla chief executive has unveiled a potential way for the meager human brain to compete with a superior force that Musk has compared to "an immortal dictator" and "the devil."
During an interview with Axios co-founders Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen that aired Sunday, Musk said humans must merge with artificial intelligence, creating a "symbiosis" that leads to "a democratisation of intelligence."
"Essentially, how do we ensure that the future constitutes the sum of the will of humanity?" Musk said. "And so, if we have billions of people with the high-bandwidth link to the AI extension of themselves, it would actually make everyone hyper-smart."

Human Services in ‘augmented intelligence’ push

New Canberra centre of excellence launched
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 28 November, 2018 14:11
The Department of Human Services has officially thrown open the doors of a new Canberra-based centre dedicated to driving the adoption of AI across government
The department said that the Augmented Intelligence Centre of Excellence would work with industry and academia, with other government agencies also encouraged to collaborate with the centre.
“Augmented intelligence is not about replacing people with machines, but rather about developing ways to better support our people and further enhance the customer experience for the millions of Australians who rely on our services,” said human services and digital transformation minister Michael Keenan.
Earlier this month the department announced the launch of Charles, a new digital assistant based on Microsoft’s Azure Bot Service and designed to provide support channel for myGov account holders. Charles joined Sam and Oliver, two other public-facing digital assistants operated by Human Services.

AI and machine learning – how soon will it be key to a learning health system?

Hafizah Osman | 29 Nov 2018
AI and machine learning are heralded as technologies of great hope for the future of healthcare, but an industry expert has pushed back against the hype, predicting that they will not be fully seeded into industry practice anytime soon. 
Speaking at the recent Wild Health Summit in Sydney, Macquarie University Australian Institute of Health Innovation Centre of Health Informatics Director Professor Enrico Coiera said the full blown effect of AI and machine learning on the healthcare industry is not near.   
“Amara’s Law states that we overestimate the effect of technology in the short run and underestimate it in the long run. This idea of an AGI – artificial general intelligence – is quite a way away. I’ve yet to see any inkling of the class of technology needed to bring that world upon us,” he said.  
According to Coiera, the speed of progress will only see AI and machine learning integrated into healthcare in some 10 years or so.

Healthcare, on the edge with artificial intelligence

Editor: Melissa Sweet Author: Amy Coopes on: November 26, 2018 In: public health

Amy Coopes writes:

Bots mining the data records of millions of patients to refine your diagnosis; voice-to-text intelligent electronic medical records that build a file, suggest tests, and offer differentials while you see a patient in real-time; even a ‘digital doctor’ that can – with the help of a few simple devices plugged into a smartphone – run an entire consult right down to the dispatch of a script to the nearest pharmacy.
It sounds like the stuff of science-fiction, but these are all capabilities coming onto the market right now in health care, where big data, processing power and data science technology are presenting an “exponential convergence” that promises to transform medicine, emergency doctors heard at a recent summit in Perth.
Dr Martin Than, director of research at New Zealand’s Christchurch Emergency Department, captivated delegates to the 35th annual scientific meeting of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine with his keynote ‘On the Edge of Artificial Intelligence’, which explored the potential of big data, machine learning and deep learning in patient care.
  • Nov 29 2018 at 4:04 PM

CBA partners with start-up Whitecoat - the 'TripAdvisor of healthcare'

Commonwealth Bank has invested in Australian medical technology start-up, Whitecoat, as it looks to get its share of the $180 billion-plus healthcare payments market in Australia. 
Dubbed the "TripAdvisor of healthcare", Whitecoat is an online directory of doctors, surgeons, dentists and other practitioners that allows consumers to leave reviews based on their service experience.
It was launched in 2013, and by mid-December will have reached 1 million reviews. Whitecoat is already backed by health funds, NIB, BUPA, HBF and CBHS Health.
CommBank Health Claim, a new product offering for patients and healthcare providers, combines app-based architecture with wireless connectivity to CBA's Albert merchant terminals.
  • Updated Nov 29 2018 at 5:01 PM

CEBIT Australia to continue despite German forerunner's demise

The demise of its German forerunner has prompted CEBIT Australia, the country's largest business technology conference, to reinvent itself for 2019.
CEBIT organiser Deutsche Messe AG announced on Thursday that CEBIT, the information technology conference held annually in Hanover since 1986, would not go ahead next June and elements of it would be absorbed in to its Hanover Fair, a general industrial technology event held two months later. Attracting 800,000 visitors at its height around the dotcom boom, the final CEBIT this year attracted only 120,000 delegates.
CEBIT Australia, one of six international versions of the German original, will proceed however. Organiser Harvey Stockridge said lessons had been learnt.

It’s not the robots that radiologists should fear

Forget AI, a different group may threaten the specialty, study shows
Antony Scholefield
28th November 2018
If you read the medical press, you will assume radiologists live in fear of mass unemployment under the looming threat of machine-learning robots.
Australian Doctor reported last year that radiologists had been compared to Wile E ­Coyote at the point where the cartoon character runs off the edge of a cliff.
His pedalling feet keep him upright but there’s no way back and only seconds until gravity kicks in.

Biology blurring the boundaries

  • By Allan Waddell
  • 11:00PM November 26, 2018
Artificial intelligence is taking off. Virtual assistants, computer chips, cameras and software packages are increasingly taking advantage of machine learning to create pseudo-intelligent, versatile problem-solvers. Neural networks, AI modelled on the human brain, strike fear into anyone convinced that AI is ­already too close to being alive. The truth is it has ­always been easy to tell the artificial and the living apart — until now.
This biological-artificial distinction is about to get blurrier, and all of us need to pay attention. Among other developments, ­researchers at ­Lehigh University recently ­secured funding to grow neural networks out of living cells. ­Essentially, the researchers are going to recreate the neural-network architecture of an artificially intelligent algorithm using living cells. Theoretically, the ­algorithm should work identically in a petri dish as it does in a computer; the structure of the neural network is irrelevant in computational systems. This is a property of computers for which Justin Garson coined the term “medium independence”. In 2003, Garson said the medium used for computation didn’t matter — a computer could be made out of silicon or wood — as long as the logical basis of the computation was unchanged.

Medicare Records - FHIR Implementation Guide v1.0

The Medicare Records FHIR Implementation Guide specifies the format of FHIR-based representations of Medicare documents that is used for the upload of such documents to the My Health Record system.
It includes FHIR profiles defining the representation of:
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS) claim items;
  • Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) claim items;
  • Australian Organ Donor Register records;
  • Australian Immunisation Register records.
The Medicare Records FHIR Implementation Guide was developed in support of the Medicare Document Simplification work package for My Health Record system release v9.3.
The Medicare Records FHIR Implementation Guide is available in two formats:
Identifier: DH-2738:2018

New Zealand’s Northern Region simulates major cyberattack on its health system

The mock exercise, called ‘hot chili’, was run by the shared services agency healthAlliance to create, test and improve a regional view of business continuity and the recovery capability.
November 27, 2018 12:17 AM
New Zealand’s Northern Region simulated a major cyberattack on its health system, saying it is a case of “when, not if” an attack will eventually occur.
healthAlliance systems operations manager Simon Long presented at the HiNZ Conference 2018 in Wellington on 23 November on the mock incident, called ‘hot chilli’, which was run by the shared services agency. healthAlliance is one of the most significant shared services organisations for the health sector in New Zealand and jointly owned by the four Northern Region district health boards (DHBs) : Northland, Waitemata, Auckland and Counties Manukau Health.
Long said low-scale cyberattacks on the health system happen on a daily basis and the mock incident escalated the scenario into a major attack that affected a number of systems.

GPs, you need this palliative care app in your armoury

Hot Apps: It's brilliant at giving basic medication guidance
Dr Rob Park
29th November 2018
The palliMEDS app from NPS MedicineWise and caring@home is designed to explain the use of eight medicines that have been endorsed for end-of-life care by the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine.
Palliative care medicine is such a crucial part of general practice and having a good understanding of the drugs that best alleviate symptoms is critical.
However, the medications involved can sometimes be confusing.
The app is free to download, and you can either search for information by symptom or by medication.

Australia's Defence department was badly exposed to China's hackers

By Nick McKenzie & Angus Grigg
29 November 2018 — 11:45pm
The Australian defence department left itself badly exposed to cyber attacks due to the poor security practices of its contractors, according to a highly classified review by former federal police chief Mick Keelty.
In the 18 months since the review was completed, top military officials have scrambled to harden cyber security across the extended Defence network, after intelligence agencies indicated state-sponsored hackers mainly from China were penetrating the department using holes in its IT systems.
The hackers are understood to have used procurement interfaces and email contact between contractors and department officials as a back door to enter Defence’s systems.

Four hour 'top secret' briefing used to press encryption law need

By Ry Crozier on Nov 26, 2018 6:15PM

Idea floated to limited use cases to counter-terrorism only.

Australian law enforcement agencies have pressed the case to fast-track elements of the encryption-busting bill during a four-hour “top secret” briefing to a joint parliamentary committee.
The closed-door briefing, held on Monday morning, was immediately followed by a much shorter public hearing with the same agencies, including ASIO, AFP and the Department of Home Affairs.
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) said in a statement that it is “actively considering” Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s demands “to accelerate its review” of the proposed laws.
Both Dutton and Prime Minister Scott Morrison want to ram the controversial legislation through parliament before Christmas.
  • Updated Nov 26 2018 at 8:33 PM

Compromise looms for encryption bill

Spy agencies and police are likely to be handed some extra powers that will compel technology companies to assist them access encrypted messages but other provisions including hefty fines if people refuse to provide their password could be delayed until next year.
As the nation's top spy warned that foreign intelligence agencies as well as terrorists and criminals could gain an edge over authorities, momentum is growing for a compromise over the so-called encryption legislation amid the Morrison government's efforts to strong-arm Parliament's intelligence committee to wrap up its inquiry so the new laws can be passed in the final sitting fortnight for the year.
But one of the reasons for the committee's reluctance to rush its inquiry is members want advice from US officials over the potential that Australia's laws could be incompatible with America's Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act, or CLOUD Act.

Encryption bill 'poorly conceived', says UN official

Australia's proposed encryption bill has been described as a national security measure that has been poorly conceived and likely to endanger security as not by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy, Professor Joseph Cannataci.
Prof Cannataci told the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security on Tuesday evening that it was up in the air whether the legislation could achieve its aims and avoid introducing vulnerabilities in devices.
He spoke at length about what he described as weak oversight and accountability in the bill.
Tuesday marked the fourth day of hearings on the bill — officially known as the Telecommunications and other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access Bill) 2018 — and the PJCIS also heard from Margaret Stone, the inspector-general of intelligence and security, deputy Commonwealth ombudsman Jaala Hinchcliffe and Jake Blight, inspector-general of intelligence and security.


Encryption bill: EFA questions need to rush proposed legislation

Digital rights organisation Electronic Frontiers Australia says it is extremely concerned that the Australian Government is rushing the review of the proposed encryption bill, adding that both civil society and the technology industry have serious concerns about the bill.
The EFA pointed out, in a statement, that despite comments made by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton that the bill needed to be passed before Christmas, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation was unaware of his (Dutton's) intention to speak to the media.
Nor could ASIO offer any justification for the alleged need for urgency in passing the bill during a hearing of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security on Monday.

Crypto Bill undermines parliamentary privilege: Senate President

By Julian Bajkowski , Simon Sharwood on Nov 30, 2018 6:30AM

Dutton cops a black eye from Black Rod.

The federal government’s Access and Assistance Bill has had a nasty collision with the powerful umpires of Australia's two houses of Parliament.
In a shock development that could yet recast the passage of the controversial bill, Senate President Senator Scott Ryan has written a stinging letter detaining concerns over its shortcomings to the chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, Andrew Hastie MP.
The optics of the latest fissure within the Coalition are terrible for the government, not least because it could cause a grass roots revolt against parts of the bill from across the political spectrum.
The timing could not be worse either, with the Joint Committee set to meet today. 
  • Updated Nov 30 2018 at 5:37 PM

Does not compute: government, Labor at odds over new encryption spy powers

Negotiations over controversial encryption laws have broken down in acrimony, with the Morrison government accusing Labor of being soft on terrorists and paedophiles after the Opposition refused to buckle and support the new spy powers.
Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said the government had shattered the bipartisan approach to national security by demanding the encryption laws be rushed through Parliament next week, despite warnings from industry experts the laws would actually leave Australians vulnerable to threats.
Labor did offer to pass an interim bill – that would give police and spy agencies extra powers to snoop on people's private electronic devices and communications – while concerns were addressed.

Deadlocked encryption debate getting ugly

Debate over deadlocked encryption legislation has taken an ugly turn, with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann accusing Labor of siding with terrorists.
Daniel McCulloch
Australian Associated Press December 2, 201810:19am
Senior cabinet minister Mathias Cormann has accused Labor of siding with terrorists, as debate over deadlocked encryption legislation takes an ugly turn.
Senator Cormann says the opposition is playing games with laws designed to give Australian security and police agencies powers to access encrypted communications.
A bipartisan intelligence and security committee looking into the new powers has failed to reach an agreement on a way forward - the first impasse of its kind in more than a decade.

Massive data breach at Marriott’s Starwood hotels

5:55AM December 2, 2018
Up to 500 million customers of the Marriott owned Starwood Hotels could have had their personal details stolen in what is shaping as one of the biggest data breaches in history.
Australians could be among victims of the unprecedented data heist, those who have used Starwood-owned accommodation while overseas and locally. When asked specifically by The Australian if it could confirm or eliminate whether the data of guests staying at Australian properties had been stolen, a spokesperson for Marriott said: “The situation has global impact. We do not have a breakdown by market at this time.”
In a lengthy statement published on its US website, Marriott International admits that in some instance payments information may also have been stolen. Further, while the payments information was encrypted, Marriott says it cannot be sure that the encryption hadn’t been compromised too.

Building the Tricorder: The race to create a real-life Star Trek medical scanner

A handheld diagnostic device has long been the dream of doctors and patients alike. And it's getting closer.
By Jo Best | November 26, 2018 -- 10:45 GMT (21:45 AEDT) | Topic: Digital Health and Wellness
Its vision of romantic encounters with aliens and plagues of tribbles may not have come to pass just yet, but Star Trek has proved surprisingly accurate in predicting the future in other ways.
When it comes to technology, the show's gadgets have already become reality in several cases: its communicator predicted the clamshell mobile phone, the food replicator was made real with 3D food printing, and Captain Kirk was using voice input long before Alexa became a household name.
But of all Star Trek's technological imaginings, it's the Tricorder that continues to capture the popular and scientfic imagination: a handheld medical device that could be used to analyse a patient, helping doctors diagnose and treat the crew on the bridge and beyond.

How Bupa shifted from four page report requests to self serve BI

Private healthcare company is centralising its data and reporting capabilities to help analysts move away from filing outdated and timely four page request forms
Scott Carey (Computerworld) 27 November, 2018 07:30
The private healthcare company Bupa is the middle of a much needed business intelligence (BI) transformation, centralising data into a single data warehouse and simplifying reporting to deliver insights at far greater speed.
It's a tried and tested formula for Julian Pimm-Smith, director of data and information services at Bupa, and his team from their days at Pret a Manger: layering SAP's Business Objects enterprise on top of an SQL server data warehouse, with the Business Objects Universes semantic layer in between.
Speaking to Computerworld UK during the UK and Ireland SAP User group conference in Birmingham last week, Josh Morrin, senior reporting developer at Bupa, talked us through the project after he followed Pimm-Smith from Pret in July last year.
  • Updated Nov 25 2018 at 11:00 PM

Telstra and its telco rivals head for a pricing car crash with 'delusional' NBN

It takes a lot for Australia's two largest telecommunications suppliers, Telstra and Optus, to find common ground. Anyone who has closely watched the local market in the past decade will know that the pair like nothing better than sniping at each other.
However, it has taken a common cause to bring the rivals together in furious agreement, and worryingly for the nation's parlous bottom line, it comes in the form of the ever-controversial National Broadband Network, and more specifically the excessive price that NBN is now charging retail service providers such as Telstra, Optus, TPG and Aussie Broadband to resell the network
The Australian Financial Review has observed in the past that ex-NBN CEO Bill Morrow was prone to fanciful levels of optimism when presenting the future prospects of the government-owned enterprise to the public, and it seems that his former lieutenant and successor Stephen Rue is possessed with a similarly useful gift of wilful ignorance of the local market dynamics.

Dinosaur reborn: Microsoft is now worth as much as Apple. How did that happen?

By Steve Lohr
Updated 30 November 2018 — 6:19amfirst published at 6:01am
Just a few years ago, Microsoft was seen as a lumbering has-been of the technology world.
It was big and still quite profitable, but the company had lost its luster, failing or trailing in the markets of the future like mobile, search, online advertising and cloud computing. Its stock price languished, inching up 3 per cent in the decade through the end of 2012.
It's a very different story today. Microsoft is running neck and neck with Apple for the title of the world's most valuable company, both worth more than $US850 billion ($1.16 trillion) , thanks to a stock price that has climbed 30 per cent over the past 12 months.
So what happened?
  • Updated Nov 27 2018 at 7:47 AM

Mars landing 'flawless' as NASA's InSight explorer lands safely on red planet

Epic fist bump for NASA Mars landing
by Sarah Kaplan
Washington | For the eighth time ever, humanity has achieved one of the toughest tasks in the solar system: landing a spacecraft on Mars.
The InSight lander, operated by NASA and built by scientists in the US, France and Germany, touched down in the vast, red expanse of Mars' Elysium Planitia just before 3pm Eastern time on Monday (7am on Tuesday AEDT).
There it will operate for the next two Earth years, deploying a seismometer, a heat sensor and radio antenna to probe the Red Planet's interior.
Scientists hope that InSight will uncover signs of tectonic activity and clues about the planet's past.

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