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."

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Commentators and Journalists Weigh In On Digital Health And Related Privacy, Safety And Security Matters. Lots Of Interesting Perspectives - December 31, 2019.

This weekly blog is to explore the larger issues around Digital Health, data security, data privacy, AI / ML. technology and related matters.
I will also try to highlight ADHA Propaganda when I come upon it.
Just so we keep count, the latest Notes from the ADHA Board are dated 6 December, 2018! Secrecy unconstrained! This is really the behaviour of a federal public agency gone rogue – and it just goes on! When you read this it will be well over 12 months of radio silence, and better still the CEO, COO and the Chief of Staff have also gone.  I wonder will things improve now?
Note: Appearance here is not to suggest I see any credibility or value in what follows. I will leave it to the reader to decide what is worthwhile and what is not! The point is to let people know what is being said / published that I have come upon.
Oh, and Happy New Year!

Inside Australia's race to build a viable quantum computer

Quantum computing promises to change everything about the way we live, and two Australian universities are taking very different paths in search of the elusive prize.
John Davidson Columnist
Dec 27, 2019 — 12.07am
On an overcast morning midway through last decade, then Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, stood at a podium in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, claiming to be at the very "cutting edge of the new age of computing".
The podium stood in front of a $25 million extension that had just been added to the Centre for Quantum Computation at the University of NSW, where scientists led by an English physicist who would go on to become the Australian of the Year, Professor Michelle Simmons, were trying to build a world-beating quantum computer.
"You’re not just doing great work, Michelle, you're doing the best work in the world," the Prime Minister enthused. “You're not just . . . determining the direction of computing for Australia, you are leading the world.”

Human Rights Commission wants privacy laws adjusted for an AI future

It is one of 29 proposals that the commission has proposed as it seeks to address the impact of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, will have on human rights.
By Aimee Chanthadavong | December 17, 2019 -- 02:55 GMT (13:55 AEDT) | Topic: Innovation
The Australian Human Rights Commission has called on the Australian government to modernise privacy and human rights laws to take into account the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) as one of 29 proposals put forward in its Human Rights and Technology discussion paper.
"We need to apply the foundational principles of our democracy, such as accountability and the rule of law, more effectively to the use and development of AI," Human Rights commissioner Edward Santow wrote in his foreword in the discussion paper [PDF].
"Where there are problematic gaps in the law, we propose targeted reform. We focus most on areas where the risk of harm is particularly high. For example, the use of facial recognition warrants a regulatory response that addresses legitimate community concern about our privacy and other rights.
"Government should lead the way."

The world is reeling from a Zucker punch

Ten years ago, the pace of technology, particularly in social media, was a trickle; now it’s a toxic torrent.
No one was prepared for just how damaging Facebook, and social media more broadly, would become.
The 2010s will likely be remembered most for the tech giants’ outsized influence on our lives and our collective inability to rein them in. Social media has disrupted democracy, dumbed down discourse and come at a cost to civil society that we can’t even yet fully understand.
The tech titans’ mysterious algorithms — of which we know virtually nothing — morphed across the decade from mere recommendation engines to the mastermind of what we see and read every day. In contrast to a newspaper editor or a TV news director selecting what stories were most important for people to read — even if they wouldn’t necessarily be popular — a non-human algorithm instead would pick what was most likely to gain clicks, “likes” and engagement.
What started as platforms promoting connectivity evolved into damaging tools for division and dumbed down debate over the past decade, says tech reporter David Swan.

California gets tough on data privacy breaches

History does not repeat but sometimes it rhymes. So, it seems, do efforts to protect netizens’ privacy. The European Union led the world with its General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force in May 2018. That law shook up internet giants and global advertising firms, both of which had previously used — and at times abused — consumer data with little oversight.
On December 11 India’s government introduced a bill that would force firms to handle data only with consumer consent and give the authorities sweeping access to them. The same day Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised a review of privacy laws and said the competition authority will monitor how advertising is done on digital platforms.
But the most important piece of legislation rhyming with GDPR right now is the California Consumer Privacy Act, which comes into force on January 1. To online businesses, it jars.
The Californian law copies some of the GDPR’s provisions. It gives consumers the right to know what online information is collected about them and how it is used, permits them to demand that their data be destroyed and to sue companies for data breaches.


Ethical machine learning: the Australian government’s official AI ethics framework

On 7 November 2019, the Australian Federal Government’s Minister for Industry, Innovation, and Science, Karen Andrews, announced the Australian government’s official AI ethics framework.
This is a voluntary set of parameters for businesses and organisations when designing, developing, integrating, or otherwise using artificial intelligence.
The framework reduces to eight principles, and we replicate below the summary from the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science’s website:
Principles at a glance
  • Human, social and environmental wellbeing: Throughout their lifecycle, AI systems should benefit individuals, society and the environment.
  • Human-centred values: Throughout their lifecycle, AI systems should respect human rights, diversity, and the autonomy of individuals.
  • Fairness: Throughout their lifecycle, AI systems should be inclusive and accessible, and should not involve or result in unfair discrimination against individuals, communities or groups.
  • Privacy protection and security: Throughout their lifecycle, AI systems should respect and uphold privacy rights and data protection, and ensure the security of data.
  • Reliability and safety: Throughout their lifecycle, AI systems should reliably operate in accordance with their intended purpose.
  • Transparency and explainability: There should be transparency and responsible disclosure to ensure people know when they are being significantly impacted by an AI system, and can find out when an AI system is engaging with them.
  • Contestability: When an AI system significantly impacts a person, community, group or environment, there should be a timely process to allow people to challenge the use or output of the AI system.
  • Accountability: Those responsible for the different phases of the AI system lifecycle should be identifiable and accountable for the outcomes of the AI systems, and human oversight of AI systems should be enabled.
More questions are raised by the framework than answered. We deal with some immediately obvious issues below.

Biometrics critical to countering terror threats

The incoming government brief from the Department of Home Affairs reveals the organisation’s increasing reliance on biometric data to detect and respond to what it calls “threats within the immig­ration program”.
The department uses bio­metrics collected from visa applications in Australia and 46 other countries to detect “persons of concern”.
People applying for a visa to Australia from those countries will have a photo of their face taken and their fingertips ­recorded on a digital finger ­scanner.
The millions of biometrics collect­ed are checked against existin­g data holdings and other databases run by Australia’s M5 immigration partners, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and the US.
The brief said “intelligence sharing with law-enforcement agencies and Five Eyes partners had strengthened” since the ­establishment of the Department of Home Affairs.

ACCC prods tech titans on media content deal

Facebook and Google have been urged to reach an agreement quickly and in “good faith” with traditional media companies or face intervention by the competition watchdog, including imposition of a mandatory code.
A letter from Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims to the local chief executives of Google and Facebook, obtained by The Australian, told the US tech giants to advise the ACCC by the end of January “the broad subjects proposed for negotiation, the potential format of commitments so they are ­enforceable”.
The letter, which mandates a detailed timeline for negotiations including a full draft agreement for the ACCC’s perusal by Oct­ober, follows the Morrison government’s endorsement of a raft of ACCC recommendations to rein in the tech giants’ market power in local digital markets, including a voluntary code.
 “It will be important to progress negotiations in good faith and as expeditiously as possible in order to meet these deadlines, noting that the government has indicated it will consider options, including imposing a mandatory bargaining code, if a suitable outcome is not reached within the expected timeframe,” it said.

Police using facial recognition cameras at Victoria's busiest stations

By Farrah Tomazin
December 25, 2019 — 11.45pm
Victoria Police is quietly using facial recognition technology to identify criminal suspects at 85 of the state's busiest police stations.
A month after body-worn cameras came under the spotlight, police figures reveal that another form of camera technology known as iFace has been rolled out at key stations.
The system uses biometric software to identify suspects by comparing still images against Victoria Police’s mugshot database of known offenders.
But secrecy surrounds the network, its use and how many times people have been mistakenly flagged as potential criminals. Facial recognition technology has proved significantly inaccurate in overseas jurisdictions.

Advance Care Planning and My Health Record Community Workshop

Are you good to go?

Thursday 6 February 2020
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

You are invited to a FREE interactive community workshop on advance care planning and My Health Record.
Comment – sick tag line above….ich!

2019 CEO survey: Data in driver’s seat for top execs

ACCC chief Rod Sims will increasingly use control of data as a key metric in deciding whether a merger breaches competition rules — and this year’s business leader survey shows data use has gone from theory to fact.
The survey of 73 business leaders shows increased use of artificial intelligence, with Magellan’s Hamish Douglass saying: “Magellan uses data science and machine learning to improve many processes in our business.”
CBA’s Matt Comyn said the bank was “using analytics to help our 7 million digitally active customers better understand and manage their finances, or to connect them with a range of benefits they may be entitled to.”
QBE’s Pat Regan said: “Things like artificial intelligence and robotics are helping speed up claims-handling and strengthen our fraud detection capabilities, for example. We’re using data better and exploring more ways that we can better capture that to deliver more tailored customer solutions.”

Media Release: My Health Record sees a 62 per cent increase in general practitioners viewing documents

Created on Monday, 23 December 2019 ADHA Propaganda
According to data released by the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency), general practices increasingly lead the way in using My Health Record, with usage (viewing and uploading) rising substantially since March 2019.
In data released in December as part of a refreshed My Health Record statistics dashboard, general practices averaged around 200,000 My Health Record views per month throughout September and October, a 62 per cent increase since March this year.
  • Since March, monthly cross-organisation views have increased by 140 per cent.
  • General practices are viewing the most documents uploaded by other healthcare providers, and the documents they upload are most frequently viewed by other healthcare providers (including other general practices).
  • 90 per cent cent of general practices are registered for My Health Record, with 71 per cent using the system as at November 2019.
  • General practices are one of the leading healthcare provider groups in both registration and usage, along with pharmacies (90 per cent registered and 69 per cent using) and public hospitals (94 per cent of beds registered).
  • General practices also upload between 2 and 3 million documents to the system every month.
Dr Harry Nespolon, President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, said general practitioners may be more inclined to use My Health Record because of the nature of their work.
“Many general practitioners are treating patients with complex or chronic conditions, so they need to be able to make decisions that are informed by a wider view of a patient’s health.
Comments more than welcome!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 30th December, 2019.

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

Not surprisingly a very quiet week with just a few interesting items popping up.

Health documents reveal patient harm linked to Queensland's new medical record system

Exclusive by state political reporter Josh Bavas
24 December, 2019
Almost 100 cases of patient harm have been linked to Queensland's new electronic medical record system in just over a year, including instances of patients being administered incorrect doses of drugs.

Key points:

  • Documented cases include child given 10 times the amount of insulin they were prescribed and a patient administered morphine in milligrams, not micrograms
  • One patient in severe pain was unable to be given pain relief because of a 'computer system failure'
  • Queensland Health says the Integrated Electronic Medical Record (ieMR) is working well
On one occasion late last year, a child at Queensland Children's Hospital was mistakenly given 10 times the amount of long-acting insulin they were prescribed.

Credit card and other details of Perth rental applicants may have been public for 21 months

By Hamish Hastie
December 24, 2019 — 3.05pm
Information such as credit card details and birth certificates uploaded during tenancy applications may have been published on the website of a Perth property management business for up to 21 months, a warning to clients has revealed.
On Monday Perth-based Primus Realty emailed 750 of its clients warning that tenancy application information collected via its website from March 2018 to December 12, 2019 may have been made public.
The tenancy information may have been online for up to 21 months.
The information could include sensitive identifying information such as names, birthdays, addresses, telephone numbers, driver licences, passports, birth certificates and even Medicare numbers.
Worryingly, financial documents may have also made it online including credit card details, bank statements, proof of income and bills.

Website to compare medical specialists' costs to go live without key details

By Dana McCauley
December 27, 2019 — 10.00pm
The Morrison government's $7.2 million specialist fee transparency website is set to go live in the coming days, but will not detail individual doctors' fees – as initially promised – or enable patients to determine their out-of-pocket costs.
The website, promised by Health Minister Greg Hunt before the federal election in response to concerns about overcharging by some specialists, will give an average cost of a range of procedures and will not detail how much each health fund will pay towards each procedure.
Mr Hunt pledged in March to deliver a searchable website listing individual specialists' fees for specific services to help patients avoid "bill shock" and crack down on doctors charging egregious out-of-pocket sums, but the project has been hampered by a lack of co-operation from doctors.
The minister initially said the website would go live by January 1 with individual fee information to be provided by obstetricians, gynaecologists and cancer physicians.
National Association of Specialist Obstetricians and Gynaecologists president Gino Pecoraro said of the hundreds of doctors in the field he had spoken to about the website over the past nine months, "not one" had indicated a willingness to publish their fees.

Government funds new efforts to bolster political parties’ cyber security

New program launched in wake of parliament hack

The Department of Finance will administer a new program to help political parties better improve the security of voter information that they hold.
Funding of $2.7 million was allocated in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2019-20, building on a 2017-18 budget measure that earmarked $300,000 to the four largest parliamentary parties to help boost security.
In early 2017 the government revealed plans to help political parties strengthen security in the wake of state-sponsored hackers penetrating a server belonging to the Democratic National Committee in the US.

Advance care directives frequently written by someone other than the patient

About 18% have been completed by someone else, survey shows
27th December 2019
Nearly one-fifth of advance care directives for end-of-life care are completed by someone other than the patient, putting their legal validity in doubt, a new survey has revealed.
Last year, researchers examined the health records held at 15 GP clinics, 27 hospitals and 58 aged care facilities.
Among the 4200 patients aged over 65, they found 1100 had a written advance care directive.
In most cases, the directives can only be treated as legal documents when written and signed by the individual when they have decision-making capacity.

HISA and ACHI vote ‘Yes’ to unite and form a new organisation

Making history!

HISA and ACHI members and Fellows have voted ‘Yes’ to unite and form a new peak body for digital health.
The proposal to merge and form a new organisation has been passed by a majority vote with more than 89% of members and Fellows voting for the merger.
The Australasian Institute of Digital Health will be launched on 24 February 2020.
HISA and ACHI members and Fellows will be the inaugural members of the Digital Health Institute which will be accepting new members from all sectors of healthcare after it is launched.

App gives foster kids chance to report abuse

Children and teens in foster care and group homes will be able to report abuse or ask for immediate help on a phone app that for the first time connects them directly to their case worker and emergency contacts.
Western Australia is the first state or territory in Australia to trial the newly developed MyView app as part of the state’s response­ to the 2017 Royal Commission into Institutional Res­ponses to Child Sexual Abuse.
In the farming and mining region­ of Murchison, north of Perth, the McGowan Labor govern­ment is giving mobile phones to foster kids and others aged 10-17 in out-of-home care so they can use the app.
In the city of Rockingham on the fringe of Perth’s southern suburbs­, children and teens who already have phones have started taking part in the trial.

Apple Watch Health app cuts through the noise

By Alice Clarke
December 26, 2019 — 4.22pm
When the new updates for Apple’s Health app for iOS and WatchOS were announced at WWDC, I was pretty sure that the new Noise app would become one of my favourite features of the Apple Watch. But what I didn’t realise was just how much it would become a part of what I do every day.
The Noise app sends a notification if your environment is unhealthily loud.
As a kid, I needed several surgeries to be able to hear properly. And then, as a teenager, I became a drummer, much to my doctor’s exasperation, yet managed to maintain my now above-average hearing due to my parents’ insistence that I wore ear protection during practice and whenever I went to gigs. So, I guess it makes sense that I’m more concerned about noise levels than most.
The app works by having the watch sample background noise every 30 seconds using the second microphone introduced to the Apple Watch from Series 4 (2018’s model), and processes it on the device. It doesn’t record, share info, or listen to what’s being said: It just tells you how loud the environment is. If it’s been at 90dB or above (or a custom level you’ve set) for more than three minutes, it’ll send an alert to let you know.

Open banking reforms delayed as security tests drag on

By Clancy Yeates
December 22, 2019 — 11.55pm
The consumer watchdog will spend more time ensuring a new financial data-sharing regime is resilient against cyber security threats, after technical hiccups delayed the launch of open banking by six months.
In a disappointing development for fintech firms, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission pushed back the start date for the government's open banking reforms on Friday from next February to July.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has delayed the start of open banking. Credit: Michel O'Sullivan
The change will hold back the plans of neobanks keen to entice big bank customers who are willing to share their data, but the ACCC said the rollout had proven more complex than it had expected and that trust in the system was vital.

‘Step up’ face data checks at borders

Australia’s immigration watchdog has warned the Morrison government that greater use of biometric facial recognition technology and matching of data held by friendly nations and security partners is needed to counter a heightened vulnerability to terrorism and organised crime.
In a detailed brief handed to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton after the May election, the Department of Home Affairs laid out a case for upgrading its capabilities in biometric analysis, warning that the immigration program was under significant pressure.
The department argued strongly for an overhaul of its ­information technology infrastructure, saying the system was unable to cope with demand. It said the department’s legacy IT systems were “ageing and failing”.
 “Current systems were designed and built to accommodate much smaller volumes and a less sophisticated risk environment,” Home Affairs said.

Canberra forecast 5,400 small business cyber health checks, but only 35 happened

Despite the federal government expecting over 5,000 cyber health checks of Australian small businesses, only 35 have happened so far.
By Chris Duckett | December 19, 2019 -- 01:19 GMT (12:19 AEDT) | Topic: Security
When it announced its Cyber Security Strategy in 2016, the Australian government set aside AU$136 million for numerous activities, including a threat information-sharing portal, increasing the government's cybercrime intelligence and investigation capabilities, and grants to small businesses to boost their security.
More than three years after it made the announcement, the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science has laid bare in responses to Senate Estimates questions on notice how few small business cyber health checks were completed.
"Based on the available funding, the government forecast up to 2,400 Small Business Health Check services in year three of the Strategy (2018/19) and 3,000 services in year four of the Strategy (2019/20)," the department said.

Alcidion signs contract for medications management solution

·         Contract for ~A$1.9 million signed with Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust in the UK for medications management
·         As announced July 2019, Alcidion was selected as preferred provider for the solution, following a competitive tender process
·         Alcidion will implement the Better OPENeP electronic prescribing and medication management solution at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust
Melbourne, Victoria – Alcidion Group Ltd (ASX:ALC) announces that an agreement has been reached with Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, UK, to implement the OPENeP Electronic Prescribing and Medications Administration (ePMA) system produced by Better. Total value of the contract is £1.02 million (~A$1.9 million) to be recognised over six years.

The agreement follows Alcidion’s award as preferred provider by the Trust, a status previously announced in July 2019 and subject to final approval by the Trust and successful negotiation of terms.

Alcidion was appointed as a reseller and implementer of the OPENeP solution in April 2019 for the UK, Australia and New Zealand health sectors.  This project will represent Alcidion’s first implementation of OPENeP.

Australia's newest internet connection lands in Sunshine State

December 23, 2019 — 7.03pm
This fibre-optic cable at Maroochydore will bring download speeds of 36 terabits per second to Queensland within 60 days.
By mid-2020 it will be transferring commercial data.
The fibre optic telecommunications cable being connected at Maroochydore.
After five years, Australia's newest telecommunications link from Asia and the US landed on Monday, promising faster internet connections to the country's east coast by mid-2020.
Singapore-based telecommunications company RTI Connectivity – the technology partner in a five-year $35 million Sunshine Coast and Queensland government project to bring a new data source to Australia – delivered a 550-kilometre cable connecting an existing Japan-to-Sydney undersea cable to the beach at Maroochydore.
"It enables 36 terabits [per second], which is more capacity than all of the capacity combined that goes into Sydney today," RTI Connectivity chief executive Russ Matulich said.

Daniel was overseas when he was alerted to an intruder - it was the NBN