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, January 28, 2019

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 28th January, 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

The news seems to have come back with a rush this week, lots on the go. Enjoy the browse.

Minimum software requirements to improve safety and quality

The RACGP has released new recommendations for clinical software minimum requirements to help support safe and efficient patient care.
21 Jan 2019
The recommendations cover how data is captured and presented, how systems enable communication and data exchange, and how they support follow-up systems and information security.
The recommendations come after the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) approached the RACGP and provided funding to support workshops in order to assist in the development of standards for clinical information systems (CIS).
To produce the recommendations, the RACGP last year hosted three workshops with representatives from the ADHA, the Medical Software Industry Association and software developers.

Minimum requirements for general practice clinical information systems to improve usability

Running a practice Technology Workplace technologies Improvements through technology Minimum requirements for general practice clinical information systems to improve usability


Minimum requirements for general practice clinical information systems to improve usability report identifies and details a number of key CIS functions and roles, and provides recommendations focused on improving usability in the collection, management, use and sharing of information. The reports was developed in collaboration with software developers and the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Related document

Queensland Health continues robot hospital helper roll-out

TESA will be assisting patients and visitors in additional hospitals in the state from next month
George Nott (Computerworld) 24 January, 2019 13:04
Queensland Health is continuing its experimentation with robot assistants, rolling out additional TESA bots to hospitals across the state next month.
Five TESA (The eHealth Service Assistant) robots – which feature humanoid arms, a bank of conversational skills and the ability to interpret and translate 26 languages – are currently on trial in the Princess Alexandra Hospital and the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.
The robots, based on Chinese manufacturer UBTECH’s ‘Cruzr’ model, are being used to guide patients around the hospitals, conduct surveys and entertain children.
“This is our latest adventure in the humanoid robotics’ space and the potential benefits are enormous,” said Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles.
“TESA heralds a new era in the application of robotics and artificial intelligence in public health care,” he added.

Electronic patient record system EPAS contributed to 149 ‘near misses’ in SA hospitals

Adam Langenberg, Political reporter, The Advertiser
January 25, 2019 9:42am
Subscriber only
The state's electronic patient record system contributed to 149 "near misses" in South Australian hospitals, including medication incidents and medical imaging being mistakenly cancelled, according to an excerpt from an independent report.
The report has made recommendations about the way forward for the state's trouble-plagued records system, but it won't be made public until it is formally considered by Cabinet.
It found there were 149 incidents in the 12 months after the Electronic Patient Administration System went live where it was listed as “a contributing cause” to the incident, however the report finds it is “difficult to make assumptions about causation of incidents being related to EPAS’.
They included medication incidents including it being ordered multiple times, medical imaging accidentally being cancelled and delays in blood test ordering.

Exclusive: Report savages RACP over registrar exam meltdown

The college was in denial about the possibility of a full-scale IT failure, say consultants
22nd January 2019
An inquiry into the IT meltdown that forced the Royal Australasian College of Physicians to abandon its high-stakes registrar exam halfway through has laid bare in humiliating detail a string of management and system failures.
More than 1200 trainees were forced to re-sit the five-hour divisional written exam last year when an “unknown technical fault” hit the college’s first-ever attempt at computer based testing.
It has taken more than a year, but the findings of an independent inquiry into the fiasco — which left dozens of registrars in tears and their futures in the balance — has finally been handed to college members.

Failures and blind faith: damning probe exposes medical exam meltdown

By Kate Aubusson
23 January 2019 — 5:26pm
Investigators have exposed the litany of failures and blind faith that caused a disastrous IT meltdown halfway through a high-stakes medical exam.
An independent inquiry has shed light on the pandemonium that ensued when an “unknown technical fault” shut down the Royal Australian college of Physicians' (RACP) first attempt at a computer-based test.
The chaos on exam day in February 2018 left 1200 trainee doctors distraught, angry and confused after months of study, punishing hospital shifts on minimal sleep and personal sacrifice.
The meltdown was caused by a technical glitch with the computer-based exam timer that overrided a scheduled one-hour break halfway through the five-hour exam, according to the investigation report published last Friday on RACP’s member-only website.

New degree in cancer keeps doctors up to speed with advances

By Aisha Dow
25 January 2019 — 8:00pm
Researchers at the University of Queensland have developed a test they hope could be "the holy grail" for diagnosing cancer.
In the past, it may have been acceptable for doctors to keep up to date with the latest advances by reading a few journals and attending the occasional conference. But with medicine advancing faster than ever before, is that enough?
Enter a new degree in cancer that is sending GPs, oncologists, pharmacists, nurses, dentists and other medical professionals back to school.
In an Australian first, the University of Melbourne is offering a postgraduate master of cancer sciences to those already trained or experienced in the field.

Large US study answers the question: Does script tracking even work?

Put it this way, simply having an operational monitoring program 'is not sufficient'
Antony Scholefield
23rd January 2019
Real-time prescription monitoring enjoys rare unified support from doctors, pharmacists and patients, but there is not a huge evidence base for it.
Despite this, Australia is taking steps towards creating a usable system, including the Safe Script trial in Victoria late last year.
But what if prescription tracking doesn’t improve health outcomes and just bombards GPs with useless pop-ups?
One of the largest US studies on the topic was published recently. The researchers looked at prescription monitoring systems and the number of admissions to drug treatment clinics related to prescription misuse in the years after monitoring was introduced to various states.
They found that the software cut admissions among 18-24-year-olds only, by about 5%.

NZ’s taonga – linked data – underused, says expert

Tuesday, 22 January 2019  
eHealthNews.nz editor Rebecca McBeth
New Zealand leads the world in linked data, but it is being underused, a data expert told attendees at a global artificial intelligence conference in Auckland.
Nicholson Consulting general manager Kylie Reiri was speaking at Hack Aotearoa, held at Auckland Business School on January 18–19.
The conference explored the use of predictive data, robotics and new smart technologies to develop better health and wellbeing outcomes for New Zealanders, with a strong focus on Māori.
Reiri says the Integrated Data Infrastructure is a taonga/treasure that links more than 60 de-identified datasets from across the health and social sector as well as areas such as education, justice and police.

Tech giants to resuscitate health

  • 12:00AM January 21, 2019
A new generation of healthcare providers, including international technology and retail giants, is expected to ramp up competition in Australia this year, as the digital health sector matures.
It comes as the aged care royal commission, which kicked off last Friday, shines a light on health carer shortfalls, poor record keeping and a lack of support for medical staff — problems digital technologies are designed to address.
But investors and industry insiders have warned Australian digital health companies are being forced offshore by red tape and anachronistic regulation, meaning local patients cannot reap the full rewards of the industry’s know-how, even as the value of the global market soars towards $US200 billion ($280bn).
Healthcare is one of the last major industries to be significantly disrupted by advanced technology, and with Australia’s digital health space maturing, investors are dipping their toes into this emerging industry.

Fax machines to be redundant in healthcare after June 2019

Fax machines should be consigned to the scrapheap after a national secure messaging system for healthcare becomes functional in mid 2019, doctors have been told.
From June doctors will have access to a digital “Yellow Pages” directory that will allow them to locate and communicate with other healthcare providers via a seamless interoperable secure messaging system, according to the government’s Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA).
Speaking at a Secure Messaging Industry Collaboration Workshop in Sydney on 27 November 2018, ADHA Chief Operating Officer Bettina McMahon said industry stakeholders such as clinical software providers had committed to implementing a national system that will allow all healthcare providers to communicate quickly, easily and securely with each other by June 2019.

The five biggest takeaways from CES 2019

By Krishan Sharma
21 January 2019 — 11:10am
The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has come and gone, but now that the dust has settled and we've had time to digest everything the show had to offer, what are the trends that will shape the year ahead in technology?
Huawei gives us a peek into the smartphone design trend of 2019
If 2018 was the year of the notch, 2019 will be the year of the hole-punch display. That's right, phone makers have finally figured out how they can eliminate bezels — without cutting out a chunk at the top of the screen — by instead carving a small hole into the corner of the screen to accommodate that all-important front-facing camera.
We weren't expecting to see a hole-punch display until the debut of Samsung's Galaxy S10 in a month's time, but Huawei surprised everyone at CES with the Honor View 20 which is the world's first smartphone to feature a hole-punch display.

Terrified mum sees stranger’s bedroom after logging into remote video baby monitor

A mum switched on her new baby monitor expecting to see her daughter’s room. But what she saw has sparked concerns about hacking.
Phoebe Loomes
news.com.au January 24, 201912:05pm
A mother from Western Australia has been left feeling unsafe after the security of her video baby monitor was compromised.
Edana Day, of Mandurah on the state’s southwest coast, had purchased a brand new Uniden smart baby monitor on Tuesday for the purpose of her FIFO partner being able to stay connected to their daughter.
The device allows parents to log in and view their child through the monitoring camera from remote locations, like around the corner, or across the planet.

Failed federal biometrics project slammed by auditor

Millions wasted on ACIC project
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 21 January, 2019 17:26
Management of a major biometric identification project by CrimTrac and, later the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), was “deficient in almost every significant respect,” a report into the project has concluded.
Despite $34 million being spent on the Biometric Identification Services (BIS) project, out of a total approved budget of $52 million, not a single deliverable or milestone was met, a report released today by the Australian National Audit Office said.
The ANAO found problems with both contract management and the governance framework for the project.

Industry coalition calls for changes to govt encryption legislation

Judicial oversight of new surveillance powers and clearly defined limits on agencies’ notices top the list of a raft of changes recommended to the Federal Government for its encryption legislation by a broad coalition of Australia’s telecommunications, IT and Internet industries.
The recommendations come in a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) which is inquiring into the Government’s Assistance and Access Act 2018, which was pushed through the Senate on December 6 last year.
Organisations co-authoring the submission include Communications Alliance, the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), the Information Technology Professionals Association (ITPA) and Digital Industry Group Inc. (DIGI).

Telcos, tech industry call for major changes to encryption legislation

Controversy over surveillance legislation continues
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 23 January, 2019 10:42
Industry groups representing the telco sector and major tech businesses have called for major changes to controversial surveillance legislation pushed through parliament on the final sitting day of 2018.
The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act was intended to be the government’s answer to the increased use of encryption technology by criminal groups.
The most significant part of the legislation creates a system of Technical Assistance Requests (TARs), Technical Assistance Notices (TANs) and Technical Capability Notices (TCNs) that can be issued to communications providers.

Breaking in through the back door

Suspects might use virtual private networks and manually load messaging apps to get around any blocking of apps, but they’d need to have patience and be tech-savvy to achieve this.
  • 12:00AM January 24, 2019
In the Black Mirror episode Hated in the Nation, a dystopic Britain is confronted with a lack of bees to pollinate plants. Agriculture is jeopardised until a brilliant hi-tech company creates tiny autonomous drone bees to do the job.
But a disgruntled employee uses a coding back door into the bee communication network to reprogram the swarms, which fly off and kill thousands of people by burrowing into their brains.
Back doors are a real-life phenomenon. They let coders and others tunnel into an otherwise secure system. It may be created to fix a flaw quickly. But there’s fear they can be misused.
Federal parliament passed amendments last month to give Australian agencies more tools to access encrypted conversations to help foil terror plots.
End-to-end encryption has delivered us fantastically secure mobile communications — but terrorists, pedophiles and organised criminals also benefit.

Apple security: Did Australia just poke a hole in the world's iPhones?

By Nellie Bowles
Updated 24 Jan 2019 — 8:27 AM, first published at 8:25 AM
A new law in Australia gives law enforcement authorities the power to compel tech-industry giants like Apple to create tools that would circumvent the encryption built into their products.
The law, the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018, applies only to tech products used or sold in Australia.
But its impact could be global: If Apple were to build a so-called back door for iPhones sold in Australia, the authorities in other countries, including the United States, could force the company to use that same tool to assist their investigations.

Panic attacks tackled in one-week intensive online therapy

23 Jan 2019
Isabelle Dubach
A study by UNSW researchers is evaluating a short, online-based therapy that holds great promise for people who suffer from panic disorder.
Scientists from UNSW Science’s School of Psychology and St. Vincent’s Hospital are leading world-first research to learn more about a novel therapeutic approach for people who suffer from panic attacks. They are conducting a study that seeks to treat people with panic disorder and agoraphobia – the fear of places and situations that might lead to panic attacks – with just one week of therapy.
In the study, the researchers are delivering an adapted version of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), an approach already known to be effective for some people with anxiety and depression. Both the concept of delivering CBT online and in intensive format has already been shown to work – but never in combination.
“We know that CBT can be delivered in intensive format over a short amount of time in-person. A few recent studies have already shown that it’s an effective delivery format in panic, OCD and PTSD and specific phobias, like spiders,” says study lead Eileen Stech, a trainee psychologist from UNSW Psychology, who leads the study.

NSW loses cyber security chief to Human Services

Dr Maria Milosavljevic appointed chief data officer at Department of Human Services
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 23 January, 2019 09:31
New South Wales’ government chief information security officer (GCISO) Dr Maria Milosavljevic has left her role for a new position at the Commonwealth’s Department of Human Services.
The state government in Mach 2017 announced that it had managed to lure Milosavljevic from her role as chief innovation officer at AUSTRAC, appointing her to be NSW’s first GCISO.
In the GCISO role, Milosavljevic oversaw the development of a cyber security strategy for the state. The strategy was unveiled in September 2018, with the state government last year pledging $20 million to boost the security of NSW agencies.

G Medical Innovations Holdings Ltd on track for revenue growth in 2019

12:12 22 Jan 2019
The mobile and e-health company is set for first production from its facility in Guangzhou, China.
Prizma monitors a full range of vital signs and biometric parameters
G Medical Innovations Holdings Ltd (ASX:GMV) is well positioned for growth in 2019 with catalysts including first production from its facility in China and increased sales revenue from an expanding global presence.
The mobile and e-health company has received all formal certifications from regulatory bodies to utilise its Guangzhou facility in China for production.
Device production is expected to begin this quarter once all final device componentry has been received for the production line.
25 January 2019
ASX announcement
Alcidion Group Board and Management appointments
Kate Quirke appointed MD, Ray Blight transitions to Non-Executive Chair
Adelaide, South Australia – Alcidion Group Limited (ASX:ALC) has today announced changes to its Board and senior management, as the company embarks on its next stage of growth and following the successful integration of MKM Health and Patientrack into the Alcidion Group in 2018.
Executive Chairman and co-founder, Ray Blight, will transition to the role of Non-Executive Chairman. Kate Quirke, has been appointed Group Managing Director, based in Melbourne. Kate was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Alcidion Group in July 2018, following the acquisition of MKM Health and Patientrack. Both appointments are effective immediately.
The company also advises that Duncan Craig has resigned from his position as Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary for personal reasons, effective 28 February 2019.
25 January 2019

Restructured MedicalDirector axes jobs

Posted by Jeremy Knibbs
GP patient management software giant MedicalDirector has restructured its business significantly, letting go as many  14 staff members, according to sources.
Staff who left had been variously employed in sales, development, integrations, patient engagement, e-referrals and enterprise contract opportunities.
According to sources, the redundancies mean some departments, which together once consisted of up to 40 employees, have dwindled to between six and eight members.
MedicalDirector has denied these claims, however earlier last week the following post appeared on social media networking site LinkedIn.

Labor says no evidence for Switkowski claims on NBN sale value

The Australian Labor Party has labelled valuation claims of the national broadband network made by NBN Co chairman Ziggy Switkowski as bizarre and said no evidence has been produced to back up the price tag he has put on the company.
Labor also accused the government of damaging the long-term economics of the national broadband network by its decision to opt for a multi-technology mix rather than the fibre for a majority of premises as in the original plan.
Labor Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland and Shadow Finance Minister Jim Chalmers said in a joint statement that even after 92 days of NBN Co chairman Ziggy Switkowski claiming that the network could still fetch a price of $50 billion once it is fully rolled out in 2020, no evidence had been produced to back his claim.

NBN Co makes move to sell more 100Mbps-plus services

By Ry Crozier on Jan 21, 2019 3:19PM

Offers temporary $160 rebate.

NBN Co will look to raise the number of 100Mbps-plus users on its network before the end of the financial year with a $160 rebate offered for each customer that retail service providers sign on.
The rebate, announced this afternoon, is only a temporary offer and is set to finish by the end of June this year.
The proportion of - and manner in which - the rebate is passed through to the customer is not prescriptive, though it appears some RSPs will hit the market with temporarily reduced prices.

‘This could be the end’ for NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover

By Kenneth Chang
26 January 2019 — 12:56pm
NASA's Opportunity rover began its 15th year on Mars this week, although the intrepid robotic explorer may already be dead.
"I haven't given up yet," said Steven W. Squyres, principal investigator for the mission. But he added: "This could be the end. Under the assumption that this is the end, it feels good. I mean that."
The rover — which outlasted all expectations since its landing on Mars in 2004 and helped find convincing geological signs that water once flowed there — fell silent in June when it was enveloped by a global Martian dust storm. In darkness, the solar panels could not generate enough power to keep Opportunity awake.
To be taken out by one of the most ferocious storms on Mars in decades: "That's an honorable death," Squyres said.

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