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 07, 2019

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 7th 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

Another quiet week as we all adjusted to more holidays or a quick return to work….nevertheless the #myHealthRecord continued to make news for all the wrong reasons.
Things will soon start to heat up as we approach the opt-out deadline – which is not a deadline any more as you can have your data deleted at any time – or can you – rumours it may not actually work. Anyone know more……?????

Wrong medical details entered into My Health Record

Sue Dunlevy, National Health Reporter, News Corp Australia Network
December 30, 2018 9:10pm
Subscriber only
Exclusive: Seventeen people had another individual’s private medical details entered onto in their online My Health Record in a serious glitch that highlights key risks with the controversial $2 billion system.
The inaccurate information could have potentially led to an adverse health outcome if doctors relied on it.
In another stuff up, a child had an incorrect parent or guardian assigned to their My Health Record, the Australian Digital Health Agency has revealed in its annual report.
The records of two people were viewed by fraudsters and suspected fraudulent information was entered into the records of another 22 people.

Glitches in Qld’s $600m electronic medical records system

Janelle Miles, The Courier-Mail
December 31, 2018 1:00am
Subscriber only
QUEENSLAND Health’s $600 million electronic medical record system rollout continues to be plagued with problems, placing patient safety at risk, frustrated doctors say.
Documents obtained by The Courier-Mail reveal medication errors and test results failing to register in the system are among a litany of complaints.
The incidents include cases of drugs not being administered to patients or incorrect doses being given.
Some medical specialists also complain the process for ordering blood tests is error-prone.
Their concerns are at odds with Queensland Health bureaucrats, who insist patient safety has markedly improved under the integrated electronic medical record, or ieMR, citing a notable reduction in medication mistakes.

Howard govt feared slow Y2K bug preparations, cabinet documents reveal

By Doug Dingwall
1 January 2019 — 10:26am
Predictions of a chaotic IT collapse brought on by the Y2K bug had the Howard government fearing Australia was unready for the worst, previously classified documents reveal.
As the year 2000 approached, the federal government in 1997 took seriously the warnings that the new millennium's arrival could play havoc with electricity, hospitals and traffic lights.
The "millennium bug", cast by some as a looming apocalypse, brought on hundreds of billions in estimated spending worldwide to avoid catastrophe.
Cabinet documents from 1996-1997, released on Tuesday by the National Archives of Australia, show the federal government feared inaction could expose emergency services, telecommunications and navigation equipment to failure.

Greg Hunt warns pharmacists and doctors on medicine information

By Dana McCauley
1 January 2019 — 5:15pm
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt will write to pharmacists and doctors to remind them of their responsibilities, after consumer advocates raised concerns that patients were not being given vital information about medicine interactions and side effects.
The Consumers Health Forum of Australia called on Mr Hunt to step in after receiving complaints that patients were not always being given consumer medicine information documents (CMIs), which pharmaceutical companies are required by law to make available.
In the past CMIs were provided as a leaflet inside prescription medicine boxes but most products now direct patients to read the information online, leaving it to doctors or pharmacists to print off the documents for patients starting new medications.
But consumer advocates say this makes the information inaccessible to many, particularly if busy GPs and pharmacists fail to provide the documents – which experts say are far too difficult to read and understand.

Qld pharmacy changes could force rural GPs to close

Janelle Miles, The Courier-Mail
January 5, 2019 6:16am
GENERAL practices in rural and remote parts of Queensland risk being forced to close if the State Government accepts a controversial proposal to allow pharmacists to dispense some medications without a prescription, doctors say.
Australian Medical Association Queensland president Dilip Dhupelia yesterday repeated warnings that lives could also be in danger under recommendations to give pharmacists more power, particularly if “live” travel vaccines are given to patients with weakened immune systems.
But the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s Queensland branch described the concerns as “sensationalist propaganda”.
Dr Dhupelia said Queensland’s rural and remote general practices were already struggling to remain viable on the back of a five-year Medicare Benefits Schedule freeze and the drought. He said creating more competition from local pharmacists would “make them even more marginal”.

‘Brain pacemaker’ has epilepsy and Parkinson’s in its sights

  • By Chris Smyth
  • The Times
  • 12:00AM January 2, 2019
A “pacemaker for the brain” that could help treat epilepsy and ­Parkinson’s is being developed by scientists.
The implant listens to brain waves and responds to emerging seizures with personalised electrical stimulation, which experts hope could cut attacks and ­improve patients’ lives.
The device has not yet been tested on humans and will need to prove itself in several rounds of trials before being considered for patients.
Tests on macaques have shown that the device could detect when they were preparing to move a joystick and it could ­deliver electrical signals that ­delayed the movement.

What are the digital healthcare predictions for 2019 (part 2)?

Dr Charlotte Middleton | 31 Dec 2018
MedicalDirector CEO Matthew Bardsley recently shared his top digital healthcare predictions for medical professionals, going into 2019.
From a practitioner’s point of view, here are my insights into the digital healthcare trends that will impact the patient experience – in particular, integrations between the patient’s wellness and health, and the digital devices in their lives.
Virtual care and the future of health
Virtual care and its counterpart, telehealth, will see the delivery of health-related services and information in a space removed from the four walls of a consulting room in 2019. Tapping into technology, virtual care is set to become a core component of a more patient-centric care system, which puts personalised needs above the restrictions imposed by the typical doctor-patient interaction.
Forrester recently named virtual care as a crucial part of patient acquisition and retention, as it is poised to disrupt outpatient visit and chronic disease management. 

What’s next in hi-tech

  • 12:00AM January 3, 2019
The biggest annual technology event on the planet is poised to reveal how 5G devices will change our lives this year.
The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week will include 4500 exhibiting companies and more than 250 conference sessions. About 180,000 tech-minded businesspeople, journalists and market analysts from 150 countries will attend in halls taking up more than 230,000sq m.
The CES focuses on the technology to be introduced around the world in the coming year.
This year, 5G is expected to dominate. We’ll not only see an array of early 5G dev­ices such as 5G-enabled phones and modems, but also new 5G-connected self-driving cars, medical devices, and virtual reality and augmented reality experiences.

Bones can talk: DNA expert urges national ID centre

  • 12:00AM January 4, 2019
Joyce Baxter went missing in Hobart in 1955. Boys playing on a track on Mount Wellington in 1972 found a skull and some bones.
But a coroner was able to definitively declare Baxter dead only last year after DNA from the stored human remains was compared to a DNA reference sample from her daughter.
NSW forensic DNA specialist Jodie Ward says solving Tasmania’s oldest missing person case raises hopes of a breakthrough in some of Australia’s 2600 other long-term missing person cases.
 “What astounds me is that many of the families with long-term missing loved ones have never donated DNA reference samples,” Dr Ward told The Australian yesterday.
“I would hope in this day and age the families do have awareness of the importance of DNA testing, but I don’t think many do.”

Australian of the Year: Asylum-seeker a world leader in robotic surgery

  • By Jessica Cortis
  • 12:00AM January 5, 2019
Munjed Al Muderis, who fled Saddam Hussein’s oppressive ­regime in Iraq to become one of Australia’s foremost orthopaedic surgeons, has been nominated for this newspaper’s Australian of the Year award.
“It’s always an honour to be nominated for an award and I do what I do because it is the right thing — life is too short so we have to leave something behind,” he said.
Dr Al Muderis, who specialises in hip, knee, trauma and osseo­integration surgery, spent the holiday period at the operating table giving treatment to 86 soldiers and civilians in Iraq between Christmas and new year.
“They were very complex cases, including blast injuries from bombs, amputees, and significant congenital deformities in children,” he said.

Who is serving whom?

What are we going to do with the data once we have collected it? Often, when I ask this question, the answer is vague.
In the race for big data the purpose has sometimes been forgotten. It’s like doing research without formulating a question first.
I wonder who is serving whom: Are IT systems supporting health providers or are we increasingly following rigid templates and blindly harvesting information for reasons we often don’t even understand?

How will we teach the robots to behave themselves?

By Simon Longstaff
04 Jan 2019 — 11:45 PM
The era of artificial intelligence (AI) is upon us. On one hand it is heralded as the technology that will reshape society, making many of our occupations redundant. On the other, it's talked about as the solution that will unlock an unfathomable level of processing efficiency, giving rise to widespread societal benefits and enhanced intellectual opportunity for our workforce.
Either way, one thing is clear – AI has an ability to deliver insights and knowledge at a velocity that would be impossible for humans to match and it's altering the fabric of our societies.
The impact that comes with this wave of change is remarkable. For example, IBM Watson has been used for early detection of melanoma, something very close to home considering Australians and New Zealanders have the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Watson's diagnostic capacity exceeds that of most (if not all) human doctors.

How Labor and Telstra's NBN ambitions might merge

By Stephen Bartholomeusz
2 January 2019 — 12:31pm
The future shape of the telecommunications sector is probably going to be determined by the progress Telstra makes this year on its "T22" strategy and the big decisions confronting Labor if, as appears probable, it wins government at the federal election.
The two issues overlap. A key element of the T22 plan is to separate all Telstra infrastructure other than its wireless network – including all of its national broadband network revenues and relationships – within a new Telstra InfraCo.
Telstra has made no secret of its ambitions for that entity. It is positioning it so that it can offer the government a solution to the problem of the ugly economics of the NBN.
As its chairman, John Mullen has said, NBN Co pays Telstra about $1 billion a year for access to its ducts, pits, exchanges, fibre loops and copper and will continue doing so until at least 2046.

SingTel tech chief cuts through the 5G hype

01 Jan 2019 — 11:00 PM
Talk to Mark Chong, the group chief technology officer at Singapore Telecommunications, and you would be forgiven for thinking the super fast mobile technology called 5G is a little over hyped.
The hype has been building thanks to Telstra's enthusiastic support for making the technology the centrepiece of its 2022 transformation plan.
In some ways 5G is perfect for a bout of irrational exuberance in 2019. After all, it has all of the things that got people excited about technology in 2018 such as internet of things, artificial intelligence and smart cities.
It's a technology that comes with plenty of impressive jargon such as "network slicing" and it has the requisite amount of mind-boggling numbers. For example, did you know that today's 4G network can handle about 10,000 devices per square kilometre while 5G can handle 1 million devices in the same area?

Telstra chief Andy Penn’s moment of truth

  • 12:00AM January 5, 2019
On the evening of Wednesday, June 20 last year, Andy Penn chose the solitude of his holiday home at Red Hill on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula to reflect upon the biggest decision of his corporate career: to sack one quarter of his workforce.
After a day of media commitments announcing the plans, the Telstra chief executive took up his seat at the pointy end of the plane on the 4pm Qantas flight from Sydney. An hour-and-a-half minutes later he was met by his driver at Melbourne Airport.
By 730pm, as the chill of a Victorian winter’s evening descended, he was sitting alone outside at what is normally his weekend sanctuary, cradling a class of his favourite Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay.
 “I went down there, I can picture it now, I went down on to my deck and sat there with a glass of wine. Our place is very very quiet,’’ Penn now recalls.

5G is coming to Australia. Here's what you need to know

By Don Clark
Updated 02 Jan 2019 — 9:13 AM, first published at 9:01 AM
In 2019, a big technology shift will finally begin. It's a once-in-a-decade upgrade to our wireless systems that will start reaching mobile phone users in a matter of months.
But this is not just about faster smartphones. The transition to new fifth-generation cellular networks, known as 5G for short, will also affect many other kinds of devices, including industrial robots, security cameras, drones and cars that send traffic data to one another.
This new era will leap ahead of current wireless technology, known as 4G, by offering mobile internet speeds that will let people download entire films within seconds and most likely bring big changes to video games, sports and shopping.

NBN upgrade necessary and likely with Labor government

By James Fernyhough
01 Jan 2019 — 11:00 PM
A Shorten Labor government has been tipped to initiate an overhaul of National Broadband Network policy within months or even weeks of a federal election, opting for a more comprehensive fibre-optic cable network than the Coalition's controversial "multi-technology mix".
Although a return to full fibre to the premises is unlikely, experts predict Labor, should it win the election this year, would scrap the Coalition's controversial fibre-to-the-node policy and replace it with "fibre to the curb". This would mean running fibre-optic cable down a residential street to a pit outside the premises, rather than simply to the nearest node cabinet, which on average is about 400 metres away from homes.
"An incoming Labor government would gain access to the inner workings of NBN Co, and over a period of weeks or a few months learn about the current contracts, future commitments, finances and rollout progress," said Mark Gregory, telecommunications expert and associate professor in network engineering at RMIT.

NASA rings in new year with historic flyby of faraway Ultima Thule

  • AFP
  • 12:00AM January 2, 2019
NASA conducted a fly-by of the farthest, and possibly the oldest, cosmic body explored by humankind — a tiny, distant world called Ultima Thule — in the hopes of learning more about how planets took shape.
“Go New Horizons!” said lead scientist Alan Stern as a crowd including children blew party horns and cheered at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland to mark the moment at 12:33am (3.33pm AEDT) when the New Horizons spacecraft aimed its cameras at the space rock 6.4 billion kilometres away in a dark and frigid region of space known as the Kuiper Belt.
Offering scientists the first up-close look at an ancient building block of planets, the fly-by took place about 1.6 billion kilometres beyond Pluto, which was until now the most faraway world visited up close by a spacecraft.

Chinese moon landing is first step to military muscle in space

By Sarah Knapton & Gordon Rayner
4 January 2019 — 7:00pm
London: The Chinese moon landing shows the emerging superpower is a growing threat to Britain and the world, say military experts and  British government sources.
The China National Space Administration on Thursday confirmed  touchdown on the dark side of the moon – the first time any nation has achieved the feat – and transmitted the first close-range image from its surface.
Such a landing is tricky because one side of the moon always points towards Earth making it impossible to communicate directly from the "dark" half. The Chinese needed to launch a separate satellite to relay signals back to mission control.
While Beijing claimed the landing "opened a new chapter in human lunar exploration", British government sources and experts warned the achievement placed China in a strong position to establish the first manned lunar base and a dominant military position in space.


Trevor3130 said...

From Naked Capitalism, Kiss What Is Left of Your Medical Data Privacy Goodbye. Strong meat, but I've just ordered 'The Age of Surveillance Capitalism'.

Anonymous said...

Don’t you just hate it when this happens

Unintended redirection' renders Australian government sites unusable
Embarrassing errors blamed on hosting service run by Department of Finance