Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We Are Not The Only Ones Who Noticing That Digital Health Is Struggling To Deliver.

This appeared at a New England Journal Of Medicine sub-site.

Why Real-World Results Are So Challenging for Digital Health

Article · February 8, 2017
Joseph C. Kvedar, MD & Alexander L. Fogel, MBA
Partners HealthCare
Stanford University School of Medicine
Companies should look for lessons in other industries, create products that are tailored to population subsets, develop synergistic partnerships, and understand the performance characteristics of products in the real world.
Despite years of hype in the field of digital health products — a term that we use here to describe technologies that are designed to have clinical impact on disease — fewer products than expected are being deployed in real-world clinical settings. Many digital health products that demonstrate impressive results in clinical trials often fail to do so in real-world settings.
Why? Much of the success of digital health products is predicated on patient engagement, and clinical trials are among the most engaging environments in health care. Clinical trials involve the use of a variety of tools (e.g., training, close monitoring, payments) to ensure that patients use the technologies appropriately, but few of these tools are used in the real world. In order to cross the chasm from success in clinical trials to success in practice, digital health companies need to focus on patient engagement.
Digital Health Hinges on Engagement
Engagement is so important because many digital health products are designed to achieve behavioral changes for the purpose of preventing or treating chronic diseases. For patients who are at risk for, or are living with, a chronic disease, successful prevention or management requires minute-to-minute, day-to-day changes in decision-making. Patients need to be highly motivated to make behavioral changes, they need to be praised when they follow through, and they need guidance when they slip up. The process needs to be sticky and self-reinforcing in order to maintain patient interest. In a nutshell, patients need to be engaged.
Patients need to be highly motivated to make behavioral changes, they need to be praised when they follow through, and they need guidance when they slip up. The process needs to be sticky and self-reinforcing in order to maintain patient interest. In a nutshell, patients need to be engaged.”
Engagement is important not only for clinical results, but also for the business models of many digital health companies, which frequently incorporate pay-for-performance contracts. Digital health companies need to track data continuously in order to demonstrate their value to the purchaser or user. Products that do not engage patients drag down performance metrics and reduce the viability of the company.
Contrast this with pharmaceuticals: payors pay for drugs before patients take them, and pay-for-performance contracts are the exception; this is part of the reason why nearly 50% of medications for chronic disease are not taken as prescribed.
The Gap Between Clinical Trials and Real-World Results
Successful clinical trials of both digital health products and pharmaceuticals are engaging by definition. In order for a trial to demonstrate significant results — and in order for the results of the trial to be published — the attrition rate for participants needs to be very low. The entire endeavor is designed around ensuring that patients use the product or service appropriately and follow up regularly.
A clinical trial is designed as follows: an artificial scenario is crafted, willing participants volunteer, participants are carefully selected on the basis of optimal criteria, staffers are thoroughly trained, measurements are taken like clockwork, and participants are induced (by means of monetary payments or a barrage of phone calls, emails, and texts) to use the product or service as directed. As a result, the experience of individuals who are involved in a clinical trial typically is much more engaging than that of patients who use the technology in real-world scenarios.
Tools to Drive Engagement
Extending the engagement-boosting practices from a clinical trial to a much larger population of patients in the real world is not feasible because of cost and logistical complexity. As a result, different approaches are needed to facilitate engagement.
(lots omitted) …...
Making the Leap from Novelty to Necessity
Clinical trials are a critical process in the evolution of digital health products. Evidence is an important means for convincing health care executives to buy these products. However, simply learning that an intervention was successful in a clinical study is not enough. Real-world validation is also important as digital health companies own the validation process from product development to scale. Once clinical validation is achieved, real-world evidence must be gathered to justify success at scale. In order for digital health products to make the leap from novelty to necessity, manufacturers will need to focus on driving patient engagement in real-world settings. Engagement will require taking lessons from other industries, creating products that are tailored to population subsets, developing synergistic partnerships, and understanding the performance characteristics of products in the real world.
The full article is here:
What this article says very clearly to me is that digital health initiatives have both to be proven to work in controlled carefully managed trials and then also shown to work in the field before a full blooded roll out is undertaken.
We really do have to stop assuming that so called ‘good ideas’ are guaranteed to work and be useful. We need evidence both in trials and then in the ‘wild’ before rushing in and then being disappointed – slow may this process be!
This has to be one area that needs extreme rigor in evaluation!

Hospitals forging patient experience of the future with voice AI technologies

Commonwealth Care Alliance and Penn Medicine are already putting Amazon Alexa to work in early-stage projects that promise to reshape the patient experience. 
February 13, 2017 07:40 AM
Commonwealth Care Alliance chief of clinical innovation John Loughnane, MD, said the industry is on the verge of voice technologies that can be used to tailor individualized care regimens. 
“Alexa, when will you be in my doctor’s office?”
“Silly human — I already am!”
Okay, so Alexa’s response might not be that sassy precisely, but you get the picture. Artificial intelligence voice technologies are on the verge of changing the dynamics of how we interface with machines and, consequently, how humans interact with each other.
Artificial intelligence voice technologies are on the verge of changing — not to be overzealous here — but just about everything.
We’ve all witnessed how the smartphone has had an impact on society and, similarly, voice technologies are poised to effectively and strategically enchant the human psyche to accept them as humanlike companions.
And healthcare is ripe for artificial intelligence — perhaps even more than other industries when it comes to voice-interaction AI — because of the potential for improving care delivery, optimizing processes and improving the patient experience.
“We’re on the cusp of voice systems and voice learning tools that can tailor individualized care,” said John Loughnane, MD, chief of clinical innovation at Commonwealth Care Alliance.
It’s not just CCA either. Penn Medicine is also starting the voice AI trek.
Lots more here:
Things are really moving along at some considerable speed!
David.

The Story Of The NBN Seems To Be Unravelling At Worryingly High Speed. A Bit Of A Shame.

We had two bits of very worrying news.
First we were told the NBN would not be able to deliver for our future by the CEO.

Bill Morrow's 'alternative facts' about the NBN

Australia is unique in many ways but today one more attribute of this country now falls into that class: we are the lone nation to be building a broadband network that cannot give us affordable super-fast connections.
Yes, you heard right. And you can't question the source, for these words come from the chief of NBN Co, Bill Morrow, the man who earns $3.3 million an annum (that's $9041 a day, a little less in leap years) to push the build of the National Broadband Network that has become both a joke and a national shame.
After Morrow suffered from an attack of loose lips and told a crowd at the release of NBN Co's half-yearly results last week that Australians, bunch of chumps that they are, did not want super-fast broadband even if it came gift-wrapped and hand-delivered with no money asked, he must have felt some amount of blowback.
So on Wednesday, Morrow decided that he had to provide some "facts" to try and change the narrative. So his narrative was that this NBN build could not provide super-fast broadband — and by that he means 1Gbps — at an "affordable" price.

But then who decides the wholesale price? Why, the same NBN Co. It is based on this price that retailers decide how much to charge the public. Retailers are upping prices to compensate for the insane rates they pay NBN Co. At the end of line is Joe Public who gets stung as usual.
Morrow's logic is that when something is priced out of reach, if people do not buy it, then they are telling the seller that they are not interested. Which sounds something like the "alternative facts" that Kellyanne Conway (of Trump administration fame) came up with last week.
His plan is that the NBN should be built as soon as possible and then it should be rebuilt as and when higher speeds become necessary. Yeah, sure. We need another decade of political wrangling with every two-bit politician throwing in their opinion like we need a bullet to the head.
The statement that takes the cake is this: "Rather than build for a demand that may materialise in 10 years, we are constructing a national network capable of continuous upgrading to meet market needs as and when they arise."
Lots more here:
And then we were told it was going to cost more for the services we presently have:

NBN switch will cost users up to 20% more

The NBN is starting to make inroads into the capital cities, with construction in Sydney, the nation­’s biggest consumer market, to begin later this year.
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM February 13, 2017

Chris Griffith

Supratim Adhikari

Households face a price hike of nearly 20 per cent on internet servic­es, on average, as they are required to sign up to the National Broadband Network when it arrives in their neighbourhood and the ­existing service is switched off.
The NBN is starting to make inroads into the capital cities, with construction in Sydney, the nation­’s biggest consumer market, to begin later this year.
Until now the more than 70 per cent of NBN’s rollout happened in regional and rural areas, but the switch to the metro will gather pace this year, especially if the company rolling out the network, NBN Co, wants to hit its target of having 5.4 million premises ready to receive a service by June 30.
NBN Co has spent $22 billion on the project so far and with the Coalition government lending the company an extra $19.5bn in Novem­ber, it has the money to complete the rollout. But with users required to move to an NBN service, there are concerns about prices­ they may pay for services that may not be that much better than their existing ADSL set-up.
Ovum principal analyst Craig Skinner said consumers should avoid paying for more than what they need for NBN services and shop around retailers before enterin­g into a long-term contract.
“Unless you’re watching multiple videos at once, you don’t need a higher speed. Unless you have a large family you shouldn’t need to pay more,” Mr Skinner said.
Technology research firm Telsyte’s managing director Foad Fadaghi said while research showed that consumers were prepared to pay more for the NBN, they expected more.
“Our research has shown that the average price of plans this year has come down, but the expectation of what people expect to pay in future is actually up on previous years,” he said.
The high prices currently charged by NBN Co for wholesale access is also seen as a problem, with retail service providers looking to pass some of the cost on to consumers.
Lots more here:
It rather looks like we have all be sold a pup, stepping back a very long way from the K Rudd vision of a decade or so ago.
What a pity. I am sure it would not have cost that much more to have done it once, properly and right!
David.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

It Looks Like The ADHA Is Reverting To Its NEHTA Heritage And We Are Winding Up The Endless (Largely Unused?) Specifications Again!

The ADHA published this last week.

Clinical Informatics Unit Announcement: Participation Data Specification Release

Created on Wednesday, 15 February 2017
The Clinical Informatics unit is pleased to announce the latest release of the Australian Digital Health Agency's Participation Data Specification (v3.3).
You can download the full release file bundle from the following location on the Agency website:
The accompanying release note outlines changes in the Participation Data Specification and the triggers for the changes.
Feedback
Development by the Clinical Informatics unit relies on the input and cooperation of the Australian healthcare community. We value your feedback and encourage questions, comments, or suggestions about our products. Please email help@digitalhealth.gov.au or call 1300 901 001.
Thank you for your continued support.
Here is the link.
Not being very bright I wondered just what a Participation Data Specification was.
I logged on and found this:

Participation Data Specification - Participation Data Specification v3.3

The Participation Data Specification is a foundation document for the suite of data specifications that the Agency is developing for the Australian health informatics community across a range of health topics. These specifications are generally agreed to be of high priority to standardise in order to achieve the benefits of semantic interoperability in the Australian healthcare setting.
Participations are a fundamental concept within the Agency's information model and are used extensively in Agency-structured document templates and data specifications. Participations record context-specific information about relationships between participants and healthcare events. As such, participations are only meaningful within the context in which they are used; in other words, participation is not a stand-alone concept.
Here is the link:
The last version of the specification (Version 3.2) was released 20 Jul 2011.
The changes in this new release are stated to be:
“Version 3.3 30 Jan 2017
1. Statements implying that government-issued identifiers, especially Medicare Card Numbers, can be used as identifiers have been removed to avoid potential conflict with Australian Privacy Principle 9.
This version of the specification has been rebranded to the Australian Digital Health Agency”
The document is almost 200 pages long, has been under development for many yeaqrs, and to be honest I have no idea why this document exists. If it has been basically unchanged for six years, and no one seems to have noticed the issue of non-authorised use of Government identifiers (which has been around for years AFAIK and is actually illegal I believe) it does not seem to be heavily used.
The document lacks any explanation of just why it exists I can find, who is using it and what it is for that I can make sense of so I am hoping someone can explain to me just what this is all about and how it is adding value to the health system.

Before you respond I do understand the need for data standards but much of what is covered seems to be how to express names, addresses, occupations etc for which surely we already have standards? If not, one has to wonder why not. There does not seem to be much health specific in all this except maybe date of death details.

I should also point out that talk of semantic interoperation has been discussed for years but thus far it has seemed the best we can do falls far short. 
Yours in anticipation of explanations of where this document fits, who is using it and what value it is adding!
David.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 20th February, 2017.

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 interesting week with the NBN attracting a lot of news for all the wrong reasons and a lot of private sector activity being announced in the e-Health space.
Additionally the Government is really worrying just why so many projects fail! Enjoy the read.
-----

Big fix to govt's $6 billion tech woes

Noel Towell
Published: February 17, 2017 - 7:59AM
The federal government is to embark on a massive overhaul of its troubled technology effort, putting more than 100 projects, each worth more than $10 million, under the microscope.
The move looks set to be the biggest ever shake-up of Australian government IT, significantly weakening the grip of Canberra mandarins on the $6.2 billion spent on info tech by the Commonwealth each year.
First to feel the blowtorch will be the $1 billion replacement of Centrelink's automated payment system and Defence's new "enterprise resource planning" project, which also comes with a $1 billion price tag.
-----

DTA’s command and control begins with review of ICT projects

By Harley Dennett

17.02.2017
Government’s ICT failures will never go away entirely but perhaps they can be mitigated with better oversight, central control and provider diversification — at least that’s the hope.
The next step for the Digital Transformation Agency will be to review all major ICT projects as part of its oversight of the $6.2 billion whole-of-government ICT spend.
Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor announced the review on Friday declaring it will “provide unprecedented visibility and centralised management of IT projects.”
Details are thin. The review will an internal exercise, conducted by DTA’s newly created Digital Investment Management Office headed by Andrew Woolf, the former assistant secretary at the Department of Finance prior to the machinery of government change in October last year.
-----

Welfare ‘fraud finder’ among ICT projects in $6bn review

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM February 17, 2017

Sarah Martin

More than $6 billion spent each year on technology projects will be reviewed by the federal government, including the program being developed to recover welfare overpayments from Centrelink recipients.
Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor will announce today a government review into all ICT projects worth more than $10 million, including several technology projects worth upwards of $1bn.
Among the projects subject to the review is the Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation pro­ject, known as WPIT, which is touted as one of the world’s largest social welfare software systems that will eliminate welfare fraud through data matching with the ATO.
-----
  • Updated Feb 16 2017 at 11:00 PM

NAB, Westpac back medical start-ups to fix health payments

National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corp are attacking the $100 billion national health market by separately investing in two medical technology start-ups which are making it easier for patients to book and pay for allied health services and simplifying financial management for doctors.
Through its corporate venture fund NAB Ventures, National Australia Bank has invested in Medipass Solutions, a new company created from the start-up Localz, which will roll out a customer-facing application for booking health services like optical or therapy.
Westpac, meanwhile, has taken an equity stake in Surgical Partners, which has built middleware for GPs and specialist doctors to help them integrate medical services payments with their own accounting systems.
-----

NAB-backed start-up to streamline visit to the doctor

By Allie Coyne on Feb 17, 2017 6:15AM

Single online process for everything from bookings to rebates.

National Australia Bank has invested in a new health technology start-up that will create a digital platform to connect doctors, health insurers, and payment providers in order to unify the healthcare process.
NAB has joined with Melbourne-based beacon technology start-up Localz to create a new business, funded in part by an undisclosed equity investment from NAB Ventures, called Medipass Solutions.
Localz won NAB's inaugural Labs hackathon in December 2014, giving it the opportunity to work with the bank on new solutions.
-----

Talking Teeth: time to catch up on oral health data systems and big-data analysis

Editor: Marie McInerney Author: Marc Tennant, Estie Krugeron: February 15, 2017In: dental care, evidence-based issues
The National Oral Health Alliance (NOHA) last week welcomed news from Health Minister Greg Hunt that the two year cap for subsidised services under the Child Dental Benefits Scheme (CDBS) would remain at $1,000, and not be cut to $700 as the Federal Government had proposed after its decision to retain the CDBS after all.
NOHA had lobbied against the proposal, fearing a reduction in the cap would have led families in greatest need having to refuse treatment because they were unable to meet the additional costs. Spokesman Tony McBride had warned significant numbers of children from rural and remote and Aboriginal communities would have been affected.
Meanwhile, Professors Marc Tennant and Estie Kruger say recent research reports are showing how whole-of-country data systems in countries like Sweden and Denmark are improving the oral health of millions of people.
-----

Care providers to establish secure messaging service

By Technology Decisions Staff
Monday, 13 February, 2017
Tender seeking partners in industry will need to establish an interoperable and secure electronic messaging service, following a request from the Australian Digital Health Agency.
The objective behind this is to improve ‘point to point’ messaging across care providers and the clinical information systems being used in Australia.
“Currently, we are using pen and paper and fax machines to communicate with each other,” said the chair of RACGP’s e-health committee and co-sponsor of the project, Nathan Pinskier.
-----
13 February, 2017

Caution urged over emergency doc app

 Posted by ruby Prosser Scully
A new app that promises to save patients a trip to, and a long wait in, the emergency department has prompted concern about fragmentation of care.
My Emergency Dr, an app developed by Sydney Royal North Shore Hospital emergency physician Dr Justin Bowra, promises to give “every Australian urgent video access via your smartphone to an emergency specialist, wherever they live and whenever they call”.
According to trial data from the company, six in 10 patients using the app were able to avoid a visit to the hospital after a video consultation with one of their doctors.
-----

Epworth Healthcare selects Telstra Health patient management system

Epworth HealthCare is to deploy Telstra Health’s Patient Flow Manager platform to improve efficiency in managing bed occupancy and movement at Epworth Hospital in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond.
One of Australia’s largest not-for-profit private healthcare providers with more than 140,000 patient admissions and 90,000 surgeries annually, Epworth Health will utilise the Telstra Health solution to gain greater visibility of key data from multiple hospital IT systems in order to improve patient movement within the hospital.
Epworth Richmond executive director, Nicole Waldron, says that Telstra Health’s solution would help staff to have a complete view of patient flow information in near real-time, enabling them to plan patient movement and flow more efficiently across the organisation.
-----

Telstra Health provides patient movement system for Epworth Richmond Hospital

Telstra Health's Patient Flow system will allow the hospital to glean near real-time information on bed capacity and patient movement, allowing for more accurate forecasting of demand.
By Corinne Reichert | February 13, 2017 -- 05:49 GMT (16:49 AEDT) | Topic: Telcos
Telstra Health has another win under its belt after being selected by non-profit private healthcare provider Epworth HealthCare to provide its Patient Flow Manager system for Epworth Richmond Hospital in Melbourne.
Telstra's system provides near real-time information on bed occupancy and patient movement throughout the hospital, enabling more efficient planning than via the manual, paper-based system that is still being used.
"The current process for managing bed flow across the sites is manual and relies on a series of meetings and conversations between staff about planned or potential discharges. The flow of information can be time consuming, reactive, subject to individual interpretation and sensitivity," Epworth Richmond executive director Nicole Waldron said.
-----

Australia finally gets data breach notification laws at third attempt

Twice-stranded laws have finally succeeded in making passage through the Australian Parliament.
By Chris Duckett | February 13, 2017 -- 02:08 GMT (13:08 AEDT) | Topic: Security
At the third time of asking, Australia will have data breach notification laws.
The passage of the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 through the Senate on Monday means Australians will in the near future begin to be alerted of their data being inappropriately accessed.
The legislation is restricted to incidents involving personal information, credit card information, credit eligibility, and tax file number information that would put individuals at "real risk of serious harm".
"It is not intended that every data breach be subject to a notification requirement. It would not be appropriate for minor breaches to be notified, because of the administrative burden that may place on entities, the risk of 'notification fatigue' on the part of individuals, and the lack of utility where notification does not facilitate harm mitigation," the explanatory memorandum for the Bill states.
Notification laws would only apply to companies covered by the Privacy Act, and would exempt intelligence agencies, small businesses with turnover of less than AU$3 million annually, and political parties from needing to disclose breaches. E-health providers are still subject to the mandatory data breach notification scheme under the My Health Records Act.
-----

What does data breach notification mean for you?

By Allie Coyne on Feb 14, 2017 11:06AM

All you need to know for your business.

The Australian senate yesterday passed new laws that will require businesses and government agencies to notify the Privacy Commissioner and customers if they have experienced a data breach.
It brought an end to five years of uncertainty as both sides of politics made attempts to get a mandatory data breach notification scheme up and running.
But what does the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 mean for your business, and what constitutes a breach? 
-----

Australia's privacy regulators are under siege

By Paris Cowan on Feb 15, 2017 6:45AM

[Blog post] Why do our governments fear a well-resourced watchdog?

If Australia’s privacy regulators had a dollar for every time a politician or senior official insisted citizens’ privacy is their number one priority, they might have enough funding to actually carry out their duties.
But instead - in the upside down world of pollie doublespeak - such pledges actually translate into a gradual, persistent, behind-the-scenes undermining of these statutory offices, in what has turned the bulk of Australia’s personal information regulators into agencies under siege.
In Australia, Commonwealth privacy law - which governs all organisations turning over more than $3 million a year, and all federal agencies - is enforced by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
-----
17 February, 2017

Data penalties ‘may cripple practices’

Posted by Felicity Nelson
General practices will face hefty fines for failing to notify patients of data breaches under legislation that passed both houses of parliament this month.
The Senate passed the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 on 13 February.
Under the new law, businesses that handle sensitive information, including all general practices, are required to disclose serious data breaches or face fines of $360,000 for individuals and $1.8 million for organisations.
-----

Problems with premium payments hit Medibank customers, reveals ombudsman

Esther Han
Published: February 16, 2017 - 2:38PM
Medibank policyholders should check there are no problems with their automatic payment set-ups, with many complaining about incorrect or irregular direct debits.
The latest quarterly bulletin from the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman shows the biggest cause of complaints in the three months to December was problems with premium payments, and Fairfax Media can reveal it largely related to one insurer: Medibank.
"[Premium payment problems] predominantly concerned direct debits from bank accounts and credit cards, such as incorrect debit amounts or irregular debits, or the accidental cessation of direct debit arrangements," the ombudsman said.
-----

Medibank's troubled IT overhaul is starting to stabilise

By Allie Coyne on Feb 17, 2017 10:45AM

SAP system 'on track' for full operation.

Health insurer Medibank expects to exit "hyper-care" of its new SAP-based core platform in the next few months as it stabilises the system following a difficult implementation.
Medibank has been working to embed its new, single software suite for customer, policy, premium and product management systems with the help of IBM since data migration issues arose last July.
'Project DelPHI' is the final and core component of Medibank's $150 million overhaul of its policy and customer relationship management systems.
-----

Medibank software deal to keep experts honest on big gap fees

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM February 17, 2017

Sean Parnell

Australia’s largest health fund will take a harder line on out-of-pocket expenses, signing a deal with a clinical software provider that will allow GPs to identify specialists who leave patients with significant gap fees.
Amid ongoing concern over rising costs, the new arrangement between Medibank and Healthshare will make financial considerations a factor in traditionally sacrosanct conversations between GPs and their patients about referrals.
Medibank chief customer offic­er David Koczkar said the software — accessible by 85 per cent of GPs — would identify specialists who had participated in the insur­er’s “no gap” or “known gap” schemes in the previous 12 months. “We talk to our customers all the time and we know that they have a very high desire to use the schemes so they have certainty over their out-of-pocket costs,” Mr Koczkar said.
-----

Hospital pharmacy makes changes to reduce readmissions

The Pharmacy Department at Wollongong Hospital has made several key changes following the release of new research

The study, undertaken by researchers from the University of Wollongong, is hoped to improve patient health outcomes following their discharge from hospital.
Dr Carl Mahfouz from UOW’s Graduate Medicine, began working on an 18-month study into how hospital discharge summaries could be improved to better suit the needs of the GPs and the discharge information they require to optimally address the health care needs of their patients.
“I noticed inconsistencies on the discharge summaries of some of my patients, which prompted me to investigate whether this was a common problem,” he says.
-----

Why keeping a digital health record is important

15th February 2017 7:35 AM
Pilot and farmer, Ian Gillies, has registered with My Health Record.
KEEPING your health records in the digital age is easy, and can be very important should an emergency occur, a spokesperson from the North Coast Primary Health Network said.
Registrations for My Health Record - a digital health record containing important information which can be easily accessed in an emergency - are steadily increasing.
-----

Lockheed CISO hired to protect Australian health records

By Paris Cowan on Feb 16, 2017 12:30PM

As crunch time nears.

Infosec veteran Anthony Kitzelmann has been lured back into the public sector to head up the Australian Digital Health Authority’s security centre.
The ADHA was formed to operate Australia’s billion-dollar electronic health records scheme, which is due to ramp up dramatically as the government nears a final decision on whether it will set up accounts for citizens by default.
Pilots of opt-out My Health Record have seen an average of just two percent of participants elect not to have a record created for them. A change in approach on a nationwide scale would produce records for the vast bulk of Australians.
-----

Access you My Health Record on your mobile, android or tablet!

Consumers can now access and view their My Health Record on mobile devices with the soft launch of the Healthi app, the first authorised consumer app to link to the national system since the My Child’s eHealth Record app was released back in 2013.
Healthi does not retain any information from the records, instead storing the information on the device temporarily while it is being viewed and removing it when the app is closed. It has PIN code and encryption key security.
The app includes a summary screen, two searchable document screens, as well as allergies and medications data, including prescriptions and PBS items. It also allows users to access the records of children or other family members who have given authorised or nominated representative consent, with a function allowing easy movement between each family member’s records.
-----

The Future of Digital Health

Created on Friday, 17 February 2017
On Monday 13 February, more than 1,000 people tuned in to the Australian Digital Health Agency national webcast on the future of digital health.
Facilitated by Ellen Fanning, the webcast marked the final stage of the consultation towards a co-produced National Digital Health Strategy, due for delivery to the Australian Government in mid-2017.
Panellists included:
  • Mr Martin Bowles PSM, Secretary of the Australian Department of Health
  • Professor Brian Schmidt AO, Vice Chancellor of the Australian National University
  • Mr Adrian Turner, Chief Executive Officer of Data61
  • Mr Barry Sandison, Director of the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW)
  • Mr Tim Kelsey, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Digital Health Agency
  • Clinical Professor Meredith Makeham, GP and Chief Medical Adviser of the Australian Digital Health Agency.
-----

National Digital Health Strategy consultation: Emerging themes on the future of digital health

Created on Tuesday, 14 February 2017
What are we hearing from the Australian community on what makes the ideal health service? What are the key priorities we should focus on?
Over 1,000 people completed our online survey and sent us submissions, along with over 3,000 attended workshops, meetings, town halls, forums, and webcasts to share with us their thoughts on where they see the future of health and care.
Watch the video below to see what the Australian community have been saying!
-----

Clinical Informatics Unit Announcement: Participation Data Specification Release

Created on Wednesday, 15 February 2017
The Clinical Informatics unit is pleased to announce the latest release of the Australian Digital Health Agency's Participation Data Specification (v3.3).
You can download the full release file bundle from the following location on the Agency website:
The accompanying release note outlines changes in the Participation Data Specification and the triggers for the changes.
-----

Is NBN Co’s CEO right that Australians aren’t interested in ultra-fast broadband?

February 10, 2017 6.51pm AEDT

Author David Glance Director of UWA Centre for Software Practice, University of Western Australia

Whilst announcing NBN Co’s 2017 half year results, CEO Bill Morrow stated that there was little market demand for faster broadband speeds than the 100 Mbps being currently offered on the NBN.
Morrow made the remarks after being asked when Internet Service Providers (ISPs) would offer internet connection speeds of 1 gigabit per second (1 Gbps).
Morrow replied that there are currently 1.5 million homes that can have 1 Gbps connections and that although a “couple of the retailers have signed up for a trial” of these speeds, nobody as yet has offered the service to consumers. Morrow presumed “it is because there isn’t that big of a demand out there to actually develop a product to sell to those end users”.
-----

NBN switch will cost users up to 20% more

The NBN is starting to make inroads into the capital cities, with construction in Sydney, the nation­’s biggest consumer market, to begin later this year.
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM February 13, 2017

Chris Griffith

Supratim Adhikari

Households face a price hike of nearly 20 per cent on internet servic­es, on average, as they are required to sign up to the National Broadband Network when it arrives in their neighbourhood and the ­existing service is switched off.
The NBN is starting to make inroads into the capital cities, with construction in Sydney, the nation­’s biggest consumer market, to begin later this year.
Until now the more than 70 per cent of NBN’s rollout happened in regional and rural areas, but the switch to the metro will gather pace this year, especially if the company rolling out the network, NBN Co, wants to hit its target of having 5.4 million premises ready to receive a service by June 30.
-----

Morrow admits NBN can’t deliver affordable superfast broadband

NBN Co chief Bill Morrow has admitted that the National Broadband Network cannot deliver an affordably priced superfast broadband product to Australians. However, he claims we don't need it anyway and wouldn't use it even if it was free.
Morrow, in a blog on the NBN Co website, says that NBN cannot deliver 1Gbps broadband at a comparable price to that on offer in Singapore and other countries where 1Gbps superfast broadband costs less than $50 a month.
Morrow says in a blog published today that if NBN Co was in a position to deliver 1Gbps for $49/month, as they do in Singapore, “then we would do it – but we are simply not in that position from an economic point of view.”
-----

Bill Morrow's 'alternative facts' about the NBN

Australia is unique in many ways but today one more attribute of this country now falls into that class: we are the lone nation to be building a broadband network that cannot give us affordable super-fast connections.
Yes, you heard right. And you can't question the source, for these words come from the chief of NBN Co, Bill Morrow, the man who earns $3.3 million an annum (that's $9041 a day, a little less in leap years) to push the build of the National Broadband Network that has become both a joke and a national shame.
After Morrow suffered from an attack of loose lips and told a crowd at the release of NBN Co's half-yearly results last week that Australians, bunch of chumps that they are, did not want super-fast broadband even if it came gift-wrapped and hand-delivered with no money asked, he must have felt some amount of blowback.
-----

Google finds networks became ‘highly aggressive’ in competition

  • Mark Bridge
  • The Times
  • 12:00AM February 18, 2017
A Terminator scenario where ­artificial intelligence goes rogue and seeks to destroy its human creators is looking a bit more plausible.
Researchers at Google’s DeepMind, its artificial intelligence division, found neural networks trained to learn from experience and pursue the most efficient strategies became “highly aggressive” in competition. When the networks — computer systems modelled on the human brain — were tasked to collect apples, they co-operated as long as the fruit was plentiful. Once the supply decreased, they turned nasty, blasting their opponents with ­lasers and temporarily putting them out of action.
Joel Leibo, one of the ­researchers, wrote in a blog post: “We let the agents play this game many thousands of times and let them learn how to behave rationally using deep multi-agent reinforcement learning. Rather naturally, when there are enough apples in the environment, the agents learn to peacefully coexist and collect as many apples as they can; however, as the number of apples is reduced, the agents learn it may be better for them to tag the other agent to give themselves time alone to collect the scarce apples.”
-----
Enjoy!
David.