Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Long Article Suggesting The Future For Telstra Health is Pretty Uncertain At Present.

The following very detailed article appeared last week.
  • Updated Sep 11 2017 at 1:47 PM

Trying to prove it's nimble and smart, Telstra stumbles

Under chief executive David Thodey, Telstra thought electronic health services could help turn itself from a bureaucratic ex-monopoly into a smart and nimble software provider.
Instead, Telstra's start-up health division suffered many of the problems of its parent: infighting, slow decision making and gold-plated spending.
Four years after getting a dynamic CEO, Telstra Health loses money, is trying to coordinate more than a dozen businesses with different cultures, objectives and tech systems, and was forced to write off $77 million from an acquisition binge that made some entrepreneurs rich and cost Telstra shareholders $240 million.
Telstra's failure to create a business that pays its way, at least in the short term, is an example of a problem facing the broader economy: many large Australian companies have a weak record of building new businesses, leading to pressure to divert profits into dividends, which some economists say is holding the economy back.
"It was Thodey's pet project," says one investment banker who dealt with Telstra. "There was too much cash available and not a cohesive collection of assets."

A brilliant strategy

Thodey's strategy was designed to exploit a trend that could transform the provision of healthcare. Australia's health system is widely admired across Asia, and experts believe that technology and communications – Telstra's strong points – can save billions of dollars and eventually millions of lives.
The industry doesn't have a dominant company, and the government agencies that run health systems are becoming more open to shifting work to the private sector. More health services, such as counselling and GP consultations, are expected to be done over video. The government wants every Australian to have an electronic health record.
He hired a top health-system administrator, Shane Solomon, in 2013, who promised to shake up the industry and double Telstra Health's revenue in a year. GP bookings would be automated, repeat prescriptions would be issued over computer tablets, and doctors hired to give digital consultations under the plan.
"We are trying to bring the digital revolution to health," Solomon told BOSS magazine two years ago. "In the same way it has transformed other industries, we believe it can transform the health industry."

Profits or dividends

Telstra was doing exactly what some commentators said was needed. Australian companies are too focused on paying dividends to shareholders than creating dynamic new businesses, they say. Columnist Alan Kohler, a former editor-in-chief of The Australian Financial Review, recently wrote that Australian companies could have reinvested $300 billion over the past 10 years if their dividend yield was 2 per cent, instead of 4 per cent, and built world-beating products.
"Eventually a few of them might have stumbled into artificial intelligence and spent a meaningful enough sum of money to buy a seat at the global tech table, or at least be able to defend themselves against the new AI predators led by Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and Google," he wrote.
Telstra Health's struggle to thrive demonstrates how even a sensible strategy executed by experienced managers with deep pockets is no guarantee of success. It illustrates why some investors prefer companies to pay profits to shareholders rather than reinvest them.

Acquisition binge

A Victorian, Solomon had run the Hong Kong Health Authority for five years and KPMG's health consulting business for almost three. With Telstra's big balance sheet and the CEO's imprimatur behind him, Solomon went on an acquisition binge. Telstra invested in or bought 18 businesses on the cutting edge of health software in about three years.
Today, those businesses issue 250 million medical scripts a year electronically, record the health records of 400,000 Indigenous Australians, and provide a secure messaging system for 33,000 doctors and other health practitioners.
"It's a pretty cool business," says Cynthia Whelan, Telstra's head of New Businesses, which includes Telstra Health.
In a previous role, Whelan oversaw Telstra's mergers and acquisitions team at the peak of Solomon's deals. Eager to demonstrate Telstra was able to quickly execute a daring strategy, Solomon was given latitude to quickly build a software business that employed almost 1000 people.
Lots more here:
The bottom line with all this really depends – to me – on two key elements. Accepting that the companies that Telstra acquired we all pretty much best of breed software the integration of the disparate parts will be a challenge as will actually maintaining management focus on such a small component of such a very large company.
Right now I really think the jury is out – especially since it seems the total entity is yet to become profitable.
As always time will tell. The next 12 to 18 months will see the story play out I suspect.
David.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I Wonder Where The Truth Lies In All This - It Is Not Clear To Me.

Tim Kelsey gave a prepared opening statement to the Senate Enquiry on The Medicare Data Breach on Friday afternoon.
Here is the transcript:
Finance and Public Administration References Committee - 15/09/2017
Protection of personal Medicare information
Mr Kelsey: If I could, first of all, thank the committee for giving us an opportunity to explain the security protocols for My Health Record, in particular, and note that we're here really just to consider item C in the terms of reference:
c. the implications of this breach for the roll out of the opt-out My Health Record system;
The Australian Digital Health Agency was established in July 2016 by all the governments of Australia, and, as I mentioned, is responsible not only for the system operations of the My Health Record but also for the implementation of the National Digital Health Strategy, which was agreed by the governments of Australia in August. If I can initially say that there has been no security breach of the My Health Record and that there is no direct or technical connection between the HPOS system and the record system. There has in fact never been a security breach of the My Health Record system in its five years of operation, with the system currently containing over five million records. At the moment we have on a voluntary basis 5.1 million Australians who have registered to have a My Health Record.
I'm responsible as chief executive officer of the agency for the day-to-day operation of the system, including ensuring that all our legislative requirements are met. In May this year the federal government of Australia announced its commitment for continued and improved operation of the My Health Record system. Significantly, the announcement included a transition to an opt-out model by the end of 2018. This followed unanimous support at the COAG for a national rollout with a My Health Record to be created for every Australian unless they tell us they don't want one.
The transition to opt out will bring forward benefits many years sooner than the current opt-in arrangements. It's the fastest way to realise the significant health and economic benefits of My Health Record through, for example, reduced hospital admissions, reductions in adverse drug events, reduced duplication of diagnostic tests, better coordination of care for people seeing multiple healthcare providers and, of course, more control in the hands of the patient and the citizen of their health and wellbeing.
I believe there has been a conflation of issues surrounding the incident which is the subject of today's hearing and the security of My Health Record. I would like to just address some of that commentary by briefly outlining the security features of My Health Record, if that would be helpful to the committee. First of all—we can discuss this in more detail—we operate to the very highest levels of security, as you can imagine, in terms of cyberprotection. My colleague, Mr Kitzelmann, can detail shortly more about the actual protocols we operate to, but we'll perhaps come back to that. What I wanted to dwell on is the way in which the My Health Record system actually operates if you are a healthcare practitioner and to reassure members of the committee that there is a very rigorous process of protection against unauthorised access into the My Health Record in the way the process, the standard, is designed.
In summary, firstly, in order to access a My Health Record, a healthcare provider needs significantly more information than just the Medicare number. In fact, they would need at least five items of personal information in addition to the Medicare number to be able to access a My Health Record. Secondly, a healthcare provider accessing My Health Record has to have a unique identifier for themselves and also be uniquely attributed to an organisation that they are working for in health care. Thirdly, they need to access the record through what's called conformance software. This is software which we accredit at the Australian Digital Health Agency and which performs a number of checks on the identity and authentication of an individual, a patient, as well as on their healthcare provider, before they are able to access a My Health Record. Fourthly, currently, of course, all people who are registered for a My Health Record have volunteered to do so; they have provided their consent to make medical information where appropriate available to a clinical practitioner who is treating them. There are access controls under the My Health Records Act 2012 which individuals have the right to exercise. These are an important set of protections which allow an individual citizen to, for example, mask a particular clinical document from view, should they choose to; put a PIN number on their entire record and can decide whether or not a particular clinician has access to it; and also, in collaboration with their practitioner, elect not to have a document uploaded into My Health Record. Those, in broad terms, are the protections which mean that a Medicare number on its own cannot suffice for access to the My Health Record and, more importantly, that Australia really is setting a standard globally in providing patients with very important rights to control access to their confidential medical information. I will leave it there by way of introduction, if that's okay. Thank you.
----- End Extract.
The link is here:
See especially the bolded text.
This is to be contrasted with this:
Here we discover (about ½ way down the full report) the following:

Details of mandatory data breach notifications relating to the My Health Record system

Mandatory data breach notifications received during the reporting period

The OAIC received two mandatory data breach notifications from the System Operator during the reporting period, in September 2016 and December 2016. It involved the unauthorised access of a healthcare recipient’s My Health Record by a third party. The review of these notifications was ongoing as at 31 December 2016.
The OAIC also received eighteen mandatory data breach notifications from DHS during the reporting period.
  • Eleven notifications resulted from findings under the Medicare compliance program that certain Medicare claims in the name of a healthcare recipient but not made by that healthcare recipient were uploaded to their My Health Record. These notifications totalled 92 breaches, each of which affected a separate healthcare recipient. Seven of these data breach notifications have been closed, totalling 67 breaches, and the review of the other four notifications, totalling 25 breaches, was ongoing as at 31 December 2016.
  • A further seven notifications, affecting fourteen healthcare recipients, eight with a My Health Record and six without, relate to healthcare recipients with similar demographic information having their Medicare records intertwined. As a result, Medicare claims belonging to another healthcare recipient were made available in the My Health Record of the record owner. Review of these notifications was ongoing as at 31 December 2016.

Mandatory data breach notifications closed during the reporting period

The OAIC completed its enquiries into ten data breach notifications received from DHS between April 2016 and October 2016. These data breach notifications relate to the findings under the Medicare compliance program discussed above.
The OAIC requested further information from DHS regarding the data breaches. Following consideration of the additional material and response provided by DHS, the OAIC considers that DHS has acted appropriately in assessing those incidents, sought to cancel the relevant My Health Records and sought to contact affected individuals.

Mandatory Data breach notifications received in previous reporting periods and still open

Two of the data breach notifications received by the OAIC prior to 1 July 2016 were still open at 31 December 2016. These data breach notifications relate to intertwined Medicare records and affected four healthcare recipients and two My Health Records.
----- End Extract.
So are there any breaches or not?
Hard to say….
Comments welcome!
David.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 18th September, 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

A really interesting week with a major step for patient information sharing between a GP practice and a patient.
Elsewhere we have the ongoing consequences of various leaks and stuff-ups with the DHS etc.
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Your GP Medical Records in your hands

News / 9 June 2017
MediTracker connects your GP medial record held at this practice to your mobile device.
After hours, in an emergency, or even on holidays, MediTracker makes you and the people you care about safer.
Download the MediTracker app now for an annual fee of $5.99. Please visit meditracker.com.au for further information.
-----
  • Updated Sep 11 2017 at 1:47 PM

Trying to prove it's nimble and smart, Telstra stumbles

Under chief executive David Thodey, Telstra thought electronic health services could help turn itself from a bureaucratic ex-monopoly into a smart and nimble software provider.
Instead, Telstra's start-up health division suffered many of the problems of its parent: infighting, slow decision making and gold-plated spending.
Four years after getting a dynamic CEO, Telstra Health loses money, is trying to coordinate more than a dozen businesses with different cultures, objectives and tech systems, and was forced to write off $77 million from an acquisition binge that made some entrepreneurs rich and cost Telstra shareholders $240 million.
Telstra's failure to create a business that pays its way, at least in the short term, is an example of a problem facing the broader economy: many large Australian companies have a weak record of building new businesses, leading to pressure to divert profits into dividends, which some economists say is holding the economy back.
-----

Who owns your personal, private information? (Hint: not you)

Nicholas Stuart
Published: September 13 2017 - 12:15AM
Wow! Facial recognition – what a blast! At 3am Wednesday, we'll discover – officially – that Apple's new iPhone will recognise its owner and automatically unlock itself at a glance.
Put this way, it sounds terrific, just like an adorable pet that always comes whenever it's called. Naturally, Apple expects users to happily hand over their facial specifications. After all, it's so much easier than a fingerprint.
Put this way, the change appears incremental – just one more step into a wonderful, connected future. In many ways, that's all it is – as long as the user is in control.
-----

NSW Health prepares to launch innovation portal

By Justin Hendry on Sep 14, 2017 6:45AM

Details nine challenges.

NSW Health will shortly invite industry to tackle some of its biggest clinical and business challenges using a new channel to pitch innovative solutions.
The department is preparing to create an innovation portal that provides a space to share challenges where it considers there to be fertile ground for lateral thinking and innovation from its industry and academic partners.
“The idea really is to articulate to the industry the issues that are the most pertinent and most significant for NSW Health at this point in time,” chief executive and CIO of eHealth NSW Zoran Bolevich told an AIIA forum in Sydney yesterday.
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Victorian hospitals to trial ‘anti-hacking’ devices

Government funds pilot of Cyber-Nexus ‘anti-hacking’ devices
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld)
Victoria’s Western Health will trial 400 Cyber-Nexus ‘anti-hacking’ devices at its hospitals, as part of what the state government said will be a world-first pilot.
Western Health manages Footscray Hospital, Sunshine Hospital, Williamstown Hospital and Sunbury Day Hospital, as well as a number of community-based health services.
The Cyber-Nexus is developed by Israeli company Bio-Nexus and is designed to securely connect medical equipment to hospital networks. Bio-Nexus says the device can reduce the risk posed by medical systems that rely on out-of-date software or unencrypted communication.
-----

World-first cybersecurity trial to safeguard medical devices from hackers to take place in Victoria

Lynne Minion | 14 Sep 2017
A cutting-edge cybersecurity device designed to protect medical equipment from being controlled or knocked offline by hackers will be trialled in Victoria in a world-first pilot.
Melbourne’s Western Health will connect 400 of the Cyber-Nexus anti-hacking gadgets developed by Israeli firm Bio-Nexus to vulnerable medical devices to protect the IT infrastructure from infiltration and safeguard patient safety.
The six-month trial will secure medical equipment such as heart rate monitors and intravenous pumps, the state’s Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said.
-----

Breast implants and lymphoma: data registry vital

Authored by Nicole MacKee
SURGEONS and breast device manufacturers are being urged to provide data to the Australian Breast Device Registry, in light of growing evidence of a causal link between some breast implants and a rare type of lymphoma.
Writing in the MJA, experts have called on the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery and Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand to require their members to provide data to the registry as a condition of membership.
The call comes after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) was the first regulatory authority in the world to confirm the likelihood of a causal link between breast implants and breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) in December of 2016. The TGA confirmed that 53 cases of BIA-ALCL had occurred in Australia between 2007 and 2017, including three deaths in Australia and one in New Zealand. The cases occurred 3–14 years after implantation, with a median interval of 8 years.
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6 problems with that new specialist fee-disclosure website

12 September 2017

ANALYSIS

The site is well-intentioned but more misleading than helpful, argues urological surgeon Dr Henry Woo.​
GP Dr Richard Zhu is reported to be on a mission to “expose” the out of pocket expenses associated with initial consultations to see specialists in Australia.  He has created a website called SeekMedi in his “battle for greater fee transparency”.
His creation of this “one-person army” is with good intent but in its current form is more misleading than helpful. If the website is about transparency, then it needs to practice what is preached. My concerns are as follows:
1. The website should state its funding (even though we know from news reports that he personally funds it) and as to how the data is collected.  We also know from media reports that he personally telephones specialist practices and following discussions with their secretaries will record the cost of initial consultations into an Excel spreadsheet - this methodology should be also be recorded for transparency.
-----

Why my website listing specialist fees is a win for patients and doctors

12 September 2017

COMMENT

Sydney GP Dr Richard Zhu's fee-disclosure website has caused quite a stir. Here's his side of things.
Seekmedi.com has been created to make life easier for the public, patients and especially my hardworking, underpaid GP colleagues.
The reason I created Seekmedi.com is simple: patients, and ultimately the general public, wish to see transparency around specialist fees. 
There is no freedom of choice if the price of a service is unknown and, more importantly, without anything to compare it with. 
-----

Doctors call for Medicare rebates for telehealth and pathology testing in general practices

Lynne Minion | 15 Sep 2017
GPs are expanding their services into pathology testing and telehealth consultations, with the RACGP calling for Medicare to subsidise the new tech approaches or Australian healthcare will linger in the “dark ages”.

In a submission to the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce, the RACGP has called for the funding of telehealth consultations conducted by doctors both in and outside of consulting rooms, and at residential aged care facilities. Point of care testing should also be added to the MBS to provide rebates for pathology services conducted at general practices, including tests on blood, urine, faeces and sperm.
“As the world modernises, failure to make changes such as those suggested in our submission will leave Australia’s health system in the dark ages,” RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel told Healthcare IT News Australia.
-----

6,000 extra high need home care packages and $20 million My Aged Care revamp

The Australian Government has announced major initiatives in home care services and improved access to the My Aged Care system, as it releases the report of the Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017.
Page last updated: 14 September 2017

Joint Media Release

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Sport

The Hon. Ken Wyatt AM, MP
Minister for Aged Care
Minister for Indigenous Health

14 September 2017
The Turnbull Government has announced major initiatives in home care services and improved access to the My Aged Care system, as it releases the report of the Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017.
An additional 6,000 home care packages will be made available to support more older Australians with higher care needs to remain living in the comfort of their own homes.
At the same time, support for aged care consumers will be streamlined through a $20 million investment in the My Aged Care information system, to improve public access, especially for rural, regional and remote clients.
-----

Doctor warns Govt: Don’t ‘Get Smart’ against Medicare Machine

Medical practitioner groups fear "disproportionate" government response to scandal
George Nott (Computerworld) 15 September, 2017 13:35
A doctor has warned against health systems becoming like the ‘Cone of Silence’ from ’60s spy comedy series Get Smart, as the government considers its response to the darkweb marketplace ‘Medicare Machine’ scandal.
Dr Rob Hosking, representing the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, told a senate committee hearing today that information security at clinics was adequate, and that too much security could reduce the efficiency of systems like My Health Record.
“We are concerned that this breach will lead to the imposition of tighter security practices by the government which will reduce the day to day functionality required to run an efficient health system,” Hosking told the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee this morning.
-----

Medicare details sold on darknet not obtained by hacking but from ‘legitimate channel’

Details from Medicare offered on auction site came from a ‘bad person doing a bad thing’, Senate inquiry hears
Medicare details sold on the darknet were not obtained through hacking but by a “bad person doing a bad thing from a legitimate channel,” a Senate inquiry has heard.
Guardian Australia revealed in July that Medicare card details were offered for sale on a darknet auction site and that the vendor, provided with a journalist’s name and date of birth, was able to produce the requested Medicare number for a fee of 0.0089 bitcoin, or US$22.
Another journalist at SBS repeated the experiment.
-----

Doctors urge restraint over dark web saga

The federal government is being urged not to overreact to the sale of Medicare numbers on the dark web.
Source: AAP
Doctors are urging the federal government not to overreact to the sale of personal Medicare details on the dark web.
Australian Medical Association vice president Tony Bartone has warned a Senate inquiry into the breach against responding by imposing "unnecessary administrative barriers" to the detriment of patients.
"The AMA wants to ensure any response from the government to safeguard information is proportional to the risk and does not increase the administrative burden on practitioners or practices," Dr Bartone told senators on Friday.
-----

Up to 165 Medicare numbers affected by dark web scam

  • The Australian
  • 8:03PM September 15, 2017

Rachel Baxendale

As many as 165 people may have had their Medicare number obtained by people selling the information on the “dark web”.
The Department of Human Services told a Senate inquiry this afternoon it had contacted 165 people “who might conceivably have been affected” after a journalist revealed in July that he had been able to buy his own Medicare number online for $30.
DHS deputy secretary Caroline Edwards said the records of those contacted had been carefully checked and there was no evidence of any inappropriate Medicare claiming activity.
-----

AI implementations creating new jobs and more sales: report

New digital transformation AI research shows that “four out of five companies implementing AI have created new jobs as a result of AI technology".
Consulting, tech and outsourcing gurus Capgemini have released the findings of its “Turning AI into concrete value: the successful implementers’ toolkit”, which shows that organisations deploying artificial intelligence are creating jobs and increasing sales.
The detailed, 28-page report, which can be freely downloaded here, is a “study of nearly 1000 organisations with revenues of more than $500 million that are implementing artificial intelligence, either as a pilot or at scale".
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  • Updated Sep 11 2017 at 11:00 AM

Genome.One looks to expand genome sequencing to GP clinics

More Australians will soon be able to afford to have their genome mapped, thanks to a plan by health information company Genome.One to make its service available at specialised GP clinics across the country.
Genome sequencing identifies and maps all of a person's genes and is thought to help identify future health problems, meaning healthcare can focus more on preventing disease, rather than treating it.
However, the cost of the procedure is about $6400, meaning it is only really available to the wealthy, except when a pre-exisiting medical condition requires it.
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20,000 people sent Centrelink 'robo-debt' notices found to owe less or nothing

Tom McIlroy
Published: September 13 2017 - 10:45AM
The Turnbull government has admitted it issued robo-debt recovery notices to 20,000 welfare recipients who were later found to owe less or even nothing.
Documents tabled in Parliament by Human Services Minister Alan Tudge showed the use of automated data matching processes by Centrelink and the Department of Human Services resulted in 19,980 debt notices being issued, all of which were either reduced or rescinded.
Data to March 31 showed a total of 12,524 people had their robo-debt demands reduced to a smaller amount, while a further 7456 people were found to have no legitimate debt.
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Centrelink corrected 20,000 robo-debt notices by March: Labor

The Department of Human Services had already been forced to correct almost 20,000 notices issued under Centrelink's automated debt-recovery system robo-debt by March, Australia's Labor party has claimed.
By Corinne Reichert | September 12, 2017 -- 08:02 GMT (18:02 AEST) | Topic: Enterprise Software
According to Australia's Labor party, it has received written confirmation from Minister of Human Services Alan Tudge that the Centrelink robo-debt fiasco had resulted in approximately 19,980 incorrectly calculated debts as of the end of March.
Centrelink's automated debt recovery system, dubbed "robo-debt", had erroneously sent letters demanding repayment from welfare recipients using an automated income averaging data-matching tool.
"In an answer to a question in writing filed by Labor MP Steve Georganas, the minister for Human Services revealed that as at 31 March, 20,000 income support recipients who had been contacted as part of the failed robo-debt debacle had their debts corrected or quashed altogether," Shadow Minister for Human Services Linda Burney and Georganas said in a joint statement on Tuesday afternoon.
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Using the data revolution to agitate for health policy

Editor: Dr Ruth Armstrong Author: Alan Lopez on: September 15, 2017 In: global health, health inequalities, public health, rural and remote health
A themed edition of The Lancet, published today, marks the 20th anniversary of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, and presents the findings for 2016.
Over the years, you will have seen much of the output of this study, which is the world’s largest scientific collaboration on population health, currently including data from more than 130 countries and territories.
The study tracks life expectancy and mortality, causes of death, overall disease burden, years lived with disability and risk factors that lead to health loss, allowing global and national health bodies to focus their efforts in the right directions.
But it can’t track data that is not collected.
-----

Medical technology investment to improve lives

The Australian Government will fund three medical breakthroughs to help people with severe disabilities walk again and support thousands of Australians facing crippling chronic back pain.
Page last updated: 11 September 2017

Joint Media Release

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Sport

Senator the Hon. Arthur Sinodinos
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science

11 September 2017
The Turnbull Government will fund three medical breakthroughs to help people with severe disabilities walk again and support thousands of Australians facing crippling chronic back pain.
A total of $13.3 million will be invested into high potential Australian innovations from the $500 million Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF) – a key initiative of the Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.
BTF fund manager, BioScience Managers, will invest:
    • $5 million in Rex Bionics to develop a hands-free robotic device to help people with severe disability to walk, exercise and rehabilitate;
    • $3.3 million to Saluda Medical for neuromodulation technologies for people suffering from chronic back pain and other debilitating conditions;
    • $5 million to CHARM Informatics for data aggregation and commercialisation services for makers of ‘smart’ medical devices.
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Australian government invests AU$13m in medical technologies

The government is investing AU$13.3 million into three companies building solutions for people living with disabilities and chronic back pain.
By Tas Bindi | September 11, 2017 -- 02:41 GMT (12:41 AEST) | Topic: Innovation
The Australian government has announced that it is investing AU$13.3 million into medical technologies to help people living with severe mobility issues and chronic back pain.
The AU$500 million Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF) will invest AU$5 million into Rex Bionics for the development of a hands-free robotic device to assist in rehabilitation; AU$5 million into Charm Informatics for data aggregation and commercialisation services for smart medical device manufacturers; and AU$3.3 million into Saluda Medical for the development of neuromodulation technologies to help sufferers of chronic back pain.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said funds from the BTF -- a co-investment venture capital program in which government dollars are matched by private equity -- provides a bridge between the lab and patients.
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MAESTrO Database healthcare IT secures agreement with Russia

  • Written by Fleur Townley
CEO of MAESTrO Database, Michael Wonder, has today announced that the ROSMEDEX, the HTA agency of the Russian Government’s Department of Health, has signed a ground-breaking subscription agreement for access to the world-leading MAESTrO Database.
“We are really excited to have the ROSMEDEX on board with MAESTrO. It demonstrates that they’re committed to making progress in the field of healthcare and that they can see the enormous benefits our database provides in streamlining the process of bringing new healthcare technologies and treatments to the market,” says Mr Wonder.
One of the largest databases of its kind globally, MAESTrO is the world’s most trusted source of information on regulatory and reimbursement information for new healthcare technologies. The database takes all of the data currently available and converts it into a user-friendly, searchable application, which can be configured to filter entries across multiple fields and develop outcome metrics.
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Australian regulator fast-tracking upcoming 5G auction at super-high frequency

Lucy Battersby
Published: September 11 2017 - 8:06PM
 Australia might be getting access to 5G data speeds sooner than expected with the communications regulator fast-tracking preparations to auction the necessary spectrum off to mobile network operators.
Speeding up the long process may bring forward revenue for the government, but also the capital expenditure costs for mobile network operators like Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and TPG.
Spectrum auctions have reaped at least $3.5 billion since 2013, including world-record prices spent on lower frequencies, which are more valuable to Australian operators because they carry signals further and with better penetration.
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The experts agree, Turnbull’s NBN is ‘a national tragedy’

The disastrous rollout of Australia’s NBN is a national tragedy, according to new research by one of the country’s most respected engineers.
Professor Rodney Tucker, of Melbourne University, argues that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s fateful decision as Communications Minister to opt for Fibre to the Node (FTTN), has been an extremely costly disaster.
While the rest of the world is opting for Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), Australia is embracing an obsolete technology.
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Cassini’s final quest: solve the mysteries of Saturn’s rings

Cassini: 20-Year Saturn Mission Nears Grand Finale

After 20 years in space, a vintage probe called Cassini is entering its last waltz with Saturn with a series of rhythmical manoeuvres to explore one of the most dazzling planetary features in the cosmos — Saturn’s vast icy rings.
The NASA spacecraft has been swooping back and forth at 123,000 kilometres an hour through the narrow gap between Saturn’s rings and the planet’s cloudy surface before making a suicide plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15.
Mission managers programmed Cassini’s destruction to avoid contaminating any of Saturn’s moons that might be hospitable to life.
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Enjoy!
David.