Digital Health Update

2 min read November 16, 2017 at 12:42am on Health and Technology

There's been quite a bit going on in the digital health area of late. Unfortunately, it's coincided with me quite badly breaking the old version of our blog, so I haven't been able to post about it regularly.

The blog is on the mend now, so here's a recap of what Future Wise have been up to recently.

First up, back in June, I presented to my hospital colleagues about data retention, data linkage and big data in healthcare. Our hospital grand rounds is recorded, so thanks to Prof John McBride for making the video available for me to put up on YouTube. (it's just under 30min) 



Not too long after this, Paul Farrell (twitter) from the Guardian broke the story that patient Medicare numbers were available for sale on the internet. This was of concern because of the use of Medicare cards as a secondary form of identification. Last year's MBS reidentification and the fact that the privacy impact assessment for myHealthRecord recommended that the Medicare number be one of the pieces of Healthcare Identifying information to access myHR meant that the privacy implications of these numbers being publicly available were significant - despite obfuscatory denials from the Minister. 

This incident led to a Senate inquiry and you can read our response here or on our submissions page.

The Government has also contract HealthConsult to carry out a consultation on the potential for secondary use of myHealthRecord data. This includes public health research, but also the potential for sale of data to industry (including pharmaceutical companies) for commercial research. We are disappointed, but hardly surprised by yet another example of Government scope creep. Future Wise made a submission to the consultation, which was also endorsed by Liberty Victoria.

It's great to be back; there's plenty going on in our areas of interest at the moment, so hopefully you'll be hearing more from us in the not too distant future.


Image credit: Day 9 (improved version) - by Jay Reed via Flikr - CC-BY-SA-2.0