Mobile Health Around the Globe: What's Happening in mHealth in Australia
National eHealth System
Australia is currently moving towards a government initiated eHealth care system with secure electronic health records that can be accessed through mobile phones. A conference was held last November that laid the groundwork for this system. The government introduced an iPhone application that enables doctors to access a patient's record through mobile phones no matter where the patient is located, allowing for easier, quicker, more secure diagnoses. Since the data is from a central database, medical errors are reduced.
Since the launch of this system, patients have expressed concerns about privacy and doctors have worried about the responsibility of keeping the system up to date with the latest patient information.
However, doctors and patients are assured that the new PECHR system will be completely private and automatically kept up to date in the national database.
Australia plans to open St Stephens Hospital, its first digital hospital, in 2014. The government has taken the initiative of funding the project which is planned for Hervey Bay on Queensland's Fraser Coast.
St Stephens is considered to be Australia's hospital of the future. The Health and Hospital Fund is expected to contribute a total of $47 million towards the $87.5 million that is required for construction and costs for the St Stephens Hospital.
St Stephens will be wireless, improving efficiency, clinical outcomes and safety and enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes.
All patient information, including pathology results, medical records and x-ray results will be able to be accessed by doctors and nurses anywhere in the hospital, allowing for more efficient and effective healthcare.
See video for more information:
What other institutions in Australia are doing to improve eHealth
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners took a new initiative and announced on 1st August that they would launch an eHealth initiative called "eHealth in the long term". This model is meant to help those working in the eHealth sector learn more about the implementation and policies of Australia Health Care Services. This initiative is meant to further future innovation in eHealth such as the clinical audit tool Pen and the RACGP data aggregation tools.
Apps and Services
MyMBS - Allows users to view and search the Australian Medicare Benefits Schedule on their iPhone.
Better Health Channel - a free iPhone and iPad app to help Victorians take control of their health and wellbeing anytime, anywhere.
MBS Search - iPhone Application which enables doctors and specialists to quickly find the correct item number and related item numbers
Doctors Companion - designed to meet the needs of medical practitioners working in the field of oncology and haematology within Australia.
Australian First Aid Pocket Guide - created by professional ambulance paramedics to help in most emergency situations.
1stAvailable.com.au, founded in April 2012 is an online service that enables patients to find and book healthcare appointments online or via mobile phone. 1st Available is free for patients; practioners pay an annual fee.
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