Australia

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Off-Grid Phone System to the Rescue

Press Release | Flinders University | March 29, 2016

An emergency mobile phone system developed at Flinders University has been acknowledged in international InnovationXchange awards for post-disaster relief work in the Pacific. The Australian Government’s Pacific Humanitarian Challenge is running the awards competition to acknowledge and develop outstanding efforts to improve faster, cheaper and effective aid responses to Pacific nations. Among 129 applications from 20 countries, the first-round winners included solutions to communications, logistics and finance in disaster situations, including the acclaimed free smartphone system built on the Serval Project at Flinders...

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Open Data Key To Tackling Neglected Tropical Diseases

Open data access could promote collaborations among researchers in Africa and help in the fight against malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and neglected tropical diseases such as sleeping sickness, also called African trypanosomiasis. At a time when demand for open data in health and drug discovery is dominating the digital space, some researchers say the model could work for Africa and alleviate the sufferings of many from these diseases. Following the call on 23 April this year from the WHO for the disclosure of all results from clinical trials of new medicines, there is a push towards greater transparency.

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Open Health: What Is It And Why Should You Care?

Nick Evans, Adam Henschke | The Conversation | October 2, 2012

“Open health” captures a broad set of information technologies that will change the way we approach health and health care. It encompasses “ehealth” (the storage and provision of personal medical information online) but also includes the release of health information to the public at large. It’s the health side of “open data” policies being pursued by countries all over the world. Read More »

Open Source Malaria Helps Students with Proof of Concept Toxoplasmosis Pill

Paul Mutter | Geek Time | December 3, 2016

A team of Australian student researchers at Sydney Grammar School has managed to recreate the formula for Daraprim, the drug made (in)famous by the actions of Turing Pharmaceuticals last year when it increased the price substantially per pill. According to Futurism, the undertaking was helped along by an, “online research-sharing platform called Open Source Malaria [OSM], which aims to use publicly available drugs and medical techniques to treat malaria”...

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openEHR: A Game Changer Comes of Age

I’ve been watching openEHR over more than fifteen years and have always been impressed by its potential to enable us to do things differently, but it’s been a slow burn, with limited take up, particularly in the United Kingdom (UK) where it was invented. However, recent developments mean that I think this is about to change and that openEHR is going to take off in a big way which is going to revolutionize how we think about and do digital health and increase the speed at which we can do it by at least two orders of magnitude. Why do I say this and what evidence is there to support my assertion?

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Overlooked Disease Killing Tens of Thousands in the Tropics

Researchers have raised the alarm about an overlooked bacterial disease that they say killed 89,000 people in 79 countries in 2015. In a paper published in Nature Microbiology last week (11 January), researchers say that melioidosis is likely to be present in most of the tropics, including 34 countries where it has never been reported. 

Seen To Be Done: Opening Access To Justice In Victoria [Australia]

Bruce Baer Arnold | The Conversation | July 8, 2013

The Victorian state parliament is currently considering the Open Courts Bill (2013) after questions have been raised about just how much transparency is needed in the justice system. The bill, proposed by the government, centres on suppression orders and follows several controversies in Victoria and elsewhere over the past five years. Read More »

Spying on Mental Health Records is a Dangerous Idea

Graham Panther | Medium | July 22, 2016

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull just made a surprising announcement: the Government is considering accessing the mental health records of Australians suspected of terrorist activity. This is supposed to be a way of preventing so-called “lone wolf” attacks — such as in Nice, or Orlando— because apparently these horrific acts are primarily the result of mental health issues. So why do I feel like our society just got that much more unsafe with this announcement?...

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Steve Marsh And The Bad Seeds

Ian Walker | The Global Mail | February 10, 2014

Wind and rain swept two Australian neighbours into a court battle about genetically modified crops, a case with implications for agribusiness, activists and pretty much everyone who eats.

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The Death Of The Academic Book And The Path To Open Access

Roxanne Missingham | The Conversation | October 22, 2013

Is publishing academic books a dying trade? And if so, are free e-books from universities likely to deal the final blow? Read More »

The Medicare Machine: Patient Details of 'Any Australian' for Sale on Darknet

Paul Farrell | The Guardian | July 3, 2017

A darknet trader is illegally selling the Medicare patient details of any Australian on request by “exploiting a vulnerability” in a government system, raising concerns that a health agency may be seriously compromised. An investigation by Guardian Australia can reveal that a darknet vendor on a popular auction site for illegal products claims to have access to any Australian’s Medicare card details and can supply them on request...

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TPP Treaty Could be a Serious Threat to US Public Health System

While trade agreements may seem to be another, albeit international species of wonkery, these agreements could have major effects on patients' and the public's health.  Since these concerns have been essentially ignored by the US medical and health care literature, (although they have appeared in UK journals, Australian, and New Zealand journals in English), they I will discuss them below. Worthy of further discussion is the possibility that these potential threats to health care and public health may arise not just from ideological disagreements, but also from health care corporations' increasing capture of government, facilitated by the conflicts of interest generated by the revolving door. Read More »

US Lags Behind Wealthy Nations On Improving Health Outcomes

Alicia Caramenico | FierceHealthcare | July 11, 2013

Raising questions about whether higher healthcare spending means better health outcomes, a new study shows the United States has high expenditures and mediocre population health at the national level. Read More »

What Does Singapore Know About Selling Healthcare Products?

Jacqueline Fellows | HealthLeaders Media | July 3, 2013

Buying health insurance in the U.S. is not yet as straightforward as other consumer purchases, but that is changing. Health systems in Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand are far ahead of us in offering consumer choice and addressing health disparities. Read More »

What Is Open Access And Why Should We Care?

Danny Kingsley | The Conversation | January 15, 2013

The issue of open access to research findings has been in the media for a number of reasons lately, some positive – the release of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) open access policy – and some tragic – the recent death of open internet advocate Aaron Swartz. Read More »