A digitally-enabled health system – CSIRO – 26 March 2014

Posted on March 27, 2014. Filed under: Health Informatics | Tags: |

A digitally-enabled health system – CSIRO – 26 March 2014

“What will our healthcare system look like, once the full potential of the digital era is harnessed?

Australia’s health system faces significant challenges including rising costs, an aging population, a rise in chronic diseases and fewer rural health workers. Treasury estimates even suggest that at current rates of growth, and without significant change, health expenditure will exceed the entire state and local government tax base by 2043. We need to look at new ways to make the health system work smarter. Digital technologies and health service innovation promise that.

This report A Digitally-enabled Health System looks at how the Australian health system can reduce costs and deliver quality care.

Some of the technology identified in the report includes telepresence robots taking rural health workers on city rounds, wireless ID wristbands monitoring patients in real time, mobile health apps assisting with at-home rehab and smart software that knows what patients will be turning up to emergency departments, 6-12 months in advance.

This report outlines the major issues currently faced by Australian healthcare, and the digital remedies that could move our healthcare system forward.”

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Evidence driven strategies for meeting hospital performance targets – CSIRO – 25 February 2013

Posted on March 5, 2013. Filed under: Emergency Medicine, Health Mgmt Policy Planning | Tags: , , , |

Evidence driven strategies for meeting hospital performance targets – CSIRO – 25 February 2013

“The most visible challenge facing our healthcare system is overcrowding in hospitals, which has been labelled an ‘international crisis’ [1]. Overcrowding and long emergency waiting periods have a significant impact on the quality of patient care and patient experience.

National Emergency Access Targets (NEAT) introduced by the Federal Government in 2011, will require hospitals to ensure that 90% of all patients arriving at emergency departments are seen and admitted or discharged within four hours by 2015[2].

Our health services research team is helping hospitals meet these emergency access targets, whilst solving the challenge of overcrowding and system bottlenecks.

This report gives an overview of the patient flow modelling research currently being undertaken at CSIRO. It outlines how CSIRO’s analytics, optimisation and operational decision support tools can help give hospitals a better understanding of what they could do to meet these targets.”

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Caring for the last 3%: telehealth potential and broadband implications for remote Australia – CSIRO – 26 November 2012

Posted on November 30, 2012. Filed under: Rural Remote Health, Telehealth | Tags: |

Caring for the last 3%: telehealth potential and broadband implications for remote Australia – CSIRO – 26 November 2012

Dr Sarah Dods, Ms Sarah Wood

“Australians living in rural and remote communities currently live with poorer health outcomes than those in urban areas. The current roll out of nationwide broadband connectivity brings new potential for telehealth services to these areas. While most premises will receive broadband by optical-fibe, the most remote areas will receive fixed-wireless or satellite services.

This report discusses how differences in bandwidth and latency between these types of broadband connection can have critical implications for telehealth services.”


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Detecting flu and other disease outbreaks sooner – 2 September 2010

Posted on September 6, 2010. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Influenza A(H1N1) / Swine Flu | Tags: , |

2 September 2010
Detecting flu and other disease outbreaks sooner

“New methods for detecting disease outbreaks earlier have been developed in a collaborative effort between CSIRO and NSW Health.
According to an article published recently in the journal Institute of Industrial Engineers Transactions, the new methodologies may enable health authorities to take action sooner to implement disease outbreak control measures.
“New methods developed by CSIRO statisticians have the potential to give an earlier-than-ever indication of whether a flu season is behaving normally or not,” says CSIRO Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics’ Chief, Dr Louise Ryan.”
…continues on the site

About the article mentioned:

Understanding sources of variation in syndromic surveillance for early warning of natural or intentional disease outbreaks 
Authors: Ross Sparksa; Chris Carterb; Petra Grahamc; David Muscatellod; Tim Churchesd; Jill Kaldord; Robyn Turnerd; Wei Zhengd; Louise Ryan
IIE Transactions, Volume 42, Issue 9 September 2010 , pages 613 – 631
DOI: 10.1080/07408170902942667

Daily counts of computer records of hospital emergency department arrivals grouped according to diagnosis (called here syndrome groupings) can be monitored by epidemiologists for changes in frequency that could provide early warning of bioterrorism events or naturally occurring disease outbreaks and epidemics. This type of public health surveillance is sometimes called syndromic surveillance. We used transitional Poisson regression models to obtain one-day-ahead arrival forecasts. Regression parameter estimates and forecasts were updated for each day using the latest 365 days of data. The resulting time series of recursive estimates of parameters such as the amplitude and location of the seasonal peaks as well as the one-day-ahead forecasts and forecast errors can be monitored to understand changes in epidemiology of each syndrome grouping.

The counts for each syndrome grouping were autocorrelated and non-homogeneous Poisson. As such, the main methodological contribution of the article is the adaptation of Cumulative Sum (CUSUM) and Exponentially Weighted Moving Average (EWMA) plans for monitoring non-homogeneous counts. These plans were valid for small counts where the assumption of normally distributed one-day-ahead forecasts errors, typically used in other papers, breaks down. In addition, these adaptive plans have the advantage that control limits do not have to be trained for different syndrome groupings or aggregations of emergency departments.

Conventional methods for signaling increases in syndrome grouping counts, Shewhart, CUSUM, and EWMA control charts of the standardized forecast errors were also examined. Shewhart charts were, at times, insensitive to shifts of interest. CUSUM and EWMA charts were only reasonable for large counts. We illustrate our methods with respiratory, influenza, diarrhea, and abdominal pain syndrome groupings.

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Our Future World: An analysis of global trends, shocks and scenarios – CSIRO – 2010

Posted on April 28, 2010. Filed under: Climate Change, Health Status | Tags: |

Our Future World: An analysis of global trends, shocks and scenarios – CSIRO – 2010

“This report describes the outcomes from a CSIRO global foresight project. It presents five megatrends and eight megashocks (global risks) that will redefine how the world’s people live.


A megatrend is a collection of trends, patterns of economic, social or environmental activity that will change the way people live and the science and technology products they demand.

The five interrelated megatrends identified in the report are:

More from less. This relates to the world’s depleting natural resources and increasing demand for those resources through economic and population growth. Coming decades will see a focus on resource use efficiency. 

A personal touch. Growth of the services sector of western economies is being followed by a second wave of innovation aimed at tailoring and targeting services. 

Divergent demographics. The populations of OECD countries are ageing and experiencing lifestyle and diet related health problems. At the same time there are high fertility rates and problems of not enough food for millions in poor countries.

On the move. People are changing jobs and careers more often, moving house more often, commuting further to work and travelling around the world more often. 

i World. Everything in the natural world will have a digital counterpart. Computing power and memory storage are improving rapidly. Many more devices are getting connected to the internet.”

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Lifestyles, consumption and environmental impact project – CSIRO survey available to all Australian residents, open until 30 June 2009

Posted on May 22, 2009. Filed under: Environmental Health, Health Status, Preventive Healthcare, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: |

Lifestyles, consumption and environmental impact project – CSIRO survey available to all Australian residents and  open until 30 June 2009

“This research is looking at the lifestyle choices made by Australian households to determine consumption patterns and the impacts these have on quality of life and the environment.

Decisions households make about where to live, whether to buy or rent a house, how many children to raise and what major items to purchase, as well as the behaviours affected by these decisions, strongly influence the impact a society has on the physical environment.

There is a relationship between a household’s understanding of a good life, the way members of the household consume and spend their time, and the resource and emissions intensity of these behaviours.

Research approach
In our research, we think about consumption as a social phenomenon rather than an issue of individual choice.

As such, we aim to establish distinguishable types of households that share key structural attributes, behaviour patterns and prospects of changing these behaviours over time.

To achieve this, we combine qualitative and quantitative social sciences methods, such as interviews and questionnaires, to enhance our understanding of lifestyle typologies and their related consumption and time use patterns.

Australian context
In our research, we classify Australian households according to their lifestyles in ways relevant to their environmental impact. That is, we assign the relevant resource use and emission intensities to the different consumption patterns.

We then identify the household behaviours with the greatest impact on the environment and those with the greatest potential to reduce impact.

Understanding patterns and dynamics within Australian society with regard to lifestyles and consumption is an important issue for informing our understanding of:

  • the co-evolution of production and consumption
  • the roles of technology and lifestyles in production and consumption.

The other important element of our research is to identify policy contexts where households may consider adopting lifestyle and consumption alternatives that are more environmentally sound and less carbon intensive.

Current activities
The project team is currently conducting a National Household Consumption Survey. The survey is available to all Australian residents and is open until 30 June 2009.”

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