The Health News – 26 August 2016

Overview:
• New devices to rapidly test the hearing of newborn babies will only take 12 seconds, compared to the current tests which take seven minutes. The new units, the size of a mobile phone, are already in use at the Mater Mother’s Hospital, and will be rolled out to all 64 birthing hospitals in the state by January 2018.

• Victoria’s Health Department is investigating whether a patient-sharing deal between The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre headed by the hospital’s urology chief Anthony Costello is in breach of Medicare billing rules.

• Dr John McGhee, the director of the 3D Visualisation Aesthetics Lab at the University of New South Wales, has created the videogame-like VR experience. Leading medical specialists and Australian scientists are collaborating to trial the VR experience as a tool to educate stroke patients about their condition.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  26th of August 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-25/infant-hearing-test-queensland-new-12-second-test/7786464

New devices to rapidly test the hearing of newborn babies are being introduced to Queensland in an Australian first.

It will only take 12 seconds, compared to the current tests which take seven minutes.

The new units, the size of a mobile phone, are already in use at the Mater Mother’s Hospital, and will be rolled out to all 64 birthing hospitals in the state by January 2018.

Health Minister Cameron Dick said the early screening program was vital.

“If we can detect that hearing loss as early as possible, it will allow us to intervene and help children so they don’t develop any communication, speech, or learning problems later in life,” Mr Dick said.

Healthy Hearing Program director Dr Rachael Beswick said staff were being trained up to use the new tool.

The Government’s free Healthy Hearing Program each year tests more than 99 per cent of infants.

About 1 per cent are referred on for more testing or [specialised]… treatment.

Hear and Say sees many of the diagnosed children.

Founder Dimity Dornan said the their paediatric audiologists then determine what type of hearing loss the child has.

The devices will be available in Caboolture, Redcliffe, Mater Redland and The Wesley hospitals by the end of this month.

They will then be progressively rolled out across the rest of Queensland.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-25/victorian-government-investigates-royal-melbourne-hospital-deal/7785704

Victoria’s Health Department is investigating whether a patient-sharing deal between The Royal Melbourne Hospital and a private clinic headed by the hospital’s urology chief is in breach of Medicare billing rules.

… the department said it had hired accounting giant Ernst & Young to review the way patients were being referred to the Prostate Cancer Centre clinic in North Melbourne.

The clinic is run by [the] Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre (APCRC), a non-government organisation whose executive director Anthony Costello is also the head of the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s urology department.

The deal has been the subject of a scathing anonymous email sent to the hospital’s top administrators at the start of this month, which has been widely circulated among staff.

The email claims to be written by two unnamed senior medical staff from the RMH and alleges that the Prostate Cancer Centre is diverting resources by using staff whose wages are being paid by the RMH …

The hospital has also announced a review, hiring external firm Health Legal to investigate the allegations.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-25/virtual-reality-lets-you-journey-inside-the-human-body/7726292

A new application of 3D virtual reality (VR) is allowing people to embark on a journey inside the body, where they can explore the alien landscape of a microscopic human cell.

Dr John McGhee, the director of the 3D Visualisation Aesthetics Lab at the University of New South Wales, has created the videogame-like VR experience.

Leading medical specialists and Australian scientists are collaborating to trial the VR experience as a tool to educate stroke patients about their condition. It is also facilitating research into human diseases such as cancer.

The immersive experience had to undergo some alteration, to allow lighting and movement within the cell space, while maintaining the data’s integrity.

Stroke survivor Victor Ashelford has used the VR tool to re-live the illness that nearly took his life in 2015.

His rehabilitation physician, Associate Professor Steven Faux from Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, has been a key player in the VR project.

Every year 50,000 people will be affected by a stroke in Australia and 75 per cent of victims will continue to experience motor defects which can be either direct result of the stroke or long-term effects afterwards.

For Mr Ashelford, the immersive 3D technology experience has provided a powerful incentive to maintain his strict rehabilitation regime.

Dr Faux said the applications of the technology are enormous and may drive future research.

The project is being sponsored by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science & Technology and includes scientists from Monash University, the University of Queensland and the University of New South Wales.