The Health News Australia December 1 2017

  • Voluntary assisted dying will be legal in Victoria from 2019, after a landmark bill successfully passed through state parliament. The government-led, amended bill passed the Legislative Assembly after more than 100 hours of debate across both houses, including several overnight sittings. This ends a parliamentary process that took 2 and a half years. The legislation will now go through an 18 -month implementation period before it comes into effect in June 2019.
  • A landmark teen depression study announced by the federal government will put smartphones to the test. Mental health apps will be trialled by thousands of Australian teenagers to test their effectiveness in preventing depression. The Black Dog Institute will recruit 20,000 Year seven students to trial the apps as part of a landmark study announced by Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt on Wednesday.
  • Samsung picked Australia to host its first global summit on health, in an event designed to build a network with locally available health partners. At the event Samsung announced a clinical trial with Saint Vincent’s Hospital’s Department of Pain Medicine and the University of New South Wales Art and Design. Patients will take part in a clinical trial of the use of virtual reality (VR) for acute pain management.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 1st of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/29/victoria-becomes-first-state-to-legalise-assisted-dying-as-parliament-passes-bill

Voluntary assisted dying will be legal in Victoria from two thousand nineteen, after a landmark bill successfully passed through state parliament. The government-led, amended bill passed the Legislative Assembly after more than one hundred hours of debate across both houses, including several overnight sittings. It will make the state the first Australian jurisdiction to legalise assisted dying since the Northern Territory’s short-lived Rights of the Terminally Ill Act was overturned by federal parliament in nineteen ninety seven.

Since then the Victorian legislation marks the first time in the world that a parliament has gone through an extensive process to introduce voluntary assisted dying. Other countries have introduced laws through referendum or a court process. Upper house Member of Parliament Fiona Patten,one of the key proponents of the legislation, told Guardian Australia she was overwhelmed that it had passed. While the upper house passed the legislation one week ago twenty two votes to eighteen after a marathon debate, a number of amendments were made which had to pass the lower house.

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It will be the only legal scheme in Australia. The premier, Daniel Andrews, told reporters “I’m proud today that we have put compassion right at the centre of our parliamentary and our political process”.
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It ends a parliamentary process that took two and a half years. The legislation will now go through an eighteen-month implementation period before it comes into effect in June two thousand nineteen.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/mental-health/37/news/aap/mental-health-apps-will-be-trialled-by-australian-teenagers/3045/

A landmark teen depression study announced by the federal government will put smartphones to the test. Mental health apps will be trialled by thousands of Australian teenagers to test their effectiveness in preventing depression.

The Black Dog Institute will recruit twenty thousand Year seven students to trial the apps as part of a landmark study announced by Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt on Wednesday.

Lead by Professor Helen Christensen, researchers will examine sensor data collected from smartphones such as global positioning system or GPS, use machine learning analysis and link this to hospital and birth records to develop reliable signals to flag the onset of depressive symptoms in young people. The Future Proofing trial – to commence in two thousand nineteen – will also examine whether cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)-based apps are effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety, eating disorders, suicide risk and psychotic symptoms, as well as its impact on academic performance, sleep, physical health and drug and alcohol use.

Professor Christensen said that with one in five Australians experiencing a mental illness each year, treatment alone will not be enough to reduce the burden of depression and there needs to be a greater focus on prevention. She added: “Up to seventy five per cent of mental illnesses emerge before the age of twenty five, making early intervention in the teenage years critical to prevent the onset of poor mental health outcomes over the life span.” The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project is one of forty seven announced Wednesday as part of the federal government’s fifty three million dollars commitment to innovative mental health research.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/samsung-targets-healthcare-with-australian-summit/news-story/e0c6de9f24ec2d23b70e416cc3d1e9c7

Samsung picked Australia to host its first global summit on health, in an event designed to build

a network with locally available health partners. Samsung’s Steven Sherry said:“We’re thrilled that through the smart summit we’re able to bring so many experts together, encouraging a culture of collaboration that will potentially help the healthcare community in Australia and around the world”.

At the event Samsung announced a clinical trial with Saint Vincent’s Hospital’s Department of Pain Medicine and the University of New South Wales Art and Design. Patients will take part in a clinical trial of the use of virtual reality (VR) for acute pain management. It’s not the first time virtual reality has been used as a distracter for pain. Earlier this year Monash Children’s Hospital in Melbourne announced a research project to help distract patients from procedures in pathology and emergency care. It involved children exploring oceans and interacting with sea life while doctors performed some medical procedures. Samsung says its trial with its partners will see it use its smartphones and Gear VR technology to evaluate their potential use as a treatment for acute pain. It says a study will also investigate potential side effects, cost-efficiency, toxicity, and ability to reduce risk of opioid dependency.
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Samsung has partnered with IrisVision to build a medical device that uses virtual reality to aid people with vision impairment. It also has worked with Breezie to create a tablet solution for seniors with a simplified user interface and curated selection of apps.

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