The Health News Australia March 1 2018

  • Canberra’s young children will have access to free flu vaccines this season after a shocking winter last year that left 12 kids in intensive care. Children between 6 months and 5 years old will be able to get the free jab from child health immunisation clinics or their general practitioner from April. Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris said young children were a high-risk group for influenza. About 25,000 Canberran children will be eligible for the free vaccine, which is estimated to cost the government about $840,000.
  • Australian researchers believe they may have found a possible mechanism to explain the association between poor sleep and Alzheimer’s disease. An Australian study has found, a person’s genetics may influence the impact poor sleep has on their risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at Edith Cowan University found individuals with particular genetic variations in Aquaporin-four (AQP4) proteins reported poorer sleep and also presented with a build-up of beta-amyloid in the brain, key to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Australian-developed open source technology FHIR could soon be standardised for health information exchange by the US Government in a move that would propel the giant EHR companies and healthcare providers towards data sharing. Following Apple’s January announcement that it was adopting the FHIR API in its new Apple Health app, the fast-tracked democratisation of data exchange could vanquish siloes and place information in the hands of individuals, according to Bruce Greenstein, Chief Technology Officer of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 1st of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-27/canberra-children-to-get-access-to-free-flu-vaccines/9489330

Canberra’s young children will have access to free flu vaccines this season after a shocking winter last year that left twelve kids in intensive care. Children between six months and five years old will be able to get the free jab from child health immunisation clinics or their general practitioner from April. Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris said young children were a high-risk group for influenza.

About twenty five thousand children in Canberra will be eligible for the free vaccine, which is estimated to cost the government about eight hundred four thousand dollars. It follows similar announcements by the New South Wales and Victorian governments. Miss Fitzharris said the Australian Capital Territory Government could not wait for the Federal Government to add the vaccination to the National Immunisation Schedule.

Some children who have not been vaccinated before may require two injections about four weeks apart. ACT chief health officer Paul Kelly said more than fifty children were hospitalised in the ACT last year, with twelve ending up fighting the illness in intensive care.
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Parents have been warned not to be complacent even if their child is vaccinated, with last year’s flu shot was found to be less effective than in previous years.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/dementia/64/news/aap/research-shows-sleep-genes-link-impacts-alzheimers-risk/3200/

Australian researchers believe they may have found a possible mechanism to explain the association between poor sleep and Alzheimer’s disease. An Australian study has found, a person’s genetics may influence the impact poor sleep has on their risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers at Edith Cowan University found individuals with particular genetic variations in Aquaporin-four or A-Q-P-four proteins reported poorer sleep and also presented with a build-up of beta-amyloid in the brain, key to Alzheimer’s disease. The study findings, published in journal Translational Psychiatry, adds to a growing bodying of evidence that suggests poor sleep is not just a symptom of Alzheimer’s but a possible risk factor for the common form of dementia, says lead author Professor Simon Laws, head of the Collaborative Genomics group in ECU’s School of Medical and Health Science.
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Researchers analysed data from a large cohort study called the Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study of Ageing or AIBL. They then looked at a protein in the brain called AQPfour, integral to what is known as the glymphatic system – a system the brain uses to ‘flush’ out toxins such as amyloid beta as people sleep.

The study found individuals carrying the AQPfour variants who only slept for six hours had high levels of amyloid in their brain but those who slept for eight or more reported low levels of the protein. While more research is needed, the findings warrant further studies and research that look as sleep interventions to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

http://www.healthcareit.com.au/article/australian-fhir-innovation-frontrunner-us-government-looks-standardise-health-data-exchange

Australian-developed open source technology FHIR could soon be standardised for health information exchange by the US Government in a move that would propel the giant EHR companies and healthcare providers towards data sharing. Following Apple’s January announcement that it was adopting the FHIR API in its new Apple Health app, the fast-tracked democratisation of data exchange could vanquish siloes and place information in the hands of individuals, according to Bruce Greenstein, Chief Technology Officer of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Greenstein told Healthcare IT News Australia: “We’ve made some progress on health information networks but not at the level that we really want. So I think that what you’ll see come out of HHS this year with regard to the Trusted Exchange Network and work on interoperability that will move all the EHR and other health information companies in the right direction.”
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In its January announcement, Apple committed to an open API for health records – the Argonaut Project specification of HLseven’s FHIR. Billed in the industry as a game-changer, the might of the tech titan will pressure electronic health records systems to deliver health information in accordance with the standard. Consumer apps will be built to harness the wealth of data. The millions of iPhone users globally will also come to expect access to their records.
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A vast department of over eighty thousand employees – which is responsible for the nation’s public health system, Medicare, Medicaid, biomedical research, and food and drug control – HHS spends one point fifty trillion dollars a year, an eye-bleedingly high figure in Australian terms, but Greenstein said that’s just a third of the cost of healthcare in the US.

About ninety five per cent of the country’s healthcare providers have an EHR and now the challenge is getting the data contained within them to provide clinical benefits, economic rewards and individual control.

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