Australian Medical News Brief May 2018

Australian Medical News Brief May 2018.png   Welcome to Medshop Australia’s monthly series, News Brief, where we talk about what you may have missed. These are mostly articles we’ve posted on our social media news feeds. We consider them the most newsworthy events in Australian health and medicine from the last month. You will find links to the original articles. Let’s look back and review the top stories from May.


Is AI set to transform the future of healthcare?


As reported by Healthcare IT, Artificial intelligence is set to play a major role in revolutionising the healthcare services industries in the coming years.

From the way that medical research is conducted to the way practitioners interact with their patients. As machine learning evolves and becomes increasingly sophisticated, AI has the potential to transform health as we know it.

Improving accuracy and efficiency are key enhancements that can be facilitated across countless applications and enabling better patient outcomes. One of the current ways that AI is streamlining medical processes is by analysing pathology or radiology results more quickly and accurately.

Making this information more readily available for consideration among healthcare professionals. There is some fear amongst people that AI will displace humans in the healthcare field.

In reality, the current direction has oriented around improving routine processes and services to enable healthcare practitioners to focus more on the patient and care aspects of treatment, and less on the administrative processes.

It is an exciting time for technology and healthcare as these fields continue to advance together.


Vault Systems and Agile Digital partner to harness blockchain in Australian healthcare


As reported by Healthcare Global, it is an exciting time for information technology and information security within the Australian healthcare industry.

A new partnership established between the Australian Department of Health, cloud technology provider Vault Systems and Canberra based company Agile Digital, is set to explore the ways they can harness blockchain technology to take medical research and medical record security to the next level.

The partnership is positioned to revolutionise the way in which healthcare data is stored, accessed and shared. Supporting researchers to identify and find cures for disease and chronic conditions, while boosting data security and transparency across networks.

"Given we've now got the ability to securely store data within Vault Cloud ... we could leave the data in place, expose the metadata -- that the department can offer for research -- expose that metadata out, and provide a laboratory or a data science toolkit to the internet, so researchers can see it," observed Agile Digital Executive Director, David Elliot.


How technology can support better-aged care

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As reported by Healthcare IT, following our trend of technology and healthcare in the month of May... The aged care industry is going through an era of unprecedented change thanks to a combination of clinical practice model transformation and technological disruption.

The driving forces of this change are the practitioners and practice managers who are increasingly seeing the benefits of the system and technological advances, supporting improved patient outcomes and more personalised patient-centric care.

Technology such as wearable devices and smart home networks are enabling at home care to be a more viable option for many Australians.

Biosensors can track patients vital signs, automatically updating e-health records and notifying nearby hospitals in the event of an emergency. This is one of the many advancements that Australians will benefit from in the coming years.


UWA study to help Australians with type 2 diabetes at risk of dementia 

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As reported by, a study from the Unversity of Western Australia has revealed a link between type 2 diabetes and damage to the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for memory and learning abilities.

The study that has been conducted over four years could help the 1.5 million Australians with the disease, who have an increased risk of developing dementia. In Western Australia alone, 28 people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every day.

UWA PhD graduate and registered psychologist Dr Nicole Milne explains, “What this suggests is that in type 2 diabetes, this area of the brain is more vulnerable to damage, resulting in significantly poorer cognitive functioning.”

"The more research we’re doing, the clearer it’s becoming that having many high blood sugar events doesn’t just mean you might have a bad day, but it might have long-term consequences in the future..." -Dr Nicole Milne

Dr Milne went on to say, “As a preventative measure, people with type 2 diabetes should aim to regulate their blood sugar levels, avoid the peaks and troughs in order to keep your brain healthy... The more research we’re doing, the clearer it’s becoming that having many high blood sugar events doesn’t just mean you might have a bad day, but it might have long-term consequences in the future when it comes to your work and your home life.”


Gut bacteria: Medicine's missing piece or just hype?


As reported by the ABC, gut health has been trending in health news for some time now.

With many healthcare advocates proclaiming that understanding gut health is the key to understanding a wide variety of health concerns. Much of the focus on the gut microbiome is based on the concept of dysbiosis or a lack of balance of bacteria in the microbiome.

While the concept of symbiosis and dysbiosis refers to the types of relationship between host microorganisms and the body, what constitutes an ideal balance of microbes has not been determined.

Some of the areas that have benefited from this increased interest in gut health include, traveller's diarrhoea and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, cancer, obesity and metabolic disease, mental health, autoimmune disease and even sports performance.

There are current studies looking at probiotics and immune health in shift workers, allergic disease, and obesity, along with our own program to allow people to have their microbiome, immune system and metabolic health profiled as a service, called AussieGut.

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