Australian Medical News Brief September 2017

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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 in 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 September…


Medtech research facility launched in Australia to help SMEs transition new discoveries from bench to bedside


As reported by Open Govasia, CSIRO in collaboration with Monash University and Monash Health Translation Precinct, have launched a new medical technology research facility M2.

M2 was established to assist small and medium enterprises in the medical technology sector, transition new discoveries from conception to prototyping, pre-clinical testing, industry evaluation and commercialisation.

The facility is expected to accelerate the achievement of breakthroughs in revolutionary new medical devices, vaccines, medicine and cell therapies.

This venture will be of great assistance to the over 500 Australian companies working in the medical technologies and pharmaceuticals sector.

Enabling companies who might not have the resources to make the expensive and time-consuming transition from prototype to clinical testing product.


Mother gives birth while in coma after contracting flu

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As reported by the Guardian, a pregnant Victorian woman who was placed in an induced coma after being admitted to hospital with a critical case of influenza A has given birth.

The new mother remains in the medically induced coma, unaware that she has given birth.

A report from Australia's chief medical officer says that there has been a significantly higher number of flu cases this year, than the average among those who have been vaccinated.

This year's influenza vaccine that was selected by the World Health Organisation has been declared by Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Government, Professor Brendan Murphy as providing moderate to good coverage of the viruses and not as effective as vaccines from previous years.

Professor Murphy has stated,“we have been notified of about 100 deaths from influenza so far this year, but we believe that to be an underestimation.”


The most expensive building in Australia opens its doors


As reported by Neos Kosmos, the new and futuristic Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) has opened its doors to the public on the 5th of September.

The new hospital is now the most expensive hospital in Australia. It has also been touted as the third most expensive building in the world, at a cost of $2.3 billion dollars.

The hospital features robotic technology and state of the art high-tech equipment.

Equipped with a helipad capable of facilitating two simultaneous helicopter landings, 800 patient beds, touch screens, 70 cubicles in the emergency department and 132 consult rooms for outpatients.

Regarding the technological advances featured in the hospital, RAH Commissioning Director, Elke Kropf said:

"Over the last decade, there have been so many advances in technology in so many industries and health has often lagged behind. I think the hospital is built for the next 70 to 100 years, so we do have to invest in technology to get more efficient and to allow staff to actually process more patients."


Blockchain Company Aims to Transform Australia’s Medical Cannabis Sector


As reported by Leafly, Blockchain, the technology that powers digital currencies including Bitcoin is making a cannabis-sector debut in Australia with the assistance of Canadian cannabis app developer, Global Cannabis.

The company intends to launch an Australian subsidiary called, Global Cannabis Apps (Australia) and has tasked the new company with the development of blockchain software for use in the medicinal cannabis industry.

Blockchain technology is sometimes referred to as distributed ledger technology, it represents the distribution of secure information recorded across a network of computers.

This technology has received much praise by financial technology experts, some of whom suggest that this technology will become as revolutionary to society as the printing press and the combustion engine.

Concerns have arisen by critics regarding privacy of individual health records. Other sceptics are quick to claim that the technology has very few applications outside of the realm of cryptocurrency.


CSIRO researchers develop AI technology for screening eye condition afflicting diabetic patients

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Researchers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Institute (CSIRO) have developed an artificial intelligence-driven eye-screening technology that will enable GPs to test diabetic patients for diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes-related complication that affects one in three diabetics and can progress to vision loss if left untreated.

At present only optometry specialists are the only group of professionals who can screen for the condition.

A trial was held in Perth, Western Australia that included testing of 187 diabetic patients. The AI technology takes high-resolution images of the eyes and diagnoses the images for signs of diabetic retinopathy.

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