Government backs projects to test My Health Record’s potential

$8.5 million for 15 trials as part of Digital Health Test Beds program

The federal government will fund 15 trials that will use data drawn from the My Health Record system to boost patient outcomes.

The projects, funded as part of the $8.5 million Digital Health Test Beds program, will utilise data from consenting participants’ eHealth records.

The projects cover a wide range of areas including medication management, the integration of mobile apps with My Health Record, pathology results analysis, predictive analytics and data exchange.

Earlier this year the government released a framework for so-called ‘secondary use’ of data drawn from the My Health Record system. Under the framework, data from eHealth records may be used for purposes such as research, policy analysis and work on improving health services.

The eHealth record system is shifting to an opt-out model, with the government revealing earlier this year that people would have a three-month period, beginning 16 July, to register their decision to not have a record created for them.

The government is spending $374.2 million to expand the system as it moves away from opt-in.

The system is set to play a key role in the national digital health strategy released today by the government. The document sets out seven overarching strategic priorities: for the development of a digital healthcare system in Australia:

• Health information that is available whenever and wherever it is needed

• Health information that can be exchanged securely

• High-quality data with a commonly understood meaning that can be used with confidence

• Better availability and access to prescriptions and medicines information

• Digitally enabled models of care that improve accessibility, quality, safety and efficiency

• A workforce confidently using digital health technologies to deliver health and care

• A thriving digital health industry delivering world-class innovation.

According to the government, as of 24 June, 5.89 million Australians and 12,763 healthcare organisations had registered to participate in the My Health Record system.

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