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CSIRO software tapped for e-health transition

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CSIRO has announced that it is to supply software to Australia’s National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) to support the transition to Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records.

Its Snapper software is designed to help translate old health records into the standard terminology used in e-health systems, known as SNOMET CT.

According to the CEO of the Australian E-Health Research Centre (AEHRC), Dr David Hansen, there’s still a lot of non-standard records out there. “Most existing electronic systems do not use the SNOMED CT dictionary, but a mix of existing standard and local data dictionaries,” he said. “The Snapper tool helps to translate terms in the existing system to terms from SNOMED CT.”

The AEHRC, a joint venture between CSIRO and the Queensland Government, developed Snapper to allow translation from a local clinical language to the standard. Its first test was translation between Queensland’s drug dictionary and the NEHTA’s Australian Medicines Terminology.

From now until June 2013, Snapper will be offered as a free http://research.ict.csiro.au/software/snapper download from CSIRO.

While that’s one problem solved, the national rollout of e-health is still facing both criticism and challenges. State governments have been critical of the program’s structure, demanding – and winning – a bigger voice in the management of the system.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has waved the “world trade” stick at the government over its insistence that e-health records be stored within Australia.

It has also been http://www.itnews.com.au/News/281216,australias-ehealth-record-a-security-disaster.aspx reported that AusCERT general manager Graham Ingram fears “rampant privacy abuses” when the electronic records are implemented.

Since the records are designed to be available from “anywhere on the Internet”, Ingram told a conference organized by SC Magazine, records probably cannot be secured. He said that the project “keeps him awake at night”, because “if you allow insecure endpoints to connect to that system, it’s no longer secure.” ®

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