How Technology is Enabling New & Emerging Models of Care

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A Virtual Industry Workshop:

How Technology Is Enabling New & Emerging Models Of Care

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Thursday 7 October 2021
9:30 - 12:30 AEDT

Healthcare Technology

Technology is changing healthcare delivery faster and on a greater scale than ever before.

From simple technology adoption for patient experience to clinical innovations that are improving outcomes and preventing acute, chronic conditions from occurring.

This workshop is a journey of discovery, designed to equip you with the practical knowledge to lead your organisation through innovation and uncertainty, critically evaluate which health-tech innovations are right for you, and build sustainable sources of new revenue through disruption.

What you’ll learn:

the current innovations occurring in Australian healthcare technology

the opportunities and threats to your organisation and how you practice, and

the commercial, regulatory, technological and implementation barriers you need to overcome

The workshop then draws on detailed examples of successful digital health implementations from across Australia in both the public and private sectors. These demonstrate where other organisations and first movers have been successful in developing and implementing new models of care, and the lessons learned through the process.

Digital healthcare landscape
Source. Pall, 2019

"In an age where the average consumer manages nearly all aspects of life online, it's a no-brainer that healthcare should be just as convenient, accessible and safe as online banking."

Jonathan Linkous,
CEO of the American Telemedicine Association


Understand the benefits of cloud solutions for your healthcare organisation and your patients.

Defining interoperability, the technical jargon you need to know, and how your organisation can use APIs for patient facing interactions.

Exploring the real-world use of the cloud and interoperability to provide virtual care at scale with MyEmergencyDoctor.

Understand how you can set up patient monitoring and reporting devices to improve the frequency, quality and outcomes of care for patients in a variety of settings.

Exploration of the clinical and commercial benefits of PROMs and PREMs platforms, and how they bridge the gap between primary and acute care.

Michelle O'Brien

Head of Digital Health Strategy

Michelle is viewed as both a key influencer and champion for the adoption of innovation in healthcare in Australia.

She has over 25 years of experience working in C-Suite roles in technology for the likes of Thompson Reuters, Oracle and MedicalDirector. She has also worked for and consulted on growth and strategy to innovators and disruptors in health including Digital Mental Health, Patient Engagement and Chronic Disease Management.


Specialist Speakers

Craig Simmonds

Craig Simmonds

CEO of Propell & Remote Patient Monitoring Expert

Craig is an expert in helping organisations incorporate remote monitoring devices into their workflows and models of care in a way that, crucially, works for patients.

He has worked with organisations including eHealth NSW, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the rpavirtual hospital to implement iHealth devices at scale to provide effective virtual care solutions.


Margot Moreton

from telehealth leaders My Emergency Doctor

Margot has over 20 years of experience in the Australian healthcare industry, across medical and surgical devices, cloud software solutions and pharmaceuticals.

My Emergency Doctor are an Australian-based, on-demand telemedicine provider that offer out of hours emergency specialists in a variety of settings to support ED avoidance.

Michael Alldrick

Michael Alldrick

Digital Health Transformation & Onboarding Expert

​​Michael has supported over 75 different healthcare organisations with their digital transformation and cloud implementation projects.

Having worked with a range of different healthcare organisations, from enterprises and state governments to single clinician practices, Michael will be sharing his experiences in organisation wide digital transformation, onboarding new technology and how to avoid the common pitfalls.

Is this workshop right for me?

Relevant Sectors include:

Virtual Care

Remote Patient Monitoring

Primary Care

Specialist Care

Aged Care

Chronic Condition Management

Care in the Home

Mental Health Services


Ambulatory Care

ED & Hospital Avoidance

For more information about this workshop and our other advisory services, contact our Business Consultant, Andrew Dyson via

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    NetMD – How MediRecords has taken the remoteness away from general practice

    How MediRecords has taken remoteness away from general practice.

    Andrew Dyson MR Connect

    Andrew Dyson, Digital Health Business Consultant

    NetMD are a medical centre with a difference. Their aim is to use modern technology to deliver general practice.

    NetMD do this, using MediRecords, Coviu and e-scripts, to offer medical teleconsultations online. Sixty percent of their consultations are now performed this way.



    The Challenge


    “I was working with Medical Director,” says NetMD general practitioner, Dr Leo Gunaseelan, “It cost $80 to $100K to install, plus a technician to fly from Cairns to do this at $3K a day, and yearly maintenance costs of $15 to $20K. With MediRecords I can manage everything myself, and I don’t need anyone’s help. I have freedom.”


    Dr Gunaseelan specialises in family medicine and rural medical care. He runs NetMD as an online teleconsulting service to ensure he is accessible to patients, no matter where they are based.


    “I have been working with MediRecords for five years,” says Dr Gunaseelan, “They are great, and have good support staff. MediRecords are fully cloud-based and I never need to take a day off. I have one week away a month and just work from wherever I am. That way, my patients don’t miss out on treatment.”



    How is MediRecords Used?

    Patients don’t need any special equipment to access NetMD services– just a phone, and a mobile or internet signal.


    “Patients love it,” says Dr Gunaseelan, “You don’t need high quality internet- just a satellite signal will do. Patients don’t need to come into the practice. I can provide my services to them from anywhere in the world, and it’s working well.”


    Dr Gunaseelan has been practicing for over 30 years, throughout rural New Zealand, Europe and the remote mining regions of Australia.


    “My work with Rio Tinto involves looking after patients from Tasmania and remote Queensland. I can train medical staff in the mines to use and read the medical equipment, and then I can read the results from wherever I am. Remoteness has been taken away.”


    Patients can also book consultations on the NetMD website and use the MediRecords app to access test results straight away.


    “The app is the main point of difference,” says Dr Gunaseelan, “I have 3,000 patients, and they all use it and check it regularly. Before, I had a nurse, who was only looking after recalls by phone and mail. Now I don’t need her- I just click a couple of buttons and a text is sent to my patient with a link to make an appointment. It’s as perfectly simple as that.”


    In addition, MediRecords provides health to visitors to Dr Gunaseelan’s general practice.


    “I look after about 15,000 tourists every year,” says Dr Gunaseelan, “In two minutes they have the prescription they need emailed to their phone. They always say, ‘wow, why don’t we have this at home?’”



    Looking Forward

    Dr Gunaseelan is so pleased with MediRecords that he plans to expand the reach of his services.


    “I want to widen the breath of services we offer online, with payments being made available online, and I’m also working to integrate a YouTube channel by the end of next year,” says Dr Gunaseelan, “I want to extend my services to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Samoa. I want to provide services for people that don’t have access. I have always wanted to do this, I just didn’t know how.”


    “It’s a great program,” says Dr Gunaseelan, “If I could, I would promote MediRecords to anyone. They improve general practice immensely.”


    For more information on NetMD and Dr Gunaseelan’s work visit

    To find out how MediRecords can support your organisation to expand into virtual care and telehealth services, you can contact Michael Alldrick on email at

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      MediRecords Product Update August 2021

      MediRecords Product Update: August 2021

      Fee Bidder - Headshot cropped

      Fee Bidder, Junior Product Owner

      See what we’ve been working on and released over the last month...

      We are excited to announce the recent changes and updates we have released into the Medirecords product. Below you will find a summary of each of the changes we have made. 

      Increased File Size Upload Limit

      The file size limit has been increased across MediRecords, to allow you to upload larger file sizes. This change affects the following areas within MediRecords:

      • Clinical Drawings (Patient Clinical & Resources)
      • Patient Clinical – New Correspondence In
      • Patient Clinical – Correspondence Out (imported documents)
      • Secure Messaging Inbox
      • Secure Messaging Outbox
      • Investigation Results
      • Bulk Scan Upload
      • Referrals

      Provider Number Added to Health Professionals Grid

      You may now view the provider number for a contact from within the Health Professionals grid within Resources. 

      Interested Parties & Usual GP Mail Merge Fields Added

      New mail merge fields have been added to the letter editor, so you may now import a patient’s Interested Parties and Usual GP directly from the patient’s record. These fields are found within the Patient table when editing a template or letter. When using these fields, the following will occur:

      Interested Parties:

      • The Provider’s name and Provider Number will be imported (if recorded against the Contact record).
      • The Category of Referrer will display if the party were recorded in the Referral section in Patient Details.
      • Any notes recorded for the Interested Parties will be displayed in the Details field.

      Usual GP:

      • The Interested Party marked as the patient’s Usual GP in their Interested Parties will be displayed.


      Search by Provider Number on Health Professionals Grid

      You may now search by a provider by entering their provider number into the search bar available at the top of the Health Professionals grid. Results will be returned when you have entered a minimum of 3 characters from the beginning of the provider number. 

      Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS21) EPC Template Added

      The DASS21 form is now available as an EPC template within the consultation window. Answering the questions will provide a scoring for each category, and an overall scoring with appropriate diagnosis.


      Chronological Appointment Agenda View

      The Agenda view in Appointments will now display all appointments in chronological order, rather than grouping the appointments by provider. This improvement aims to improve the Agenda’s usefulness when looking to see the appointments booked for a certain patient, or provider.


      Stickiness Implemented in Contacts Area

      When searching in the Health Professionals or Service Provider grids, you will no longer lose your search term after opening and closing a record. This assists with finding the correct contact record where a contact may have multiple records for different locations.


      Stickiness in Filters Applied for Tasks/Activities

      When applying filters within the Tasks/Activities window, you will now be able to apply separate filters for each patient.

      These changes have come about from customers like you, who have given us their feedback.  MediRecords is committed to continuous improvement to allow for ease of use of our product, so if you have any feedback, please let your account manager know!

      See you next month for more exciting new features and functions within MediRecords.

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        MediRecords Product Update July 2021

        MediRecords Product Update: July 2021

        Fee Bidder - Headshot cropped

        Fee Bidder, Junior Product Owner

        See what we’ve been working on and released over the last month...

        We are excited to announce the recent changes and updates we have released into the Medirecords product. Below you will find a summary of each of the changes we have made. 

        Observations Improvements

        Improvements have been made to the Observations function, so that all observations may now appear within the timeline graph view, rather than a selected amount, improving visibility of a patient’s health over time.


        Percentile Value Added to Observations Grid

        The PCT value will now display within the Observations grid when the Percentile tick-box has been selected.


        Added Hover Information to Timeline View

        Hovering over an entry in the Observation Timeline view will now display the percentile value, the user who created the entry, and the date of entry.

        Appointment Book Username Update

        Provider usernames have been updated within the Appointment Book to display First and Surname. If a status has been added to the provider and their full name exceeds the character limit, then only the provider’s surname will be displayed alongside the status.

        Given Field Added to Immunisations Grid

        The Given Field is now available within the Immunisation Grid, so you may tell at a quick glance whether an immunization was given elsewhere, given within the clinic, or if the immunization was declined.


        Practice Wide Patient Chat

        Users may now view all chat threads on a Patient Record Dashboard, regardless of who created the chat message or received it. This ensures that all chat correspondence is available on the Patient Record for all users.


        Comments Added to Investigations Grid

        Now when viewing the Investigations grid, you may see any Comments that have been added to a result item. A preview of the comments will be displayed where space allows, and hovering over the preview will show the entire comment.


        My Health Record Fields Added to Encounter Form

        Checkboxes have been added to the Encounter Form, for “Uploaded to My Health Record”, and “Health Summary Sent to GP”, for practices using My Health Record functionality.


        Activities Filter Change

        Activities will now be ordered by earliest due date first in both the patient record and within the Activities/Tasks window, to improve the prioritisation of Activities.


        New Print Letter Button Location within Letter Editor

        The Print button has been moved from within the More menu, to it’s own button above the letter, to improve the speed of printing letters.


        Fee Schedule Updates

        The following fund schedules have been successfully uploaded into Medirecords, and are available immediately. 

        • AHSA
        • BUPA
        • BUPA Diagnostic
        • DVA
        • HBF
        • Medibank Private
        • Mildura Health
        • NIB
        • St Luke’s

        These changes have come about from customers like you, who have given us their feedback.  MediRecords is committed to continuous improvement to allow for ease of use of our product.

        See you next month for more exciting new features and functions within MediRecords.

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          MediRecords Product Update June 2021

          MediRecords Product Update: June 2021

          Fee Bidder - Headshot cropped

          Fee Bidder, Junior Product Owner

          See what we’ve been working on and released over the last month...

          We are excited to announce the recent changes and updates we have released into the Medirecords product. Below you will find a summary of each of the changes we have made. 

          Batch and Expiry Fields Added to Custom Drug Recipes

          When creating or editing a drug recipe, you may now add your own batch number and expiry. Once a drug has passed the expiry date set within the recipe, you will not be able to prescribe this drug again.


          Alcohol and Smoking Indicators in Patient Screen

          You may now review the alcohol and smoking status of a patient easily, due to 2 new icons added to the patient field. Provided a patient has their alcohol and smoking status recorded within the Tobacco and Alcohol sections of the patient file, these icons will be displayed beside the patient’s date of birth. Hovering over these icons will provide additional information.


          Unchecked Mail within Patient Record

          Now when you click on the unchecked mail icon within the patient record, you will be directed to the appropriate result or secure message in question for quick review.


          Additional Claim Type – Scheme – AGC (Access Gap Cover)

          Scheme-AGC has been added as a default claim type within the ECLIPSE configuration window found within Preferences > ECLIPSE. More information on the Access Gap Cover claiming process can be found here:


          Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) July

          During July, Medicare released a schedule containing a significant number of item number removals, modifications, and additional items. This has been successfully uploaded into Medirecords, and be used immediately. The majority of the changes were related to Telehealth, Cardiac & Orthopaedic item numbers. For more information on the MBS changes, please view the Medicare website.

          These changes have come about from customers like you, who have given us their feedback.  MediRecords is committed to continuous improvement to allow for ease of use of our product.

          See you next month for more exciting new features and functions within MediRecords.

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            MediRecords Product Update May 2021

            Product Update May 2021

            MediRecords Product Update: May 2021

            Megan Harker

            Megan Harker, Support Team Lead

            See what we’ve been working on and released over the last few weeks...

            Telehealth Appointments Now Supported by Appointment Widget

            We’ve also introduced some changes to the way our Appointment Widget supports Telehealth Appointments.  These appointments can now be made online and the link for the appointment will be sent to the patient in their confirmation SMS. 
            Please ensure your Telehealth appointments are configured correctly to appear on your website’s widget.  


            Free Text Start Time 

            We’ve introduced the ability to free text appointment times when making or editing appointments.  The new function lets you type into the appointment time field more specific start times, and also allows you to use 24 hour time which then converts to an AM or PM time in the appointment book.  


            Filter Letters and Templates

            You can now add a filter within the MediRecords Letter Templates search table to indicate that you want to search within your favourites.  This will allow you to create a search within only your preferred resources.


            Resources are now Alphabetized

            Letters and favourites are now alphabetized in the letter editor, meaning ease of use for our customers.

            New Fields Added to Provider Billing Activity Reports

            To allow for greater visibility, two new fields have been added to the Provider Billing Activity Report.  ADJ – which shows the amount of adjustments or write offs to the invoice and Outstanding which allows for more visibility of the amount outstanding on the invoice.

            Configure Button Has Moved

            We’ve recently moved the Configure option from the More menu to a button on the sub menu when setting up new users.  This will reduce the amount of clicks needed to configure new staff for practices.


            Letter Writer Improvements

            Several new fields have been added to the letter writer mail merge library including reason for visit, notes associated with medical conditions including current, past and selected, preferred name and all providers.


            Patient Header 

            The hover state on the patient header is now shown in full without having to scroll up or down.

            Drug Recipe

            Your custom drug recipes now support more than 6 ingredients.

            Unread Mail Indicator

            On the patient record there is now an alert to show if this patient has any unread correspondence in any of the provider’s inboxes.  Click here to learn more.


            Prescribing Approval Process

            Prescribed authority prescriptions functionality has been improved with additional information now displayed on the approval screen including: Hotline Number, Patient Name, Patient Medicare Number, Patient DVA, Prescriber Number, Authority Form No and Authority item.

            These changes have come about from customers like you, who have given us their feedback.  MediRecords is committed to continuous improvement to allow for ease of use of our product.

            See you next month for more exciting new features and functions within MediRecords.

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              MediRecords Product Update March 2021

              Product Update March 2021

              MediRecords Product Update: March 2021

              Megan Harker

              Megan Harker, Support Team Lead

              Big things have been happening in MediRecords already in 2021.
              New year, new staff and new features!

              Active Ingredient Prescribing

              The mandatory Active Ingredient Prescribing was instated on Feb 1stMediRecords released its’ new functionality in anticipation of this legislation and user may have found a slight change to their workflows.    

              Each prescription is now printed with the Active Ingredient of the medication, as well as the brand name if chosen.  There are exemptions from the requirement, and the full article can be found on our Knowledge Base here.

              Ability to add GAP to Agreements 

              Users can now add GAPs to Agreement invoices to transmit through Eclipse.  
              Health Funds such as Bupa and HBF only accept claims through the Agreement channel, and prior to this update, a gap was unable to be added onto the invoices transmitted through this channel.


              Date of Service field is now seen in Unclaimed Amount

              Previously the screen only showed the invoice date for all unbatched invoices in this area, meaning the user needs to click into each invoice to check the date of service.  But no more! We’ve updated the screen to also include the date of service as well as the invoice date for ease of use.  


              Theatre List Report 

              Specialists have access to a new report that contains information about their Procedures for a particular date. This can be found in More > Reporting > Patients > Theatre List Report. 


              Investigations Defaults 

              Users can now adjust their preferences for which menu defaults in Investigations between All Requests and their Favourites. 
              This can be configured in the user preferences 

              Changes to Resource and Contact Creations 

              We’ve made some changes recently to the way resources and contacts are saved in MediRecords.  

               Previously there were three areas to save your contacts and resources: 

              • Private – only the creator can see  
              • Practice – only those in the Practice can see  
              • Community – All MediRecords users can see 

              We have removed the ability to create Community resources and contacts to reduce the number of items in the grid when searching for these items.  Community contacts and templates will only be supplied by MediRecords 
              If you have a suggestion or requirement for a resource that would be beneficial for other MR users, please contact the Support Team. 

              Changes to Correspondence to the Patient App  

              We’ve recently made some changes to the way correspondence is sent to patients via the app.  The only correspondence sent to the app will be those that are marked as FINAL.  Anything in DRAFT will not be shared.   

              Multiple Patient Billing 

              Did you know MediRecords has the functionality to support multiple patient billing?  A function that would assist our users who service Residential Aged Care Facilities or any other clinics that see multiple patients for Medicare or DVA Bulk Billing.  
              This function can be found in Accounts > Sales, or can be accessed through the patient grid.  

              Contact our Support Team if you would like more information about Multiple Patient Billing.

              Number of Ingredients in Drug Recipes Extended

              For those practices who use Drug Recipes, you may have noticed that the ingredient listing has been extended to 6 ingredients from the previous 4.  This should make life a little easier for all our practices who use this function for comprehensive extemporaneous preparations.   

              This change came about from feedback from a valued customer just like you! 


              If you need any help with any of these new features, or any others, then please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly support team via email at, on 1300 103 903 or through the chat function on your MediRecords webpage. 

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                A thank-you message from our CEO & Founder, Matthew Galetto

                MediRecords Logo

                A thank-you message from our CEO & Founder, Matthew Galetto


                Matthew Galetto, CEO & Founder

                In what has been an incredibly challenging year for healthcare workers, I would like to say thank you, on behalf of MediRecords, to all our customers who have played such a key role providing health care during these unprecedented times.

                If there has been one positive to come out of such a difficult year it is perhaps the changes to the MBS that have delivered improved access to healthcare to their regular GP for so many people. The pandemic has forced the need for new models of remote and virtual care, highlighting the importance of the next generation of digital health technology. Technology that is based on industry standards and interoperable through cloud technology. Robust technology that is reliable to access, regardless of the healthcare setting, be it acute, secondary, or primary. We have been privileged to work with our all our partners and customers supporting their response to COVID-19 during 2020. 


                The ability to react and pivot has been a common theme this year. This was most evident when MediRecords was selected by Healthdirect to provide the clinical platform underpinning the National Coronavirus Helpline. I’d like to thank and congratulate not just our team, but also our partners at Healthdirect, VoiceFoundry and AWS for their incredible rapid response to public need, that saw us roll out a solution to thousands of users in a matter of days. And in a year where we have all been personally tested more than we could have predicted, we are privileged to have begun supporting The Blackdog Institute, as they lead the way in mental health research and support.  


                Closer to home, I am delighted our team have continued their excellent work supporting the day-to-day operations of our customers and further developing the MediRecords platform in response to customer feedback and industry need. Highlights include the greatly expanded functionality for specialists, integrations with technology partners that improve the utility of our products and aiding our General Practice users to be even more efficient in delivering care from the clinic or via telehealth. 


                The MediRecords team has rapidly expanded this year to meet an increasing need for digital health technology that is reliable, effective and supports existing and new models of care. Across Sydney and Brisbane our team has doubled in size this year, and this growth shows no sign of slowing down as we continue into 2021. An expanded team will allow us to focus even more on our customer needs.


                A cultural and industry wide shift is taking place in digital healthcare with regards to adoption of cloud technology. Whilst the pandemic may have pressed the accelerator, there is already a clear shift towards new models of virtual care that can only be serviced with modern technology, as evidenced by changes in funding models to drive the adoption of virtual health. Healthcare organizations will continue to have to pivot and adapt to new circumstances and require a configurable, adaptable, and scalable technology to enable this.  

                The devastating news regarding recent outbreaks in NSW in what has already been a very difficult year, look set to continue into early 2021. However, with vaccinations scheduled from March next year we can be optimistic about the future. The way Australians have responded by adhering to social distancing requirements is tremendous, as has been our government’s response. I am encouraged that the vaccination rollout will also be well executed and managed during 2021 allowing us to return to a ‘new’ normal.

                On behalf of the MediRecords team I would like to extend our appreciation for the continued support of our customers.

                Finally, a special call out to front line health workers who are keeping us all safe and well. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

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                  MediRecords Product Update November 2020

                  Product Update Spring 2020

                  MediRecords Product Update: November 2020

                  Megan Harker

                  Megan Harker, Customer Support Coordinator

                  An Overview of the Spring 2020 Updates from MediRecords

                  You may have noticed in the last few months that MediRecords have been pumping out new features and updates fairly regularly. Here’s a quick overview of just some of the new functionality, in case you missed anything:

                  Appointment Updates

                  Tiles Re-Coloured and Appointment Information

                  We have introduced vibrant new colours in the appointment book to differentiate between appointment status. These can be seen if you ‘Appointment Colour Palette’ is set to ‘Status’. The ‘Appointment Type’ is also displayed as text next to the patient name for extra visibility. We have also introduced ‘Hover State’. This means you can now see the status of an appointment quickly and easily by hovering the mouse over the appointment.

                  Easier Access to Patient Records

                  You can now open a patient record from multiple areas of the appointments calendar, just by clicking their name. This feature can be found when hovering over an appointment, when viewing a provider’s calendar by month, and in the Agenda view.

                  More Appointment Types

                  We have also increased the number of different appointment types you can use. Filtering by ‘Inactive’ will reveal the editable tiles, with up to 60 different types of appointments. You can find out more about editing Appointment Types here.

                  Improved Provider Filter

                  The Provider Filter has been adapted to reduce loading times. You can now easily search and select the providers that you want to see the calendars for by using the search box. For more information on the Provider Filter and how to set your calendar defaults, see here.

                  Patient Appointment Search

                  Alongside the Provider Filter, we have implemented improvements to how you search for a patient’s appointments to include an ‘All Providers’ option, if the provider has not already been selected. This ensures you don’t miss any appointment information.

                  Billing Updates

                  In-Patient Billing

                  Our in-patient billing functionality has had a huge overhaul and is continuing to be improved. Health Fund schedules, including AHSA, being updated have been enhanced and derived items are now automatically calculated. We have also removed the automatically populated $400 gap that was being applied to every item, and keep an eye out for the ability to add a Gap payment to an Agreement early 2021. You can now also bill ‘In-Patient Invoices’ directly from the Calendar and Waiting Room. Additionally, when invoicing from the Appointment screen, the invoice will populate with the service date automatically defaulting to the date of the appointment.

                  Improved Invoicing

                  Invoices have been improved to now include number item lines, and an item counter. You can also choose ‘Immediate’ in your payment terms. If you need any help with any of these new features, or any others, then please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly support team via email at, on 1300 103 903 or through the chat function on your MediRecords webpage.

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                    Benefits of the Cloud for Healthcare: AI & the Internet of Things

                    Internet of Things

                    Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) technology to support clinical decisions

                    Michelle O'Brien Profile Picture

                    Michelle O'Brien, Head of Strategy

                    In my next article, which again looks to demystify some of the tech babble around the benefits of cloud for healthcare, I am exploring what we mean by AI, IoT and how these can be used to support clinical decisions.

                    First of all, some clarity on what these terms actually mean: 

                    Artificial intelligence: 

                    Artificial Intelligence, or AI, refers to computer programs that can think, work and make decisions similarly to humans. The uses are broad, but are already well known to us today.  

                    Saying ‘Hey Siri’ or ‘Hey Google’ to your phone brings an AI assistant to life. Plenty of services use AI in a more subtle way, such as Netflix recommending your next show to binge-watch, or Amazon suggesting which item people like you also bought. 

                    In healthcare, AI is often used for voice recognition, with doctors using software such as Dragon to convert their speech into text without typing. Clinical decision support tools such as UpToDate by Wolters Kluwer are also a form of AI, interpreting health data to provide clinicians with information to support their clinical decisions.  

                    Machine Learning: 

                    Machine learning refers to the process AI software goes through to improve automatically through experience, much like we humans learn from our daily experiences.  

                    Internet of Things:  

                    The internet of things, or IoT for short, refers to physical objects like patient devices that are fitted with sensors or use Bluetooth technology to collect and send data over the internet.

                    Some examples you may find at home are an Amazon Alexa speaker that can turn off your lights, a smart scale that sends your weight to your phone, or a Fitbit that sends your steps for the day to an app. 

                    Devices like Fitbits and Apple watches are now overlapping into healthcare as they provide health data such as activity levels and heart rates. But more medical focussed devices such as the TGA approved pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs and blood glucose monitors are widely available to use at home as well. 

                    Remote Monitoring: 

                    In a healthcare context, remote monitoring means gathering patient data outside of the traditional bricks anmortar setting, such as the GP clinic or outpatient department. 

                    This ties in with the IoT, in that IoT devices can record patient data at home and send this to a patient’s medical record via their phone. But it also includes software on smartphones that do not require physical devices, for example a simple mood diary for mental health patients like Innowell. 


                    What does this have to do with the Cloud? 

                    These exciting uses of AI and the Internet of Things are all reliant on being able to send the data they collect to the clinicians providing care. This is only possible in real time thanks to Cloud EMRs, such as MediRecords, that pull the data together in one place. 

                    I explored this ‘interoperability’ of services in my previous explainer article here. 

                    What are some examples in Australian Healthcare? 

                    There are already a range of products and services available in Australia that exist to help clinicians provide better patient care. 


                    iHealth have developed a range of IoT devices designed to help patients monitor themselves at home, including: 

                    • Wireless Pulse Oximeters,
                    • Thermometers,
                    • Wireless Blood Pressure Monitors, 
                    • Scales; and 
                    • Wireless Blood Glucose Monitors

                    These devices share the health data they collect with the patient’s smartphone via Bluetooth, which is then shared with the patient’s cloud based medical record such as MediRecords. 

                     iHealth products are approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).  


                    ResApp is a remote monitoring smartphone app that can diagnose and manage respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, asthma and sleep apnoea. All of this is possible through ResApp’s AI, which they say can diagnose conditions just through listening to a patient cough using their phones microphone.  


                    And PainChek have developed remote monitoring software that uses a smartphones camera to detect if a non-verbal patient is in pain. This works by using AI to read the patients’ facial expression and will allow clinicians to ease the suffering endured by patients unable to communicate. 

                    These are just three of many great examples from within Australia, demonstrating that Australia is at the forefront of innovation in AI technology. 


                    How can AI and the IoT Improve Healthcare in Practice? 

                    This is best explained in a theoretical example, in this case a patient who suffers from a chronic respiratory illness. 

                    From the examples above this patient could monitor themselves periodically using an iHealth Wireless Pulse Oximeter (IoT), to ensure they were still receiving enough oxygen in their blood.  

                    This data is sent from the Oximeter to their phone via Bluetooth, which then sends the data to their electronic health record, for example MediRecords, in the cloud. A dashboard capability could be used within MediRecords to alert clinicians of patients who may need support.  

                    A product like ResApp could be used to provide the clinicians with additional clinical decision support in the absence of a face to face appointment which is not always possible. 

                    Where a clinician is concerned about a patient, they can set up an appropriate intervention 

                    AI used this way supports infection control management in treating respiratory illnesses. This is just one theoretical use case. The range and capabilities of medical AI and IoT devices means similar methods of remote monitoring and treatment are available for a range of conditions. 

                    Michelle O’Brien, who is based in our Sydney office, is Head of Strategy here at MediRecords.


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