It might take longer than some people would like for Telstra Health to become a profitable arm of the company, but chair John Mullen has said that Telstra is confident that it will be. "Telstra Health hasn't hit everything we expected it to do, but it's a startup business ... in a new area, we're bound to make some mistakes, we have made some mistakes, but we have also made a lot of successes," Mullen told the company AGM on Tuesday. The chair said the telco's health business has had success "under the covers", and handles 260 million prescriptions annually, has 22,000 GPs and 35,000 pharmacists on its systems, as well as 10 public hospitals using its patient flow and queue management software. "We are the largest health software technology provider already, employing about 800 health professionals, and we are embarked on some very major projects like the National Cancer Screening Registry," he said.
The Australian Department of Health is looking to establish a health data analytics panel to provide a range of data analytic services to support the department. The department has gone to tender [PDF] saying a key objective of the panel will be to supplement its existing data analytics staff and capabilities, while assisting it to evaluate new and emerging analysis methods. In addition, the panel will be responsible for delivering trial and evaluation services of self-service data reporting and analytic tools, such as those that assist economic, statistical, and location-based analysis; project management services for data analytics projects; services to collect, collate, and prepare data for data analysis projects; and services to communicate the results of data analysis. The request for tender also said the panel will need to be familiar with one or more of the analytics software packages the department currently holds, including Teradata, SAS Enterprise Guide, SAS Visual Analytics, SAS Forecast Studio, SAS Enterprise Miner, ESRI ARC GIS suite, and COGNOS. The department said it plans to establish a panel from September 1, 2016 for three years, with an option for up to two years extension beyond June 30, 2019, which will be available at the department's discretion.
Sometimes humans need a feline friend to help. Cat photos came to the rescue of an Australian woman desperately trying to get a company's attention. When Laura Carrie's broadband was still not connected five days after it was supposed to be, she knew who could help – her cat, Kittie Smalls. Monday, Telstra promised to connect Smalls' internet (let's be honest, it's really about the cat at this point).
The Australian Department of Health has notified a joint committee that the National Cancer Screening Register for bowel cancer, being delivered by Telstra, will not be operational until late calendar 2019. Speaking before a public hearing of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit on Wednesday morning, Department of Health National Cancer Screening Taskforce First Assistant Secretary Bettina Konti said the department and Telstra are continuing to focus on delivering the cervical cancer screening register. "All our focus is on ensuring that we can complete the National Cancer Screening Register to support cervical screening, and for that reason we and Telstra Health have moved our resources into that in order to ensure that occurs. Once that is implemented and stable, the planning will recommence for bowel cancer transition," Konti told the committee. However, while late 2019 is the goal, Konti admitted that "there isn't a target date" for the bowel cancer screening register, because the inefficient paper-based register can continue being used until then.