Health data changes Down Under: My Health Record, Tim Kelsey and Telstra

Australia’s federal government is hoping for a boost to its national personal health records system, starting with a renaming of Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) to My Health Record. Proposed in the government’s $485 million budget announcement on eHealth is a resolution of implementation issues and introducing trials of participation models including designing opt-out approaches. Currently enrollment stands at a paltry 10 percent of Australians. Computer World (Australia) Hat tip to Mike Clark via Twitter

Come December, also taking the long trip there will be NHS England national director for patients and information Tim Kelsey to join Telstra Health as commercial director. Telstra is Australia’s largest telecom developing a footprint in health, and earlier this year acquired Dr Foster LLP, the UK-based health informatics company. Coincidentally (?), Mr Kelsey co-founded Dr Foster prior to 2006, when he joined the NHS to start up the information site NHS Choices. During his NHS tenure, Mr Kelsey faced numerous controversies which are detailed in the Guardian and IT news/opinion site The Register reports, mainly concerning the database for all English medical records. Concerns were raised about inadequate privacy, transparency and confidentiality provision in its design, and after a halt it has still not restarted, although 1 million people have preemptively opted out–another issue in common with My Health Record. According to the Guardian, “The scheme was recently labelled “unachievable” by a Whitehall watchdog, the Major Projects Authority, which said the future of the programme should be reassessed.” A successor to Mr Kelsey has not yet been named.

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