Artificial intelligence vs ophthalmologist grading of diabetic retinopathy

algorithm to detect diabetic retinopathy

A team of researchers from the US has examined the performance of an automated deep learning algorithm compared with manual grading by ophthalmologists for identifying diabetic retinopathy in retinal fundus photographs. The algorithm was evaluated at two operating points selected for high specificity and high sensitivity, in two validation sets of 9963 images and 1748 [Read More…]

2015/16 summaries of AHPRA registration and notification information across Australia

AHPRA registration and notification report

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has published the 2015/16 annual report summaries for each state and territory which offering insights into how the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme is operating across Australia. Of the 657,621 health practitioners registered in Australia in 2015/16: New South Wales had the largest number of registered health practitioners, at [Read More…]

RACGP president hits back at claims that future doctors may not prepared to provide physical activity counselling

physical activity training in medical school curricula

The University of Sydney and Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) collaborated to survey 17 of the 19 medical schools in Australia to assess how physical activity (PA) training is implemented across medical school curricula. The study found that almost half of all medical schools surveyed (42.9%) reporting the level of PA training was “insufficient” [Read More…]

New index to examine geographic supply of clinical health workforce for Indigenous Australians

spatial distribution of clinical health workforce

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare utilised a new measure for its report, Spatial distribution of the supply of the clinical health workforce 2014: relationship to the distribution of the Indigenous population. The measure is Geographically-adjusted Index of Relative Supply (GIRS), which was developed to overcome limitations in using relatively simple provider-to-population ratios to [Read More…]

Should Australia introduce a sugar tax to combat obesity?

sugar tax to reduce obesity

To help recoup some of the costs of obesity to the community, Grattan Institute in its report, A sugary drinks tax: recovering the community costs of obesity, suggests that Australia should introduce a tax on sugary drinks. Excessive consumption of unhealthy foods, including sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), not only causes long-term problems for consumers, but also [Read More…]

Exercise Physiology interventions give over 10:1 benefit to cost ratio

exercise physiologist interventions save money

Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) engaged Deloitte Access Economics to quantify the value of accredited exercise physiologists from the perspective of consumers in Australia. And according to the report, The value of accredited exercise physiologists to consumers in Australia, working with the right expert can not only save lives, but also saves money. CEO [Read More…]

Australian Dental Association priorities for the 2017-18 Federal Budget

ADA pre-budget submission 2017

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) has released a pre-budget submission, the Australian Dental Health Plan (ADHP), as a sustainable funding model for dental care. According to the ADA, implementation of the ADHP would enable all Australians to access equitable, timely and appropriate oral healthcare. The overall dental and general health of the community would be [Read More…]

Feedback sought on a proposed revision to therapeutic endorsement for optometrists

Optometry Board endorsement for scheduled medicines consultation

The Optometry Board of Australia opens public consultation on endorsement for scheduled medicines registration standard and guidelines for use of scheduled medicines. The Board is inviting comments on the proposed revised registration standard and guidelines. The proposed revised registration standard and guidelines would be clearer and easier to understand. The Board-approved list of scheduled medicines [Read More…]

Changes to emergency contraception medicines for pharmacists

emergency contraception guide for pharmacists

Following changes to emergency contraception (EC) medicines in Australia, ulipristal is now approved for supply as EC up to 120 hours after unprotected intercourse. And as of 1 February 2017, pharmacists have been able to supply ulipristal to women as a Pharmacist-Only (Schedule 3) medicine. The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has updated its detailed guidelines [Read More…]

Robot revolution: why technology for older people must be designed with care and respect

robots for dementia care

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Nola Ries, University of Newcastle and Taro Sugihara, Okayama University Many countries around the world have ageing populations and a growing prevalence of dementia. Japan, in particular, is a “super-ageing” society, with a population getting older faster than anywhere else in the world [Read More…]

$93M investment to distribute health workforce to rural and remote areas

investment in rural health workforce

Federal Assistant Minister for Health, Dr David Gillespie, has announced a national investment of $93M on the Rural Workforce Agency program. The investment is a part of the Federal Coalition Government’s health workforce reform agenda, which is redesigned to deliver better health outcomes for people living in regional, rural and remote Australia. “Access to essential [Read More…]

Australian Dental Association shares concerns about MBS Review

MBS Review Taskforce

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) has raised some matters of concern around the MBS review taskforce, including intravenous sedation in dental procedures, private insurance, and dental services for special needs patients. The ADA recommends: Restriction of the rebate payment for sedation services when suitably trained and endorsed dentists were not able to provide the sedation [Read More…]

APA statement on physio role in acute ankle sprain management

physio role in acute ankle sprain

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) has reacted to a suggestion by a recent study that there is no evidence to support a clinically important improvement in outcome with the addition of supervised physiotherapy to usual care for acute ankle sprain. Despite the findings of the study and some reports with similar suggestions, APA strongly asserts [Read More…]

Mental health OTs overlooked in mental health management

blind spot around mental health OTs

According to a news item published by Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA), most mental health occupational therapists found that they are being overlooked when clients need mental health intervention. Instead of considering mental health OTs as part of the client management, other OT colleagues tend to refer their clients to a psychologist. According to OTA, Mental [Read More…]

Women need more help from optometrists than men

women more likely to consult optometrists

Optometry Australia (OA) reports that not only are women using more optometric services than men, they also suffer a higher rate of vision disorders. According to OA, the latest Medicare statistics reveal that women received around 57% of the 8.48 million optometric services provided in 2015-2016. Females aged 5 to 85 outnumbered men in the [Read More…]

Pharmacists’ responses to codeine upscheduling decision

prescription only codeine

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced that products containing codeine will be available only with a prescription from February 1, 2018. Pharmacists are largely disappointed with the decision. They say that this is not the answer to misuse issues and, that it creates a new problem for patients who genuinely need them. According to [Read More…]

New accreditation for sports science and high performance management

ESSA’s new accreditation

Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) has released its new Sports Science and High Performance Manager (Sports Science/Sports Medicine) Accreditation following the Senate Inquiry into the Practice of Sports Science in Australia. There were concerns that individuals describing themselves as sports scientists are continuing to perform a role within sporting organisations and clubs without appropriate [Read More…]

Australian next generation struggling with alcohol, drugs, mental health, and discrimination

young people mental health and discrimination

Mission Australia has performed an extensive survey involving 12,000 young people aged 15 to 19 years old, and the results showed that our youth are struggling with complex issues and need a more targeted and co-ordinated approach across the nation. The main findings of the Mission Australia Youth Survey 2016 are: Top 3 national issues: [Read More…]

Recommendations for Indigenous suicide prevention

recommendations for indigenous suicide prevention

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP) is a solution that arose from Indigenous community members, leaders in mental health and suicide prevention, and the Australian Government as a response to the Indigenous suicide problem. Suicide is one of the most common causes of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander [Read More…]

Identifying and eliminating biofilm in chronic wounds

identifying and eliminating bioflim

Some sources claim that almost 80% of chronic wounds are colonised with biofilm. Biofilm has a significant tolerance to antibiotics and biocides while remaining protected from host immunity. While awareness of the presence and impact of wound biofilm has advanced enormously, understanding of its pathogenesis is yet to be clarified fully. The International Wound Infection [Read More…]

Doctor shortages or oversupply? Conflicting headlines

oversupply or shortage of doctors

You could be forgiven for being confused about whether the is an oversupply or undersupply of doctors in Australia. In recent weeks, while the ABC has reported on a doctor shortage in rural Australia, the Australian Medical Association President has been talking about an oversupply of doctors and an undersupply of training places. The Australian [Read More…]

MedAugment won $10,000 for an app helping people take medication


Aiming to help people take their medication and use medical devices safely, MedAugment was the winner of the $10,000 Impact Innovation Group Services prize in this year’s $250,000 QUT Innovation Challenge MedAugment is a new interactive smartphone app currently in development. The prize allows MedAugment to continue commercialising the app, which is focusing initially on [Read More…]

Are athletes psychologically ready to return after severe injury?


The psychological readiness of athletes to return to sport after severe injury is more difficult to predict than physical readiness. While physical aspects can be dictated by exact measures, such as tissue healing, psychological scarring can have a long-term effect on function and performance. An athlete could be considered ready if they have realistic expectations, [Read More…]

Study finds evidence of bias in the review of artificially sweetened beverages


A systematic review of reviews of the effects of artificially sweetened beverages on weight found that review sponsorship and authors’ financial conflicts of interest may create bias affecting the outcomes. It has been suggested that the bias possibly undermines the quality and transparency of public health evaluations that are reliant on these reviews. The systematic [Read More…]

The VOTE Trust granted a total of $10,618 to two optometry projects


The Victorian Optometrists Training and Education (VOTE) Trust granted a total of $10,618 fund for distribution in 2016-17 to two recipients on the high standard projects. $4,325 was awarded to Dr David Hammond and Jane Duffy of Deakin University, and Khyber Alam, an optometrist in private practice for their project, Considerations when providing optometric care [Read More…]

Dentists face legal risks when carrying out complex oral procedures


General dentists may be putting themselves in the path of legal risks by carrying out oral surgery procedures. A study by a team of Queensland researchers has mapped litigation patterns in the key area of legal risk in the fields of general dentistry (oral surgery procedure), as well as oral and maxillofacial surgery. The analysis [Read More…]

Specialist in Life campaign for GPs


The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is running a national Specialist in Life campaign to highlight the value of general practice, targeted to political decision makers of all parties on what GPs actually do on a daily basis. RACGP stated that the Federal Government’s actions are hitting GPs and their patients hard. They [Read More…]

Research revealed four types of sport and exercise to promote longevity


According to an international research collaboration, there are three sports that could prevent premature death from cardiovascular disease (CVD). They are racquet sports, swimming and aerobics. Cycling, swimming and running were not shown to have a significant association with reduced CVD mortality. The study investigated the associations of those six different types of sport/exercise with [Read More…]

Feedback sought on Parliamentary inquiry into mental health services in the NDIS


As part of the Joint Standing Committee inquiry into the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) scheme, the committee will inquire into the provision of services under the NDIS for people with a mental illness. This parliamentary inquiry has been welcomed by Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA). They are concerned about the needs [Read More…]

General Practice Pharmacist Fundamentals education program has been launched


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has launched an education program called the General Practice Pharmacist Fundamentals. This is an online course which will provide expert guidance to pharmacists interested in this important area of practice. PSA National President Joe Demarte said that the course is backed by a suite of practice tools to help [Read More…]