While e-health has to date largely focused on doctor-patient videoconferencing over fibre networks, wireless-enabled smartphones could soon grow to become the health service delivery platform of choice for many Australians, according to the CSIRO.

Speaking to Computerworld Australia ahead of his presentation at the Wireless Health conference in Sydney, CSIRO ICT Centre director, Ian Oppermann, said recent trials carried out by the agency of a care assessment platform had shown wireless smartphones could deliver healthcare services.

The Australian Department of Defence plans to revamp its health records with a $5 million dollar electronic system.

Defence has chosen global service provider CSC for a five-year IT contract to develop and implement an electronic health (eHealth) information system.

After winning the contract through a tender process, CSC will deliver a centralised, web-accessible, military specific, primary care solution known as EMIS into the Defence’s IT environment.

The system will be known as the Joint eHealth Data and Information (JeHDI) system.

Along with selected partners, CSC will also provide application hosting, IT support services, organisational change, communication, training and project management.

Defence commander Joint Health, major general Paul Alexander said the JeHDI system will hep provide high-quality healthcare that supports ADF members within Australia.

“The JeHDI system will not only provide an eHealth record for all personnel, but also give the Department of Defence the ability to map health related trends of the ADF and derive financial reports on its healthcare costs,” he said.

JeHDI represents one of the first comprehensive eHealth record projects across Australia and will support the needs of modernising the Defence organisation.

The NSW Government has announced funding of $16 million for two major medical research initiatives.

State governments have embraced a new hospital funding deal that the federal opposition says will do nothing to help Australia's ailing public health system.

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