The Northern Rivers Medical Exchange (NRMX) has closed due to the rising cost of insuring medical data transportation. 

The Exchange started five years ago as a free service from the Northern Rivers General Practice Network for North Coast health practitioners. The Exchange used secure email to send documents between NRMX users. 

The service underwent extensive penetration testing by the Brisbane security firm YellIT prior to its general release and no major vulnerabilities were uncovered. 

Associate Professor Tom Shakespeare, Radiation Oncologist with North Coast Cancer Institute Lismore, has introduced 10,000 international colleagues to the ground-breaking work in prostate cancer treatment being undertaken in local facilities operated by the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD).

A/Prof Shakespeare presented two papers at the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s (ASTRO) recent annual meeting in Chicago.

The gathering heard A/Prof Shakespeare speak on world-first programs that are improving healthcare for regional patients.

 Keeping a person healthy is no small charge. Keeping a nation healthy is a near Herculean task. Yet that is exactly what general practitioners (GPs) do.”

So begins the introduction by RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon to General Practice: Health of the Nation, the latest annual report on the state of general practice in Australia. 

The College, which represents 90 per cent of the general practice profession, commissioned research involving more than 1100 RACGP Fellows (of 37,000 in 6500 accredited practices in Australia) as well as drawing on information in the MABEL (Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life) Survey and a range of government publications.

Each year the release of the report generates media interest but this year’s has been something of a blockbuster, attracting widespread coverage for the statistic that 65% of patients raise psychological issues with their GP.

The North Coast Primary Health Network is currently transitioning to a cloud computing environment, as David Guest explains.

These days, wherever you go, those not looking at a smartphone are the ones who stand out.

It’s almost 13 years since Steve Jobs popularised the internet communicator. It’s a phone, an internet browser and an iPod but these days it’s all this and so much more. These devices, along with tablets and laptops, have changed the way we live and work. Keeping in touch with family and friends, shopping, education and entertainment have changed immeasurably in just over a decade.

Some even rely on their phone for medical care.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an increasingly common phenomenon amongst elderly patients, particularly those with diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. It increases the risk of stroke and other embolic phenomenon significantly but with modern anticoagulants its management has become much easier.

Intermittent AF is also common when infection or other illness strikes the patient. It can also occur randomly in many people. Such paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) is less likely to cause embolic disease but remains a significant risk for some patients.

Tremendous advances in medical technology are occurring on many fronts. For consumers smart devices are increasingly common and best represented by the newest generation of the Apple watch which can monitor pulse rate and rhythm with high degree of accuracy.