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Roundup: Pen CS names ex-AMA official as chief medical advisor and more briefs

Pen CS appoints former AMA official as chief medical advisor

Health informatics firm Pen CS has named Dr Kean-Seng Lim as its new chief medical advisor.

Dr Lim is a general practitioner at Mt Druitt Medical Centre in western Sydney. He previously held leadership roles as president of the New South Wales chapter of the Australian Medical Association from 2018 to 2020, as well as a board member of the Western Sydney Primary Health Network.

In 2015, he was named the GP of the Year by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

According to a media release, Dr Lim will provide clinical governance and oversight to the Pen CS ecosystem of health technology solutions for primary care and population health.

He will head both of the company’s clinical advisory and data governance committees while also guiding the design of Pen CS’s product roadmap.

Commenting on his appointment, Pen CS CEO Edweana Wenkart said: “Dr Lim has a unique view of primary care, in that, he understands both macro and micro requirements – for technology it is clinical workflow and patient activation – to achieve a value-based healthcare system. His experience at the population, provider, and patient levels is matched to the Pen CS ecosystem”.

Pen CS had collaborated with Dr Lim in the past as the director of remote health monitoring and management platform CareMonitor, whose telehealth app was added to the Pen CS Topbar clinical decision support system in 2020.


NZ’s Pharmac launches assessment tool for providing COVID-19 antiviral meds

The Pharmaceutical Management Agency (Pharmac), the entity responsible for subsidising medicines to the New Zealand public, has developed an online tool to help clinicians screen eligible recipients of the government’s COVID-19 antiviral medication.

The government has made available three antiviral treatments for COVID-19: Molnupiravir, Nirmatrelvir with ritonavir, and Remdesivir. 

In April, it issued streamlined criteria for access to these medications to help clinicians decide who can receive them. Pharmac CMO David Hughes said they have decreased the number of factors for citizens to get access to the antiviral meds, especially for more at-risk groups. 

“With only a few clicks, doctors and the public alike will be able to see if they qualify for the funded treatments,” he said.

Pharmac said it will continue reviewing the access criteria and update the access tool to reflect future changes.


Western Australia funds data linkage reform

The Western Australian government is investing A$8 million ($5.7 million) over four years to deliver data linkage reforms to support the conduct of ethical health research and evaluation, among others.

The state government is instituting reforms to build the necessary infrastructure to deal with complex social, health, environmental and economic issues “in a safe and secure way”.

Based on a media release, the new funding will add 10 more roles in the Office of Digital Government that will help build, operate, govern, and use a central data asset. New tech equipment and services will also be funded to ensure data security.

The Office of Digital Government will also collaborate with the state Health Department to “facilitate secure linkage of data in a safe, privacy-preserving environment,” which will support health and medical researchers in their conduct of research and evaluations.

“Improved linkage capabilities will enable decisions to be better informed by data and will aid researchers in their efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of all Western Australians,” said WA state Innovation and ICT Minister Stephen Dawson.

The reforms come as a response to the recommendations by the WA Chief Scientist Peter Klinken in his latest state-wide data linkage review.

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