Roundup: My Covid Record portal launched, new grant for health data research projects in Australia and more briefs

New Zealand’s My Covid Record portal launched

A website that enables New Zealand citizens to view their COVID-19 vaccination status, as well as test results and vaccination certificates in the near future, has been launched by the government.

The My Covid Record portal currently provides access to users’ COVID-19 vaccination records. 

This is one of the many tools that New Zealand has developed to enable economic reopening, said Michael Dreyer, group manager for National Digital Services at the Ministry of Health.

Dreyer said later this month, COVID-19 test results will be available on the platform while vaccination certificates, which can be used for local and international travel, will be provided from late November. 

“The exact timing for when and where vaccination proof will be required are still being finalised. The Government is also consulting with the business, hospitality and events sectors on the finer details of how it will work,” he explained.

New Zealand has fully vaccinated over 50% of its total population or around 2.6 million people, state data showed.

Australia puts up $7M grant for health data research

The Australian government is investing up to A$10 million (over $7 million) in research that will improve patient care and health outcomes through “better use” of health information.

The Research Data Infrastructure grant will back projects that gather information held in different systems or platforms or those that use emerging technologies, like AI, to “answer important health questions”.

“Better use of data will help to enable earlier diagnosis and increase the effectiveness of treatments and improve health outcomes. It will also help reduce the probability of adverse reactions, better prevent diseases by identifying risk factors and improve the monitoring of the effects of medical drugs,” said Health Minister Greg Hunt in a media release.

The grant is part of the recently set up A$30 million ($22 million) investment in health and medical research, which the federal government offers through its Medical Research Future Fund. 

The other grant – providing up to A$20 million (around $15 million) – is open for projects developing diagnostic approaches or building evidence for best treatment approaches to improve the healthcare for children and adolescents with chronic musculoskeletal conditions.

Queensland X-ray now uploads to My Health Record

The largest private radiology provider in Queensland has recently connected to My Health Record.

In a media release, the Australian Digital Health Agency said Queensland X-ray, which runs a network of over 50 practices, is now uploading reports to the federal government’s digital health record platform.

This announcement follows the recent My Health Record connections of some pathology labs across Queensland, as well as in northern New South Wales and Tasmania.

In August, consumers viewed 224,000 diagnostic imaging reports on the government platform, ADHA CEO Amanda Cattermole noted.

Australians can now access their COVID-19 vaccination details and proof of vaccination certificate, along with pathology results, on My Health Record.

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