Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links – 2nd December, 2017.

Note: Each link is followed by a title and few paragraphs. For the full article click on the link above title of the article. Note also that full access to some links may require site registration or subscription payment.

Special Report: Interoperability

With just six short months until the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, much of the NHS’s attention remains fixed on the huge penalties that could be levied for organisations found in breach of it. But with its commitment to data portability, could it also serve as an opportunity to finally crack the old chestnut of a problem that is interoperability in healthcare? Jennifer Trueland investigates.
Interoperability remains a major challenge for healthcare IT. Despite efforts to make systems talk to each other – and some pockets of good practice – for most, it remains a pipe dream.
Next year, however, new European regulations come into force to update data protection laws, encouraging greater transparency and putting more control in the hands of citizens.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a big change, and it will happen, regardless of Brexit. But will it be the push that is needed to make interoperability in healthcare an imperative?

Machine learning delivers insight into medication’s effects on stroke patients

Owen Hughes

20 November 2017
Researchers have used machine learning to identify how individual stroke patients might respond to different medications, based on the unique structure of their brain.
An experiment by University College London (UCL) found that applying computer intelligence to data from from people who had suffered a stroke allowed researchers to see what effect drugs had on brains with varying patterns of damage.
For the study, a machine learning algorithm was applied to CT and MRI scans of 1172 stroke patients and mapped the anatomical pattern of damage throughout the brain of each individual.

Amazon working with Cerner on pop health cloud platform

AWS will be working with the healthcare tech giant on its HealtheIntent platform to analyze clinical data and predict available treatment.
November 22, 2017 02:35 PM
The cloud business arm of Amazon is expected to team with healthcare tech giant Cerner to help analyze clinical data and predict available treatments, according to reports.
The official announcement is expected to be made by AWS CEO Andy Jassy at the annual AWS re:Invent conference next week. Cerner did not return a request for comment by the time of publication.
Discussions are still in the final stages, but sources told CNBC that the collaboration will initially focus on Cerner’s population health product, HealtheIntent, a cloud-based, programmable, vendor-agnostic pop health management tool. The real-time platform aggregates and reconciles data across the care continuum.

Is Apple poised to enter EHR market? New patents have the industry buzzing

Apple is not the lone tech giant showing an interest in healthcare: Amazon, too, has kept a close eye on the market.
November 22, 2017 01:09 PM
A new wave of speculation from industry analysts is putting Apple in the spotlight over its supposed plans for creating a new sort of EHR – the soul of a new device, so to speak.
The new speculation is fueled by the patents Apple has recently secured. 
Analysts reason that Apple may be poised to enter the mobile healthcare monitoring device, EHR, and healthcare data storage markets.

Analysis of EHR pathology reports aids understanding of skin biopsies

Published November 22 2017, 7:25am EST
Researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine have successfully used natural language processing software to analyze electronic health record pathology reports of patients who underwent skin biopsies, generating population-level estimates of diagnoses.
Investigators leveraged internally-developed NLP software for the analysis of more than 80,000 pathology reports in order to identify biopsied lesions that were melanocytic and likely to develop into malignant melanoma.
According to Joann Elmore, MD, a faculty physician in the Department of Medicine and an epidemiologist with the UW School of Public Health, it’s very difficult for doctors to interpret melanocytic lesions—which is only made more difficult by the fact that pathologists use inconsistent wording in differentiating between benign and malignant diagnoses.

Study: mHealth shows promising effect on cost, outcomes for diabetes patients

Nov 22, 2017 11:55am
A study of an mHealth app in China shows user engagement can drive down glucose levels for diabetes patients.
New research from New York University shows mHealth tools can have a substantial impact on clinical outcomes for patients managing Type 2 diabetes.
Some of those benefits include lower glucose levels, fewer hospital visits and lower medical expenses.
The study (PDF), self-published by researchers at the Stern School of Business at NYU, Carnegie Mellon University and the Harbin Institute of Technology in China, analyzed data linked to more than 1,000 people collected by a Chinese mHealth company along with the country’s Office of Chronic Disease Management. Compared to a control group, those that used an mHealth app that provides behavior tracking, risk assessment analytics, physician support and community support saw glucose levels drop significantly.

Stopping a cybersecurity disaster at the software development level

  • By Enrique Salem
  • Nov 21, 2017
In recent years, cybersecurity professionals have been waging a war in which victories are elusive and fleeting. At the same time, the explosive growth in the number of connected devices -- from mobiles to the internet of things -- has driven the demand for faster software development, which increases the risk of having unknown vulnerabilities creep into the code that bad guys can exploit. So far, attempts at security have been based on securing the network, encrypting data or securing the device. However, these approaches to security still leave the software at the very core of the system vulnerable.
With every passing year, we see more evidence that current security approaches do not work. Companies and individuals are simply unable to protect themselves from increasingly complex threats by layering on a hodge-podge of security tools. Infrastructure and perimeter-based approaches to security -- the approaches on which we have relied for so long -- are no longer sufficient in a cloud-based and application-centric world.  As a matter of fact, these traditional approaches deliver too many false alarms and fail to identify the causes of major, high-profile breaches.

EHR alerts promote HPV vaccine

Written by Julie Spitzer | November 20, 2017 | Print | Email
EHR-driven clinical reminders for the HPV vaccine increased the number of administered vaccines, according to a study published online in the American Journal of Managed Care.
Jaeyong Bae, PhD, led a team of researchers in determining the effectiveness of an EHR clinical reminder for administering the HPV vaccine. The researchers reviewed visits by adolescents to office-based physicians from 2007-2012 and measured whether or not they received the HPV vaccine compared to whether the physicians' practices' EHR used a clinical alert for the vaccine.

CIOs must manage data for AI to deliver on data-driven healthcare

Provider organizations must figure out ways to sift through mountains of data to let AI tools have at it. And AI experts have plenty of suggestions.
November 17, 2017 11:51 AM
Data-driven healthcare is something of a buzzword, but it’s an important one, a concept many hospitals are striving to bring to life to enhance care and trim costs. And it’s dependent in a big way on healthcare CIOs and their abilities to work with data and artificial intelligence tools.
Data-driven healthcare occurs when there is a three-way partnership between caregivers, patients and data obtained from all clinical documentation. When all three synergize, it results in analytics that drive actionable insights in real time, allowing for an enhanced patient experience and streamlined clinical and administrative workflows.
“When a patient’s full data story including historical and current documentation becomes available at the point of care, algorithms can provide quantified analysis to care teams,” said Kyle Silvestro, founder and CEO of SyTrue, a data-driven healthcare and artificial intelligence technology and services vendor. He also is a deep learning and AI adjunct faculty member at Singularity University.

HIT Think Why making videos in healthcare facilities could pose a HIPAA risk

Published November 22 2017, 3:49pm EST
Video recording used to be a complicated, equipment-heavy process. Now, it’s as simple as turning on a smartphone. And videos, once recorded, appear on the internet all of the time. Police body cameras are another growing area where a video is taken every day and in all sorts of locations.
When those videos record activities in a hospital, physician’s office or other healthcare settings, what is permissible? These are questions being raised with increasing frequency and one that is challenging to organizations.
Like so many regulatory requirements or conundrums, the answer is not so clear. Who wants to make the recording, the circumstances surrounding the recording and other factors play into what may be allowed or what could result in a HIPAA violation. While the outcome will depend upon specific facts and circumstances, some HIPAA awareness can be generated by considering a few different scenarios where recording may occur.

Stanford researchers built an algorithm that recognizes pneumonia better than human radiologists

Nov 21, 2017 9:09am
A group of Stanford researchers says it has built an algorithm that can diagnose pneumonia in chest x-rays better than the average human radiologists.
The group, which includes deep learning researcher Andrew Ng, developed the algorithm using more than 112,000 chest x-rays released by the National Institutes of Health in September. A little over a month later, the algorithm could identify 14 types of medical conditions and diagnose pneumonia better than a group of four radiologists.
The researchers published their results in a paper (PDF) posted the open access website arXiv.  

Decision support tool in EHR helps detect acute kidney injury

Published November 20 2017, 7:40am EST
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center implemented a clinical decision support tool in their electronic health record system and were able to increase the detection of acute kidney injury, one of the most costly and deadly conditions affecting hospitalized patients.
Fourteen of UPMC’s hospitals used the CDS tool to monitor levels of blood creatinine—a standard measure of kidney function. Specifically, the computer program sent EHR alerts to physicians about changes in patients’ renal function to detect early stage acute kidney injury.
A new study conducted by UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, which analyzed records from more than half a million patients admitted to UPMC’s hospitals, reports that the CDS tool resulted in a “small but sustained decrease in hospital mortality, dialysis use, and length of stay.”

6 steps to avoid a health IT outage

November 19, 2017
When an IT emergency strikes medical practices, there’s a small window to avoid big losses of time and money, so it’s best to have a plan in place.
But for many small practices, there’s the added wrinkle of getting in touch with their IT professional in the first place. According to the Medical Economics 2017 EHR Report, 35% of respondents indicated they outsource their IT services. Of that group, 47% of both solo practices as well as those with two to five physicians said they rely on someone not on staff to deal with technology issues. And 31% of solo practices said they have no designated IT department or employee at all.
Joe Capko, senior consultant and partner of San Francisco-based consulting firm Capko & Morgan, says there are steps smaller practices—and even their larger counterparts—can take to be proactive to ensure when the time comes, they are prepared.

Only 27 Percent of Healthcare Security Execs Confident about Safeguarding Patient Data

November 20, 2017
by Heather Landi
Just 27 percent of healthcare security executives said they have confidence they could safeguard patients’ medical records, even though nearly 80 percent are required to comply with government regulations, according to a recent survey from cybersecurity solutions provider Radware.
The survey of nearly 200 security executives from the healthcare sector (almost 90 percent having executive authority to direct security activities and investments) found that healthcare lagged behind other industries such as retail and financial services when it comes to mitigating risk.
Analysis of survey feedback paints a portrait of a sector ill at ease with the growing security demands being placed on their institutions, the report authors wrote. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (62 percent) have little to no confidence they could rapidly adopt security patches and updates without having an operational impact, while 70 percent said less than 50 percent of data loss incidents over the past 24 months were fully tracked and patched.

6 Things Healthcare Execs Should Do to Prepare for Cyber Threats

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, November 21, 2017

The ECRI Institute's annual list of health technology dangers can prompt healthcare leaders to address cyber vulnerabilities.

Endoscope reprocessing failures, missed alarms, neglecting to use technology the way it's intended all figure prominently in ECRI Institute's annual Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2018 list. But the No. 1 hazard is ransomware and other cybersecurity threats, which impacts the safety of patients and threatens the safety of their sensitive personal information, too.
Cyberattacks have hit healthcare organizations several times this year, including in June, when the pharmaceutical company Merck, health records service Nuance Communications, and the Pennsylvania-based Heritage Valley Health System were among the many entities affected by a global ransomware, and in May, when the United Kingdom's National Health Service was crippled when a global ransomware attack—dubbed "WannaCry"—forced appointments and operations to be cancelled, hospitals to disconnect from email, IT systems to be shut off, and some facilities to turn patients away.

Robot companions are just what the doctor ordered

In hospitals and elder care centers, companion bots might make a variety of experiences less painful or lonely.
November 20, 2017 9:12 AM PST
When Phil Parker visits hospitals around the country, he brings Boo Boo along with him.
Boo Boo is great with kids. He plays Simon Says, reads books and plays music. He's a good listener, and he can help calm a child's nerves before they go into a procedure.
Boo Boo is not a medical professional, or even human. He's a robot.

eClinicalWorks sued for nearly $1 billion for inaccurate medical records

The class action lawsuit filed Thursday by the estate of a cancer patient, claimed he was unable to determine when cancer symptoms began due to the EHR vendor’s faulty software.
November 17, 2017 10:56 AM
EHR vendor eClinicalWorks has been hit with a class-action lawsuit that alleges patients couldn’t trust their medical record’s accuracy due to flaws in the company’s software.
The suit comes just six months after the company was hit with a $155 million settlement to resolve a False Claims Act suit that claimed it gave customers kickbacks to publically promote its products.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Patients trial Skype-style appointments with GPs

Helen Puttick, Scottish Health Correspondent
November 21 2017, 12:01am, The Times
Patients are having consultations with their GP online for the first time as part of a trial of how family doctor services could work in future.
Surgeries in Scotland are offering patients the chance to consult their doctor on the internet, via a form of Skype, and show any physical symptoms by using a camera in their homes.
Health officials believe the innovation could offer several benefits, including being able to see a GP without taking time off work. If it proves popular, it would also take the strain off surgeries. The British Medical Association says that some GPs are seeing between 40 and 60 patients a day, well above target levels, because of increasing demand.

Cracking down on data blocking and expanding analytics tools can improve future disaster response efforts

Nov 20, 2017 12:24pm
Health IT is significantly more advanced now than it was in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, ruining paper-based patient records and leaving vulnerable patients without access to essential information.
Those advancements, inducing widespread adoption of EHRs following the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, have improved disaster response, former national coordinator for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo wrote in Health Affairs Blog. DeSalvo and co-author Christine Petrin, a student at Tulane University School of Medicine, noted that hospitals in Texas were able to transfer critical patient information through health information exchanges.

UC San Diego Health System Moves its Patient Data to the Cloud

UCSD Health is moving to the cloud as part of a larger effort to combine all of the University of California’s patient records.
Juliet is the senior web editor for StateTech and HealthTech magazines. In her six years as a journalist she has covered everything from aerospace to indie music reviews — but she is unfailingly partial to covering technology.
The University of California San Diego Health System is moving its electronic health records (EHRs) into the 21st century with a transition to the cloud.
The health system is no stranger to innovation. UCSD’s Jacobs Medical Center outfitted patient rooms with iPad devices and Apple TVs with the primary goal of allowing patients to share and view their own electronic medical records. In September, the university partnered with IBM on plans for an Artificial Intelligence for Healthy Living Center in order to conduct research on early signs of cognitive impairment in seniors.

Algorithm quickly identifies new indications for old drugs

Published November 20 2017, 7:36am EST
A research team at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine’s Case Comprehensive Cancer Center has developed an algorithm that identifies new indications for old drugs, while potentially uncovering a novel approach to treating ovarian cancer.
The computer program—called DrugPredict—matches data about FDA-approved medications to diseases, and then predicts their potential effectiveness. Specifically, the algorithm found that non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs)—a common class of pain relievers—kill epithelial ovarian cancer cells, the most lethal gynecologic malignancy and the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women.
A computation-based drug-repositioning system, DrugPredict conducts both genome- and phenome-wide analysis to match diseases to medication candidates—a much quicker and less costly approach than the traditional drug discovery process.

HIT Think 3 critical steps to better protect patient health information

Published November 20 2017, 4:43pm EST
Patient data has been put at risk over the last few years. A potent combination of determined cybercriminal attacks and negligence has repeatedly exposed sensitive health information.
When the Ponemon Institute surveyed healthcare organizations last year, it found that nearly 90 percent had experienced a data breach in the past two years, and a shocking 45 percent had suffered more than five data breaches in that same two-year period.
Despite these striking totals, many healthcare organizations are still falling short in their efforts to protect patient health information properly. A midyear report from Protenus reveals that there have been 233 breach incidents in 2017, affecting 3.1 million patient records. That puts the industry on course to exceed last year’s record of 450 breaches.

Survey: Health IT is Underfunded at European Healthcare Organizations

November 20, 2017
by Heather Landi
Health IT is not sufficiently funded and supported at most European healthcare provider organizations, according to a HIMSS Analytics survey of health IT professionals.
The HIMSS Analytics Annual European eHealth Survey garnered responses from 559 eHealth professionals from more than 15 European countries. Close to half of the respondents (42 percent) were from health facilities, 11 percent were from governmental health authorities, 18 percent were IT software vendors and 28 percent represented “other.”
Sixty-two percent of respondents said IT was underfunded at their organizations. Funding is seen as the biggest obstacle in Italy (87 percent of respondents from Italy said IT budgets were insufficient), as well as Ireland (86 percent) and the U.K. (80 percent). The survey also found that although the vast majority of healthcare facilities see IT as an enabler to improve patient safety and care, most respondents feel a lack of central direction and support in order to progress their eHealth agenda.


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