Quote Of The Year

Quotes Of The Year - 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, September 08, 2018

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links – 8th September, 2018

Here are a few I came across last week.
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.

Health secretary highlights lack of national interoperability standards

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has highlighted the lack of national interoperability standards after shadowing front-line staff during an overnight shift.
Hanna Crouch – 30 August, 2018
In a Facebook post on Friday, Matt Hancock said he was “a bit bleary-eyed” following his shift at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and the London Ambulance Service, but added he had been struck by three things.
One of these was technology, “or lack of it”.
Hancock said: “I was already motivated to improve the IT of the NHS – but boy! Chelsea and Westminster Hospital is one of the better trusts for IT, but even there is so far to go.

Telemedicine racks up $1 million in cost avoidance savings for Tallahassee Memorial

With a vast rural population, the Florida hospital leaned on telehealth to improve transitional care.
August 31, 2018 09:17 AM

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital regularly saves upwards of $1 million per year in cost avoidance through its real-time video telehealth platform, despite not being able to bill for a vast majority of the telemedicine services it provides.
The technology also improved patient health, especially among its vast rural patient population for the non-profit community hospital in Northern Florida that serves an 18-county region.
Tallahassee Memorial is the only level two trauma center in the region and is constantly operating at a high capacity with many full beds and an incredibly busy emergency room. Through telehealth, the hospital implemented remote medical services primarily focused on transitional care.

5 ways all generations — from millennials to seniors — are adopting virtual care

Written by Jessica Kim Cohen | August 30, 2018 | Print  |
Millennials, generation Xers, baby boomers and seniors vary in how they're using virtual care, according to a Deloitte report.
The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions surveyed 4,530 adults in the U.S. in February and March for its report on consumers' attitudes toward virtual care. The survey was designed to be representative of the U.S. population based on the U.S. Census with respect to age, gender, race, ethnicity, income, geography and insurance coverage.
For the report, Deloitte defined millennials as those born between 1982 and 1997, generation Xers as those born between 1965 and 1981, baby boomers as those born between 1946 and 1964, and seniors as those born before 1946.

Rock Health: Digital health adoption on the rise, but wearables, telemedicine lag behind

August 27, 2018

Eighty-seven percent of Americans used at least one digital health tool in 2017, up from 80 percent in 2015, according to a new survey out from Rock Health. For the past three years, Rock Health has surveyed 4,000 U.S. adults about digital health use and perceptions.
“With data from 2015 to 2017, we see a clear upward trend of consumers taking control of their healthcare via the use of digital tools like telemedicine, wearables, and online provider reviews,” Rock Health researchers Megan Zweig, Jen Shen, and Lou Jug wrote. “… But the needle has not moved equally across every subgroup of the population — nor across every type of digital health solution. … So while digital health solutions promise impactful, even life-altering outcomes for patients, consumers are still transitioning to testing out — and sustainably integrating — these solutions into their lives.”
The most widely adopted digital health tools were online health information and online provider reviews, which had 79 percent and 58 percent adoption respectively. Mobile tracking and wearables, on the other hand were at 24 percent, with live video telemedicine at 19 percent. Adoption in each category has grown each year with two exceptions: wearables sat at 24 percent two years in a row, while video telemedicine actually dropped from 22 percent in 2016.

House bill seeks to create nationwide Prescription Safety Alert System

Published August 31 2018, 7:08am EDT
Bipartisan congressional legislation has been introduced to create a nationwide Prescription Safety Alert System to enable pharmacists to better protect patients from opioid overuse.
The Analyzing and Leveraging Existing Rx Transactions (ALERT) Act, introduced on Thursday by Reps. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), Ann Kuster (D-N.H.) and Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), would require the Department of Health and Human Services to work with the private sector to establish a system that analyzes the transaction data that pharmacists and payers—such as health insurers and Medicare— generate when prescriptions are filled.
“We absolutely have to get smarter about how we use technology and data analysis to fight this crisis,” says MacArthur, who is co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force. “By giving pharmacists, insurance companies, and programs like Medicare a new tool to understand the data they already have, we can help prevent further harm.”

Hackers favor using vulnerable Web apps to beat security perimeters

Published August 31 2018, 12:09pm EDT
For many organizations, vulnerable Web applications may be their weakest link when it comes to an effective data security strategy.
About three-quarters (73 percent) of successful perimeter breaches in 2017 were achieved using vulnerable Web applications, according to Kaspersky Lab’s analysis of penetration tests it conducted on corporate networks that year.
Each year, the company’s Security Services department carries out a “practical demonstration of possible attack scenarios” to help organizations worldwide identify vulnerabilities in their networks and avoid damage. The goal of the penetration test report is to educate IT security specialists and raise awareness of relevant vulnerabilities and attack vectors against corporate information systems.

HIT Think Achieving optimal sepsis sensitivity and specificity with EMR surveillance

Published August 31 2018, 12:08pm EDT
Sepsis accounts for half of hospital deaths, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It’s the leading cause of readmissions, and more than $20 billion is spent on it annually.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sepsis has become a medical emergency. Every year there are at least 1.7 million cases of sepsis implicated in as many as 270,000 deaths, the CDC says.
Sepsis starts with any kind of infection or any time germs enter the bloodstream. The human body tries to fight the infection but fails. The organs shut down one by one. But what’s unique about sepsis, compared to cancer, for instance, is that there is a known cure – usually antibiotics and fluids are sufficient. This means, that for the medical community, the most critical issue with regard to sepsis is detection, not treatment.

Watch: Hospitals are Vulnerable to Cyberattacks that Could Change Records and Kill Patients

Electronics360 News Desk
29 August 2018
University of California researchers have proven that it is easy to modify test results or control medical devices by attacking the connection in a hospital’s computer system. The people most vulnerable to these kinds of attacks are high-profile patients, like celebrities and politicians. Attacks like these are less likely to be a threat to the general public, but over time it could develop into a countrywide threat and cripple the U.S. medical infrastructure.
Researchers used a 'man in the middle attack' to intercept and modify data transmitted from a laboratory information sysetm to an electronic medical record system. (Source: University of California San Diego)
The weaknesses in hospital infrastructure start with the outdated standards that are currently used in healthcare to transfer patient data within hospitals. The current standard used is called Health Level Seven Standards (HL7). HL7 was developed in the 1970s and hasn’t been fully updated since. This leaves the infrastructure vulnerable to attacks by new technologies that are smarter than HL7. The weakness in HL7 leads to patient data being accessible between storage and access points.

Vanderbilt attributes lower operating income to EHR install

Published August 30 2018, 7:24am EDT
Vanderbilt University Medical Center is blaming a decline in operating income on its shift to an enterprise-wide Epic electronic medical record system.
The Nashville, Tenn.-based healthcare provider largely attributes the decline in its operating income for its most recent fiscal year on its implementation in November 2017 of the new EMR system.
“Our FY18 June YTD actual operating income of $56 million compares unfavorably to FY18 June YTD budgeted operating income of $91 million,” states a VUMC disclosure report. “FY18 June YTD actual operating income is $122 million below FY17 June YTD operating income.”

HIT Think How blockchain could solve 4 major problems in healthcare

Published August 30 2018, 5:34pm EDT
The healthcare IT industry faces a host of challenges today, including silos within hospitals that restrict information sharing, integrating artificial intelligence into clinical practice, to solving the opioid crisis. While distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain won’t mitigate all of them, this technology can resolve a number of significant pain points associated with routine business processes.
Blockchain is best suited to solve problems in healthcare that result from the following conditions: the need to share data in real-time across multiple participating parties, a lack of transparency, a requirement to verify the integrity of data and the need for a high standard of security.
Much of blockchain’s value in healthcare stems from “smart contracts,” which effectively organize the terms of an agreement between two or more parties into lines of computer code. Because smart contracts implement an agreement’s business and legal rules into code via a shared, decentralized distributed ledger, they facilitate transactions among various entities without the need for an external enforcement mechanism or central source of authority.

4 Ways Telemedicine Is Changing Healthcare

By Mandy Roth  |   August 28, 2018

Experts weigh in on a new era for one of healthcare's fastest-growing initiatives.


·         Direct-to-consumer market has matured, but questions remain about value.
·         AI and other innovations are emerging in self-service arena.
·         Provider collaboration offers opportunities for growth.
·         Building telemedicine capabilities into new spaces would enhance convenience.
The industry of telemedicine is at a tipping point, expanding far beyond interactions between physicians and patients into entirely new ways to deliver healthcare and practice medicine. 
In recognition of this phenomenon, Phoenix-based Banner Health, a trendsetter with a robust history employing this technology, will scrap the term telemedicine in the future and employ the expression virtual health.

Digital health fills care gaps for mental health patients

By deploying a mental health IT platform, Comprehensive Mental Health Services provided evidence-based, self-care interventions to combat depression and anxiety.
August 29, 2018 08:58 AM
In Missouri, a digital behavioral healthcare platform helps patients struggling with the time in between appointments.
Comprehensive Mental Health Services in Independence, Missouri partnered with mental health IT vendor myStrength, a digital behavioral healthcare platform to help patients seeking support and care for identified behavioral health needs and struggling with the time in between appointments.
From a treatment perspective, CMHS providers were seeking to address some common questions: Do patients have adequate support and tools to incorporate skills into their daily life to better manage symptoms and stressors between visits? And at the next appointment, were patients able to accurately report or recall severity of symptoms, moods and triggers?
Aug. 28, 2018 / 9:36 AM

AI system can detect diabetic retinopathy

By  Allen Cone
Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Researchers have developed a system that uses artificial intelligence to successfully detect diabetic retinopathy, according to a clinical trial in primary care offices.
The trial compared the performance of IDx-DR to the gold standard diagnostic for diabetic retinopathy, which is the leading cause of vision loss in adults. The study, which was published Tuesday in the journal Nature Digital Medicine, followed authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April.
"The AI system's primary role is to identify those people with diabetes who are likely to have diabetic retinopathy that requires further evaluation by an eye-care provider," principal investigator Dr. Michael Abràmoff said in a press release. "The study results demonstrate the safety of autonomous AI systems to bring specialty-level diagnostics to a primary care setting, with the potential to increase access and lower cost."

Hospitals with 'basic' EHRs keep physicians longer than those with 'advanced' EHRs, study finds

Written by Julie Spitzer | August 28, 2018 | Print  | Email
Although many reports have attributed physicians leaving medicine to frustration with EHRs, a recent study in the forthcoming issue of Information Systems Research shows basic EHRs have increased the tenure of physicians' hospital-based careers.
The problem, the researchers say, isn't with EHRs in general — but with more advanced EHRs. Specifically, those with computerized provider order entry or physician documentation, which are known to be more disruptive to physicians' day-to-day routines.
For the study, a team of researchers examined connections between physician employment and EHR implementations using data from the Hospital Inpatient Dataset provided by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and information from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Analytics between 2000 and 2010.

Phishing Attacks That Impersonate Trusted Individuals on the Rise

There was an 80 percent increase in phishing attacks that impersonated someone familiar to the targeted individual, according a study released August 28 by email security firm Mimecast.

August 28, 2018 - There was an 80 percent increase in phishing attacks that impersonated someone familiar to the targeted individual, according a study released August 28 by email security firm Mimecast.
Mimecast found that there was one unstopped malicious link for every 50 emails that passed through incumbent security systems.
For the study, Mimecast inspected 142 million emails handled by incumbent email security systems, including Microsoft’s Office 365.

Welsh patients know best after being given access to their records

Certain patients in Wales have been given access to their own health records, allowing them to collaborate more closely with clinicians on care needs.
Hanna Crouch
29 August, 2018
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board is the first board in Wales to offer access to the Patients Know Best (PKB) portal, which gives patients instant access to their medical records.
It also gives them the ability to choose with whom they want to share their medical information, and to create a digital care plan.
As well has being shared with doctors, this care plan can also be seen by relatives and carers.
The service has currently gone live for patients under the care of the heart failure, Parkinson’s disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) teams. All of these are based at ABMU’s Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.

FDA ramps up crackdown on websites marketing unapproved opioids

by Tina Reed 
Aug 29, 2018 8:18am
The Food and Drug Administration is in the midst of an effort to target illegal online sales of opioids. It's part of a push to target illegal online sales of painkillers that help fuel the opioid crisis, officials said. (FDA)
The U.S. Food Administration announced a new series of warnings to online networks operating 21 websites telling them to immediately stop illegal marketing of opioid drugs, including tramadol. It's part of a push to target illegal online sales of painkillers helping to fuel the opioid crisis, officials said.
“Cutting off this flow of illicit internet traffic in opioids is critical, and we’ll continue to pursue all means of enforcement to hinder online drug dealers and curb this dangerous practice,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.

Lack of real-world EHR testing causes patient safety problems, experts say

Aug 29, 2018 2:46pm
Electronic health records (EHRs) have frustrated physicians for years, causing confusion and workflow challenges. In extreme scenarios, they can even cause patient harm.
While implementation and training play a role, a new analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts, MedStar Health’s Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, and the American Medical Association says EHRs aren’t being tested properly in the first place. And the organizations are advocating for The Joint Commission to build some of the report's recommendations into its accreditation program.

Patient safety demands more robust testing of EHR usability, says Pew

Absent more rigorous federal regs, Pew Charitable Trusts, MedStar Health and AMA offer model test cases to help vendors and providers detect potentially dangerous usability risks.
August 30, 2018 02:03 PM
Pew Charitable Trusts says not enough attention is being paid to electronic health record usability from a safety point of view. And given that federal certification requirements don't address two key safety factors, it's offering EHR developers and provider organizations a toolset to help boost patient protections.
For all the benefits that EHRs bring, variations in their design, customization and use can "lead to inefficiencies or workflow challenges and can fail to prevent – or even contribute to – patient harm," according to a new study from Pew.

Pew, AMA: 6 components to consider when assessing EHR safety, usability

Written by Jessica Kim Cohen | August 28, 2018 | Print  | Email
The Pew Charitable Trusts, MedStar Health's National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare in Washington, D.C., and the American Medical Association released a report outlining ways to improve EHR safety and usability Aug. 28.
The report comprises a foundation for a voluntary certification framework to guide EHR developers and healthcare providers conducting safety assessments of EHRs — whether during the design, implementation or training stages — with a focus on identifying usability-related risks to patient care.
To develop the framework, the organizations conducted a literature review and solicited input from a panel of EHR developers and clinicians who offered best practices and model test cases related to EHR safety and usability.

Patients with the most to gain from digital health hardly engage with new tools

Aug 29, 2018 8:24am
Many patients who cannot afford or do not know how to use apps and wearables to track their health data do so the old-fashioned way: By memory or by hand. (Getty Images)
There’s a lot of buzz about digital health these days. Some say the latest high-tech tools have the potential to revolutionize not only healthcare, but health itself.
But what consumers actually want to use—or are able to use—is sometimes overlooked.
Now in its third year, Rock Health’s consumer survey asked 4,000 consumers about their digital health habits. Nearly 8 in 10 (79%) of those surveyed this year said they search for health information on the internet, and nearly 6 in 10 (58%) said they read online provider reviews. 

HIT Think How healthcare IT can help to save rural hospitals

Published August 29 2018, 5:55pm EDT
In business, disruption is often seen as a good thing. For example, digital photography disrupting Eastman Kodak’s business so significantly that the company has scrambled in recent years just to stay afloat—the thing they once did better than anyone is now largely irrelevant.
But disruption is a boon for workers in cutting-edge businesses and generally for consumers as well. Those who benefit greatly outnumber those who don’t.
And disruption isn’t limited to photography, of course. But in other industries, it’s more difficult to blithely nod to the gods of commerce and light another candle on the shrine of economic casualties.

Safety-Test Your EHR With This 3-Step Guide

By Steven Porter  |   August 29, 2018

Here's how providers can make the most of a 57-page report on electronic health record system safety by Pew, the AMA, and Medstar Health.


Do your clinicians have a defined method to report IT-related safety hazards? Are you handling them systematically? There are things to keep in mind at every stage in the EHR life cycle.
Consider testing your EHR setup with 14 scenarios in this report, then branch out and devise tests of your own.
Imagine for a moment that a patient in his late 20s arrived in your emergency department with severe flank pain. Based on his allergies and medical history, your team determines that he should be given a high dose of opioid pain medication and monitored closely.

Steward rolls out Wolters Kluwer tech to standardize decision support across 38 hospitals

It hopes decision support and clinical surveillance tools will help boost standards of care at all sites across its 10-state health system.
August 27, 2018 02:14 PM
Steward Health Care, the biggest private hospital chain in the country, is turning to technology from Wolters Kluwer to help tackle variations in care across more than three-dozen hospitals.
The integrated care network, which spans 10 states and 38 hospitals, is expected to care for some 3 million patients this year. To drive quality and safety improvements nationwide, the health system is enlisting an array of clinical decision support tools from Wolters Kluwer to help standardize evidence-based practices across care settings.
The goal is to better integrate CDS and real-time surveillance technology into the workflows of doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, officials said, while also offering tools to help patients shape the way their care is delivered.

AI is hyped, but big data, social determinants may have a bigger impact

To VirtualHealth’s Sheela Ramamurthy, technology that works in the background to create a full picture of the patient will greatly impact the sickest, most vulnerable care populations.
August 28, 2018
The shift to value-based care often has C-suite executives wondering how best to support the transition, while ensuring a solid return on investment in the long term. And the key to improving care value is to ensure an organization has the right tools to support patients throughout the care cycle.
To Sheela Ramamurthy, VirtualHealth chief client officer, organizations need to focus on the most vulnerable care populations to make the biggest impact. And while there’s a lot of hype around artificial intelligence and robotics, the tools that run in the background will make the greatest impact on those care populations.
“Solutions that bring data together to address whole-person care not only bridge gaps in both care and services, but help patients stay healthy and out of the hospital or emergency room,” said Ramamurthy. “Actionable insights provided through care management technology help ensure patients with the greatest needs get timely access to services.”

Women Struggling to Get Pregnant Turn to Fertility Apps

By Janet Morrissey
  • Aug. 27, 2018
When Nicole and Christopher Roberts of North Stonington, Conn., decided to start a family in 2016, Nicole quickly became pregnant, but then miscarried three months later.
Getting pregnant a second time became far tougher than they expected. Mrs. Roberts, 32, started taking neonatal vitamins, tracking her menstrual cycle carefully, taking over-the-counterovulation tests, and even trying a few wacky internet suggestions, such as putting her legs up in the air after sex and not moving for half an hour.
“It didn’t work,” she said. “As the months dragged on, there was a feeling of desperation because we wanted it so badly.”
Then she saw an ad for Ava, a Fitbit-like device that’s worn on the wrist at night and uses sensors to identify the five fertile days in a woman’s monthly cycle to improve her odds of conception. “It almost felt too good to be true,” Mrs. Roberts said. She started using the device in March 2017, was pregnant by June, and gave birth to Amelia this year on March 19.

Telemedicine Gives SNFs a Tool to Improve Care, Cut Medicare Costs

Using an after-hours telemedicine platform, a Brooklyn-based skilled nursing facility treated more patients on-site, reduced costly hospital transports and cut its Medicare expenses by more than $1.5 million in one year.

August 27, 2018 - An after-hours telemedicine platform helped a Brooklyn-based skilled nursing facility eliminate almost 100 hospitalizations and save roughly $1.5 million in Medicare costs in one year.
Those outcomes are included in a case study published in the August edition of the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC). Using that as a benchmark, the case study’s authors say a connected care platform could save the nation $1.5 million per year.
“As nursing facilities are called upon to care for higher-acuity patients and drive better clinical outcomes at a fraction of the cost of a hospitalization, systems that deliver quality physicians to the bedside at times of change of condition will be required,” they note. “This study found that use of a dedicated, virtual, after-hours physician coverage service in an SNF demonstrated a significant reduction in Medicare costs (acute inpatient hospital, subacute care, and transfer costs).”

Why Healthcare IoT Is on the Rise [#Infographic]

New networking and cybersecurity demands will come into play as Internet of Things adoption skyrockets in healthcare.
by  Juliet Van Wagenen
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 Internet of Healthcare Things is coming — and for all intents and purposes, it’s already here. According to a new report by Aruba Networks, by next year, 87 percent of healthcare organizations will have adopted IoT. Moreover, more than three-quarters of these organizations believe the technology will completely transform the healthcare industry.
As IoT is injected into everything from X-ray machines to patient monitors and hospital meters, networking demands will change and providers will need to revamp cybersecurity to address an increasingly connected threat landscape.

Partners to let patients access care through video visits

Published August 28 2018, 4:53pm EDT
Partners HealthCare is expanding its caregiving footprint, enabling patients to connect to providers through a secure video visit.
The Boston-based integrated delivery system is deploying what it calls Partners HealthCare On Demand, enabled through technology from Teladoc Health.
Intended for use with urgent care video visits, the technology is intended to provide high-quality urgent care services from Partners HealthCare clinicians for minor illnesses and injuries. It will be first offered to commercial members of the system’s health plan, Neighborhood Health Plan. Patients connect through the web or a mobile device.
Aug 26, 2018, 03:20am

Is Blockchain The Answer To A Better Healthcare Industry?

Andrew Arnold
Data breaches are the nightmare of every major industry. When they occur, the aftermath costs of fixing the problem can be huge. According to a global study conducted by IBM and Ponemon Institute, in 2017 the cost of a data breach that occured in a major company averaged $3.62 million.
The healthcare industry suffers the highest toll in terms of the cost of breaches, being about $380 per single compromised patient record, which is 2.5 times the global average when compared to other industries.
The other major issue with healthcare is that it is a heavily regulated industry in terms of privacy, and for good reason. Personal healthcare information, along with all of the other data therein (birthdates, social security numbers, payment data, etc.) should be some of the most highly protected information on the planet, according to Jack Liu, CEO of ALLIVE, an intelligent healthcare ecosystem based on blockchain technology that provides encrypted health profile, personal AI doctor and comprehensive healthcare services.

Humana launches digital health studio, appoints new chief digital and analytics officer

Aug 27, 2018 2:41pm
Humana is expanding its health IT footprint, opening a dedicated new center for digital analytics in Boston and adding a new position in its executive suite to oversee digital health initiatives.
The insurer will develop digital health tools at what it has dubbed "Humana Studio H," a new 40,000-square foot center in the Seaport neighborhood of Boston.
This is one of several moves “in support of [Humana’s] integrated care delivery model and its ongoing work to develop differentiated health care experiences,” according to the announcement.

DHS warns on BD’s Alaris pump

The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security issued an advisory this week, warning consumers that BD’s (NYSE: BDX) Alaris syringe pumps can be hacked via a vulnerability that gives a remote attacker unauthorized access to the device when it is connected to a terminal server.
BD determined that the affected products are not sold within the U.S., a spokesman told Drug Delivery Business News, noting that the issue only affects older models used outside the U.S.
“BD no longer sells any of these pumps, and any syringe pump we currently sell is not affected by this vulnerability. In addition, this vulnerability only exists when pumps are connected to a terminal server, which is not recommended by BD,” the spokesman told us.

Speed, Not Security, Tops Priority List for Blockchain in Healthcare

Despite the potential for blockchain to improve health data security, just over 20 percent of IT executives believe this is the main advantage of the technology.

August 24, 2018 - While 84 percent of IT executives believe blockchain-based solutions are more secure than traditional systems, just 21 percent cited improved security and lower risk to data as the most significant benefit of blockchain adoption, according to a recent Deloitte survey.
Over thirty percent of respondents to the global, cross-industry poll named accelerated business processes and increased operational efficiencies as the top advantage of blockchain, while 28 percent believe blockchain will help them unlock new revenue sources and business models.
While blockchain is widely viewed as inherently secure, executives may be more interested in using the technology to improve other areas of healthcare before applying it to sensitive patient information.  

Lawmakers pressure ONC to release information blocking rule

Published August 23 2018, 7:19am EDT
Members of the U.S. Senate are turning up the heat on the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to release its long-awaited proposed rule on information blocking.
The move signals increasing pressure on the agency to release details of how it aims to enable individuals to more easily get their health information and share it with providers and others.
A bipartisan amendment to the Senate’s Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019, authored by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), would require the Department of Health and Human Services to provide Congress with an update by September 30 on its progress in establishing the information blocking regulations.

MRI images enable ‘virtual’ biopsies to speed analysis of brain tumors

Published August 27 2018, 4:38pm EDT
A novel deep learning technique can accurately identify genetic mutations in tumors that originate in the brain’s supportive tissues MRI images.
Researchers say that this technology can speed up diagnoses and enable patients to receive more personalized treatment regimens for the condition, known as gliomas. These are a heterogeneous group of primary tumors with variable imaging characteristics, responses to therapy, clinical courses and prognoses. This diversity is attributed in part to the many genetic and epigenetic mutations in the tumors.
The knowledge of a tumor’s genetic information is needed to accurately monitor patients and guide a patient’s therapy. However, currently information regarding the mutations of gliomas is based on an analysis of tumor tissue obtained during an operation. These are often limited to the easily accessible area of the tumor, and that may potentially miss other, different variations within the tumor. This testing can also be expensive, and the results can take weeks, delaying treatment.

AI processing of images can help predict immunotherapy efficacy

Published August 27 2018, 5:16pm EDT
A new study finds that artificial intelligence can process medical images to extract biological and clinical information to aid immunotherapy treatment.
The results, from a French research institute, are important because the research suggests that AI can be used to create a predictive score on the efficacy of immunotherapy in a patient, thus saving time and increasing the chances for success in treatment.
Immunotherapy is the process of using the body’s own immune system to fight the cancer. The goal is for physicians to be able to use imaging to identify biological phenomena in a tumor located in any part of the body without having to perform a biopsy.

HIT Think How blockchain technology could aid key data challenges

Published August 27 2018, 5:25pm EDT
Bitcoin. Ethereum. Cryptocurrency. Most people believe that these terms have absolutely no relevance to healthcare today. However, the technology behind cryptocurrency is slowly becoming relevant to healthcare in an unexpected way.
Blockchain technology is currently known for keeping cryptocurrency transactions secure. With adaptations, it may soon be used to keep personal health information more safe and secure, as its name suggests, than ever before.
The current model for storing data is by keeping said data stored in one place. For example, a Microsoft Word document is saved to a desktop. While access to that document may be made through the server, even remotely, it is still saved in a single, centralized location. Blockchain is, arguably, the exact opposite.

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