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."

Sunday, May 31, 2020

An Addition To The #myHealthRecord Website Warns The System Can Have A Serious / Lethal Downside.

Over the last few years I have been a regular visitor to the myHealthRecord site to browse the press releases and to check what the current advice on various topics related to the system was.

You can imagine my curiosity and interest when a relatively new section appeared at the top of the page.

Here it is:


Learn more about My Health Record and how your privacy is protected.

Read our privacy policy.

In immediate danger? Call 000 now.
For 24/7 support and counselling, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
Call 1800 723 471 if you think your family's safety is at risk due to information in a My Health Record.
Find out more


The link is:


The bold text is the important bit – if you follow the link you see this:

Family and domestic violence

If you are affected by family and domestic violence, you can take steps to control the information in your My Health Record.

In immediate danger? Call 000 now.
For 24/7 support and counselling, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
Call 1800 723 471 if you think your family's safety is at risk due to information in a My Health Record.

Concerned that someone may find you or your child through information in your child’s My Health Record?

For 24/7 support, call the My Health Record helpline on 1800 723 471. There are protections we can quickly put in place to protect your family’s safety. They include:

  • Restrict access to a record
  • Suspend a record
  • Cancel a record
  • See who has access to a record and remove a person’s access if they’re not eligible
  • Set a code to restrict new healthcare providers having access to the record or to specific documents within in it
  • Remove documents from a record

Family and domestic violence isn’t always physical and it can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation. It can happen anywhere, including at home or at work. It can cause you to live in fear for yourself and your family. This can happen even if you’ve left a violent relationship. 

Learn more on the Services Australia website

Here is the direct link:


While I am pretty sure that most of those being threatened with domestic violence (DV) are probably not even aware of the risk of being tracked and traced using the #myHR it seems to me we have to wonder who has assessed the potential level of risk to victims and what they have concluded.

I have heard regularly that the risks exist but have never seen any research / review that has attempted to quantify the scale of the risk. Surely we should have? Has anyone?

That the front page of the #myHR mentions the issue can, of course, alert a perpetrator to another way to find the fleeing victim as well as suggest what you as a victim can do!

We do know that at least woman a week is being murdered by an intimate partner and a many more are suffering on an ongoing basis.

If it was totally clear that the #myHR is helping and benefiting many, having this risk may just be acceptable, but the benefit is not clear and so, unless there is real quantification we should just shut the wretched thing down. Right now it is a clear cut ‘honey pot’ for perpetrators,

Does anyone know the number of calls there have been to the help line?

With the COVID-19 lockdown causing increased DV we need clear stats and metrics urgently so an assessment of the risk / reward can be made. A warning add campaign as suggested by Bernard might also be a good idea to raise awareness of the issue.

Another case I suspect where Government Secrecy will mean we will never know!


AusHealthIT Poll Number 529 – Results – 31st May, 2020.

Here are the results of the poll.

Do You Believe The ADHA Should Be Developing Consumer Facing Clinical Advice Websites Like The One Found At https://covid-19.digitalhealth.gov.au/?

Yes - They Have All The Expertise They Need 0% (0)

No - They Are Not Clinical Experts 100% (108)

I Have No Idea 0% (0)

Total votes: 108

A unanimous vote. The ADHA should not be performing this sort of role!

Any insights on the poll welcome as a comment, as usual.

A good number of votes for some reason.

It must also have been a very easy question with 0/108 readers were not sure how to respond.

Again, many, many thanks to all those that voted!


Saturday, May 30, 2020

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links – 30 May, 2020.

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.

Government roadmap hints at more use of tele-medicine and remote care

The government will look for “innovative operating models” for the NHS and other health and care settings as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Hanna Crouch – May 18, 2020
On May 12, the government published a 50-page document which set out how it plans to get out of the lockdown and recover from the outbreak.
Steps include looking at “innovative operating models for the UK’s health and care settings” in order to “strengthen them for the long term and make them safer for patients and staff in a world where Covid-19 continues to be a risk”.
The roadmap adds: “This might include using more tele-medicine and remote monitoring to give patients hospital-level care from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”

3 States to Use Apple, Google COVID-19 Contact Tracing System

Alabama, North Dakota, and South Carolina will use Apple and Google’s contact tracing technology to slow the spread of COVID-19.
May 21, 2020 - Alabama, North Dakota, and South Carolina are the first states to publicly comment about using Apple and Google’s COVID-19 contact tracing technology, now available to public health agencies on both iOS and Android.
The tech giants’ contact tracing technology, launched on May 20, uses a Bluetooth-based system that stores data on people’s phones rather than a central database. When someone tests positive for COVID-19, the system can send a notification to anyone who was recently near that person, alerting them to contact their local health authority and get tested.
“Exposure Notification has the specific goal of rapid notification, which is especially important to slowing the spread of the disease with a virus that can be spread asymptomatically,” Google and Apple said in a joint statement.

How to bridge the health data information gap after COVID-19

Learning from the pandemic quickly, in order to take the digital health standard forward globally, was the sentiment voiced by leading stakeholders in a recent World Health Assembly virtual panel hosted by HIMSS.
May 22, 2020 10:11 AM

One of the greatest challenges facing the global healthcare community in the post-COVID-19 era will be to improve the handling of health data to provide better connectivity between health systems that remain fragmented and disjointed.
That’s the view of Bernardo Mariano Jr, CIO and director, digital heath and innovation at the World Health Organization, who was speaking during a recent webinar hosted by HIMSS, 'Accelerating Health Systems’ Digital Transformation: Why Digital Health must be the new standard in a post-COVID-19 world', which was moderated by HIMSS president and CEO, Hal Wolf.
Mariano said the pandemic had opened up three battle fronts for the future of healthcare: public health security, the rapid development of digital solutions, and cybersecurity. All three must coalesce, with the ideal outcome being a global surveillance system that brings data from multiple countries, enabling a rapid response to future crises, but also using analytics to share learning.


The barriers to health data exchange that are exacerbating the coronavirus pandemic

Let’s invest in an interoperable health data system that connects all providers, hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies, state and local governments, public health and patients who need access to medical records.
May 22, 2020 11:52 AM
We have been watching the statistics for more than weeks now. We watch with a sense of disbelief, horror, sorrow, hope, disgust, and impatience. We hear about the number of tests performed, positive tests, negative tests, confirmed cases, number of individuals who have recovered, and deaths. We have heard new terms like social distancing, flattening the curve and second wave. We hear statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, Johns Hopkins, our state public health departments and the World Health Organization. 
We also hear what we must do to defeat the virus. The “weapons” according to renowned infectious disease specialist Jim Yong Kim, one of the founders in Partners in Health are described in his recent article in the New Yorker. The five weapons to combat this, and any pandemic, are social distancing, testing, contact tracing, isolation and treatments. But one of the weapons I think that he missed is accurate, timely data. 
How can we know if social distancing is working, when it can be relaxed, the real number of infected individuals, and how to contact trace, or who to isolate or treat if we do not have accurate and timely test results and diagnoses? To protect health care providers, it is vitally important to know if someone who walks into their clinic has ever tested positive for COVID-19 at the emergency room, a local hospital, or even at a drive through testing site.

COVID-19: Acknowledging the need to adopt digital health in New Zealand

“Zoom became the primary form of communication and the data cap was increased dramatically,” said Dr Alan Davis, Clinical Director for Northland District Health Board.
May 22, 2020 01:08 AM
Despite its relatively small size, the government in New Zealand’s managed to effectively mitigate the spread of the virus within the country. In the recent HIMSS webinar “Tackling COVID-19 in Northern New Zealand – the role of digital health”, hosted by Dr Charles Alessi (Chief Clinical Officer HIMSS) with invited guest speaker Dr Alan Davis (Clinical Director for Northland District Health Board), Dr Davis revealed the steps implemented by the government to combat the spread of the epidemic within the country.
While the spread of the virus within New Zealand remained relatively controlled, the government recognized several areas of improvement especially pertaining to the improvement of the lockdown situation within the country. Adoption of digital health in the various healthcare ecosystems had not been well established. In the public health sector, contact tracing is predominantly carried out manually with the transfer of information performed manually as well. 

UnitedHealth, Microsoft Work Create App Screening Returning Workers For COVID-19

May 22, 2020
UnitedHealth Group is working with Microsoft on a set of tools helping employers bring employees back to work safely in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The two have launched ProtectWell, a return-to-work program that helps employees figure out whether they can go back to the job safely. The ProtectWell protocol has incorporated CDC guidelines and current clinical research on limiting the spread of COVID-19.
The ProtectWell app is built on Microsoft Azure, AI and analytics tools, along with the Microsoft Healthcare Bot service. The Healthcare Bot service, which is also based on Azure, is a public cloud service that helps organizations build and deploy AI-powered bots providing personalized access to health information. The effort also relies on clinical and data analytics capabilities from UHG.
The ProtectWell smartphone app includes a screening tool (an AI-powered bot) which asks users a series of questions designed to detect COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. If employee responses suggest that they are infected are at risk of infection, employers can direct their employees to testing options.

Coronavirus Tests the Value of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine

By Kaiser Health News  |   May 22, 2020
Many see the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to learn about the value of AI tools.

·         At least three health care AI technology companies have made funding deals specific to the COVID-19 crisis.
·         Overall, AI's implementation in everyday clinical care is less common than hype over the technology would suggest.
·         Yet the coronavirus crisis has inspired some hospital systems to accelerate promising applications.
Dr. Albert Hsiao and his colleagues at the University of California-San Diego health system had been working for 18 months on an artificial intelligence program designed to help doctors identify pneumonia on a chest X-ray. When the coronavirus hit the United States, they decided to see what it could do.

‘Flight risk’ employees involved in 60% of insider cybersecurity incidents

The majority of staff planning their exit also take sensitive information with them, research suggests.
By Charlie Osborne for Zero Day | May 20, 2020 -- 11:00 GMT (21:00 AEST) | Topic: Security
Employees planning to leave their jobs are involved in 60% of insider cybersecurity incidents and data leaks, new research suggests.
According to the Securonix 2020 Insider Threat Report, published on Wednesday, "flight risk" employees, generally deemed to be individuals on the verge of resigning or otherwise leaving a job, often change their behavioral patterns from two months to two weeks before conducting an insider attack.
Insider incidents are caused by individuals within an organization rather than external threat actors. Employees or contractors with privileged access to systems may cause damage, steal or sell data, or be the cause of a security failure -- such as by uploading or moving confidential resources to third-party services without permission.
A 2019 case involving Trend Micro, for example, involved a rogue employee who was caught stealing customer data in order to sell the records on to others for use in targeted scams. 

How EHRs Are Leveraging Artificial Intelligence Capabilities

EHRs have just started to incorporate artificial intelligence capabilities, but the technology is starting to benefit certain providers, KLAS reports.
May 21, 2020 - Artificial intelligence capabilities are still evolving, but AI is a beneficial option for EHR customers who are prepared to operationalize models and drive outcomes themselves, according to a KLAS report
The KLAS report investigates what four EHR vendors, Epic, Cerner, MEDITECH, and Allscripts, are doing in the world of AI. 
Epic and Cerner are currently the only vendors with live artificial intelligence solutions and are leveraging AI largely for population health management and clinical decision support. 
These are the only vendors with complete voice assistance and navigation capabilities available to consumers and are in the process of developing computerized virtual scribes.

Monitoring COVID-19 from hospital to home: First wearable device continuously tracks key symptoms

Wireless sensor gently sits on throat to monitor coughs, fever and respiratory activity
May 04, 2020 | By Amanda Morris
The more we learn about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the more unknowns seem to arise. These ever-emerging mysteries highlight the desperate need for more data to help researchers and physicians better understand — and treat — the extremely contagious and deadly disease.
Researchers at Northwestern University and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago have developed a novel wearable device and are creating a set of data algorithms specifically tailored to catch early signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19 and to monitor patients as the illness progresses. 
Capable of being worn 24/7, the device produces continuous streams of data and uses artificial intelligence to uncover subtle, but potentially life-saving, insights. Filling a vital data gap, it continuously measures and interprets coughing and respiratory activity in ways that are impossible with traditional monitoring systems.
Developed in an engineering laboratory at Northwestern and using custom algorithms being created by Shirley Ryan AbilityLab scientists, the devices are currently being used in a study at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab by COVID-19 patients and the healthcare workers who treat them. About 25 affected individuals began using the devices two weeks ago. They are being monitored both in the clinic and at home, totaling more than 1,500 cumulative hours and generating more than one terabyte of data.

IHH Healthcare launches telemedicine services in Singapore, Malaysia and other key markets

Earlier in March, IHH had also invested in Singapore-headquartered telehealth startup Doctor Anywhere.
May 21, 2020 07:52 AM
IHH Healthcare, Asia’s largest privately owned healthcare group, last week announced that it has rolled out telemedicine services in Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey, India and Hong Kong. This rollout means patients are now able to “enjoy more convenient access to IHH’s full suite of services from consultation to doorstep drug delivery, with the option for a seamless transfer to the group’s brick-and-mortar facilities, if necessary,” IHH said.
In Malaysia, IHH patients can book virtual consultations with doctors at 11 Pantai Hospitals and 4 Gleneagles Hospitals. For Singapore, patients can book virtual consultations with doctors from Parkway Shenton clinics, via downloading the MyHealth Connect app and making an appointment to join a teleconsult session.
For Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia and the Netherlands, virtual consultations are available at all 21 Acibadem hospitals. In India, the virtual consultations are available at 23 Fortis Hospitals, 5 Gleneagles Global hospitals and Continental Hospital. For Hong Kong, the service is available at Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong. 
According to IHH, Fortis has conducted more than 12,600 teleconsultations since it launched the service across 23 of its hospitals in India on 27 March and sees an average of more than 370 patients online daily. In Turkey alone, more than 1,300 teleconsultations have also been conducted at Acibadem hospitals since its Doctor Online platform went live on 31 March this year.

Hospital EHR spending projected to reach $9.9B by 2024

Despite budgetary strains from the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report predicts regulatory requirements and medical-service spending growth will benefit electronic health record vendors in the years to come.
May 21, 2020 02:44 PM
The electronic health record industry has benefited from steady growth over the last few years, but a new report warns the financial squeeze from COVID-19 may lead to setbacks for many EHR vendors. 
Even so, the business research company Freedonia Group points out in its report that the crisis has also demonstrated the importance of both EHRs and interoperability between systems.
Report authors also predict that EHR vendors will benefit from regulatory requirements around EHR implementation and projected growth in hospital spending.
"US expenditures on electronic health records (EHRs) are forecast to total $19.9 billion in 2024," according to the report, which predicts hospital EHR spending will reach $9.9 billion. 

COVID-19: Orion Health to deliver national algorithm hub in New Zealand

The concept for the New Zealand Algorithm Hub was initially developed through the Precision Driven Health research partnership between Orion Health and partners.
May 21, 2020 12:01 AM
New Zealand-based healthcare software company Orion Health announced this week that it will deliver a free national solution to support scenario modelling, risk prediction, forecasting and planning throughout New Zealand’s COVID-19 response. The New Zealand Algorithm Hub has been accelerated to market through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s COVID-19 Innovation Acceleration fund.
According to Orion Health, the hub will provide the infrastructure, tooling and resources necessary to support operational modelling and timely information dissemination to the New Zealand Government, healthcare organizations and professionals.
The company said it will work with local and international health, research and data science communities to identify, prioritize and deploy algorithms and models that are best suited to supporting New Zealand’s pandemic response.

A Virtual Epic Go-Live

May 21, 2020
The following is an interview with Rebecca Manne, RN, BSN – Executive Vice President, EHR Implementation at Optimum Healthcare IT, to learn about their recent experience doing a virtual Epic EHR Go-Live at Valley Children’s Healthcare.
Tell us more about yourself and Optimum Healthcare IT.
My name is Rebecca Manne, and I am the Executive Vice President of EHR Implementation at Optimum Healthcare IT. I have over 40 years of clinical nursing experience in both inpatient and outpatient environments, along with more than 15 years of experience in healthcare technology. I joined Optimum as the Practice Director with the responsibility of building our training and activation practice. To date, we have completed over 150 training and go-live projects.
Optimum Healthcare IT is a Best in KLAS healthcare IT staffing and consulting services firm based in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Optimum provides world-class professional staffing services to fill any need as well as consulting services that encompass advisory, EHR implementation, training and activation, EHR optimization, community connect, managed services, enterprise resource planning, security, and ancillary services – supporting our client’s needs through the continuum of care. Our organization is led by a leadership team with extensive experience in providing expert healthcare staffing and consulting solutions to all types of organizations.

COVID-19 Gives Providers a Blueprint for New Telehealth Strategies

The lessons learned in applying telehealth and mHealth to a pandemic will help health systems and hospitals shape their connected health strategies far beyond this crisis.
May 18, 2020 - It’s been said, rightly and tragically so, that it took a pandemic to prove the value of telehealth to the American healthcare system.
As health systems and hospitals adjust their workflows to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, they’re learning some valuable lessons on how to best use connected health technology. With in-person care reduced to emergencies and an emphasis on keeping patients and providers separated, they’re using telemedicine platforms and mHealth devices – including the telephone – to deliver care.
And they’re planning beyond the COVID-19 crisis, with telehealth front and center.

Expanding – Temporarily – the Telehealth Playing Field

At the onset of the pandemic, state and federal regulators moved quickly to reduce the barriers to telehealth adoption, understanding that these new tools could speed access to care while protecting healthcare workers.

3 Pillars That Impact Intrinsic Motivation, Clinician Burnout

Two medical professionals cited a study that found three pillars that could decrease clinician burnout in the ever-evolving medical landscape.
May 18, 2020 - Enhancing provider autonomy, competence, and relatedness can improve intrinsic motivation and potentially reduce clinician burnout, according to a perspective piece published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
COVID-19 has shined a spotlight on clinician burnout and its massive impact on healthcare professionals in an unprecedented manner.
EHR implementation and the changes in the healthcare system were supposed to make life easier for clinicians across the country. However, the burden that it has caused has not only had a profound impact on clinicians, but it is also costing the healthcare system roughly $4.6 billion per year, according to the entry.
“Initially, the prevailing attitude was that burnout is a physician problem and that those who can’t adapt to the new environment need to get with the program or leave,” wrote article authors Pamela Hartzband, MD, and Jerome Groopman, MD. “Some dismissed the problem as a generation of ‘dinosaur’ doctors whining and pining for an inefficient, low-tech past. But recently, it has become clear that millennials, residents, and even medical students are showing signs of burnout.

Artificial Intelligence Tool Identifies COVID-19 in CT Scans

Mount Sinai researchers are the first in the US to use artificial intelligence to evaluate patients with COVID-19.
May 19, 2020 - An artificial intelligence tool can quickly detect COVID-19 based on CT scans of the chest and patients’ clinical data, according to a study published in Nature Medicine.
The standard way of testing for COVID-19 can take up to two days to complete, researchers noted. Chest CT scans are a useful tool for evaluating and diagnosing symptomatic patients suspected to have the virus, but these scans alone have limited predictive value. This highlights the need to incorporate clinical data into the diagnosis process – an ideal use case for artificial intelligence.
“AI has huge potential for analyzing large amounts of data quickly, an attribute that can have a big impact in a situation such as a pandemic,” said Zahi Fayad, PhD, Director of the BioMedical Engineering and Imaging Institute (BMEII) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  
“At Mount Sinai, we recognized this early and were able to mobilize the expertise of our faculty and our international collaborations to work on implementing a novel AI model using CT data from coronavirus patients in Chinese medical centers.”

Protecting Privacy In Digital Contact Tracing For COVID-19: Avoiding A Regulatory Patchwork

Contact tracing for COVID-19 is a necessary tool to allow communities to reopen. Unfortunately, because of the speed and numbers of COVID-19 cases, manual contact tracing is unlikely to be sufficient. Digital contact tracing can provide enough capacity but comes with serious privacy concerns.
Digital contact tracing substitutes mobile apps for individuals who track down instances of COVID-19 exposure through interviews with coronavirus carriers. Individuals install these applications on their phones. The app uses either GPS or Bluetooth data to record when two users have been in close proximity of each other for a sufficiently long period of time for the virus to be transmitted. When a user reports that he or she is COVID-19 positive, the application can immediately alert other users who were near the infected user, encouraging them to get tested. 
In the United States, digital contact tracing falls into a strange category in which at times it is governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), but at times not. There are efforts, led by the Senate, to implement data privacy regulations to more broadly cover digital contact tracing. Unfortunately, these efforts would create an unworkable regulatory patchwork in conjunction with HIPAA. We should rethink our approach to the governance of digital contact tracing data to create one regulatory regimen to oversee these programs and maximize consumer protections, regardless of who is implementing the apps.
May 20, 2020 / 1:02 AM /

Microsoft to adapt its cloud software for healthcare industry

(Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said on Tuesday it plans to roll out a version of its cloud-based software that will be modified to suit the needs of healthcare organizations.
While Microsoft is known for general productivity software such as Outlook and the chat app Teams, it also makes more specialized business software such as programs used by customer service agents and artificial intelligence tools that software developers can use to make chat bots.
Microsoft said it will pull all of its technologies together into a package it calls “Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare.” The system will allow hospitals to maintain data throughout an interaction with a patient.

How the Interoperability Rule, APIs Could Reduce Clinician Burden

Following the ONC final rule, health IT experts from Pew Charitable Trusts laid out three API improvements that could lessen clinician burden.
May 19, 2020 - The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) final interoperability rule has the potential to transform EHR systems by improving interoperability and addressing clinician burden, according to health IT experts from Pew Charitable Trusts and American Medical Association.
Similar to how cellular phones have transformed technology and enhanced daily life for individuals, Pew explained that application programming interfaces (APIs) and enhanced interoperability mandated in the ONC final rule can have a similar positive impact on the future of EHRs.
While the ONC final rule takes a hard stance on information blocking, it also calls on medical providers and device developers to promote patient data access using third-party apps and APIs.

COVID-19: a technologist’s tale

COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus, has entered the lexicon as if it was always there. Globally the response has divided and united populations and no less so in the UK, says global digital adviser and NHS clinician Dr Sam Shah.
May 20, 2020 09:19 AM
COVID-19 has been deadly, it’s infective and has posed the biggest public health risk to society in almost a hundred years. It’s far from over and whilst the first wave may have occurred there are likely to be subsequent waves which may arrive in the winter months if not sooner. So far we have seen responses from across government, the NHS, local authorities and wider society coupled with industry providing support and in many cases much needed PPE. There has been a lot of attention on tragic deaths, especially in deprived communities.
Amongst these tragic circumstances there has also been a lot of attention on technology in healthcare and public health. Some of that technology is an acceleration of what was already there, some of that technology may be transformative but there has been appetite for change and focus on doing things using technology. 

I need some drugs

Analogies are often drawn between the logistics in retail and those in pharmacy. Early on there were many ideas about greater use of online pharmacies, such as Pharmacy2U or Echo. This is only natural as it reduces footfall to physical places and helps avoid the need for those who are most vulnerable in having to leave their homes. Many of the online pharmacies had rapid uptake and a bit like the retailers also had to scale up their workforce to cope with demand. The suppliers to pharmacies were also challenged with ensuring the flow of stock could get to the right places given that much of it is on physical pharmacies.

Healthcare’s Digital Front Door – Are We Ready to Remove the Cash Cows of Healthcare?

May 20, 2020
Yesterday, I came across this excellent piece by Sue Schade called “Knocking on the digital front door.”  Here’s an excerpt of what Schade shares:
An integrated strategy for a patient centered digital front door has many components including the core website, the patient portal linked to the electronic health record, improved access and scheduling capabilities, call centers, and care delivery through virtual visits. The goal is to meet patients where they are and guide them along the right care pathway with efficient, consistent, and easy processes in the background.
Schade then goes on to talk about the challenges healthcare organizations face in creating a new digital front door for their organization.  One of the biggest challenges is the fact that there are a wide variety of stakeholders that manage the front door for healthcare organizations today including marketing, IT, clinical, ambulatory vs acute, etc.

Scripps, Stanford Partner With Fitbit To Examine Role Of Wearables In Infectious Disease Management

May 20, 2020
Scripps Research and Stanford Medicine are collaborating with wearables vendor Fitbit to see if the data its devices collect can help detect, track and manage infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
The Stanford Healthcare Innovation Lab has launched a study to see whether data collected from wearables, including Fitbit devices, can be leveraged to predict the onset of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 before actual symptoms being to appear. The study relies on data such as heart rate, skin temperature and blood oxygen saturation.
The announcement follows on work by Scripps Research Translational Institute looking at how wearables might help manage flu epidemics.  Its research suggests that wearables data can be used to let health officials know about emerging flu outbreaks in real time.
The Scripps study, which appears in The Lancet Digital Health, used de-identified data from Fitbit devices equipped with sleep- and heart-rate tracking capabilities. Scientists were able to demonstrate that using this data, they could improve predictions regarding influenza-like illness at the state level relative to CDC data.

GYANT Opens the Box on How to Apply Machine Learning to Telemedicine

May 20, 2020
Successful examples of AI in health care have reached the news often enough to make it clear that modern algorithms can be valuable. But we don’t want AI to be a black box. So I felt it a great opportunity to talk to Stefan Behrens, CEO of and co-founder of GYANT, a company that makes a healthcare virtual assistant. He told me a bit about how their machine learning algorithms work, and how they can explain how they reached their recommendations. I’ll summarize GYANT’s service in this article and explain their machine learning at a very high level, with minimal technical jargon.
What Front Door Does for Providers and Patients
On May 13, GYANT reported metrics on the adoption and success rate of its COVID-19 Screener & Emergency Response Assistant (COVID-19 SERA). This is an interactive screening tool, integrated into a health care provider’s system, that helps patients determine whether they should come in for treatment. The following screenshot shows a sample question-and-answer screen, which is asking the patient about symptoms and other high-risk factors.

Paying the Ransom Can Double Ransomware Attack Recovery Costs

The FBI has repeatedly warned against paying the ransom, but Sophos research confirms giving into the hackers’ demands does not ease recovery time – and doubles the overall recovery costs.
May 15, 2020 - The FBI, Microsoft, and others have repeatedly warned victims to not pay the ransom demands after a cyberattack for a host a reasons. And new research from Sophos confirms that ransomware payments can actually double the amount of recovery costs and don’t ensure an easier path to recovery.
To compile its State of Ransomware 2020 report, Sophos researchers surveyed 5,000 global IT decision makers across a range of sectors. They found that 51 percent of these organizations faced a ransomware attack within the last year, compared to 54 percent in 2017.
For the US, 59 percent of respondents reported falling victim to an attack. Notably, 25 percent of US respondents said they were able to stop an attack before data was encrypted. But overall, data was encrypted in 73 percent of these successful attacks.
On average, the cost to recover from these attacks – without paying the ransom – totaled more than $732,520 in the US, which included business downtime, lost orders, operational costs, device costs, and other expenses. But when the organizations paid, the recovery costs nearly doubled to $1.4 million.

Deliver better experiences, insights, and care with Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare

May 19, 2020
Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Health, Microsoft
Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Health
The world after this pandemic will not be the same as the one that came before it.
From remote teamwork and telehealth, to supply management and customer service, to critical cloud infrastructure and security—we are working alongside customers every day to help manage through a world of remote everything.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of people’s lives and every aspect of the healthcare system. It’s preventing healthcare delivery practices from operating at normal business levels, it’s disrupting patient access to high-quality medical care, and it’s forcing everyone to think about how to continue pushing forward in new and different ways. Our commitment has always been to ensure the tools we provide are up to the task of supporting our customers in their time of need. Hear CEO Satya Nadella’s words for more on Microsoft’s thoughts for our healthcare workers.
In that same spirit, Microsoft is announcing its first industry-specific cloud offering, Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, now available in public preview and through a free trial for the next six months. The offer brings together existing and future capabilities that deliver automation and efficiency on high-value workflows, as well as deep data analytics for both structured and unstructured data, that enable customers to turn insight into action. A robust partner ecosystem extends the value of the platform with additional solutions to address the most pressing challenges the healthcare industry is facing today. Healthcare will be the first industry served with additional industry-specific clouds to follow.

How to avoid the ‘new tech, old habits’ dilemma

Hospitals often implement new technologies, but remain wed to the old ways of doing things. In a recent HIMSS20 Digital presentation, two experts offered some perspective on effective change-management strategies.
May 19, 2020 11:18 AM
As the old saying goes, “There’s a right way to do things, and there’s a wrong way to do things.” When it comes to implementation best practices for implementing patient engagement technologies, two health IT experts say it’s important set it up right the first time.
Jonathan Minson, lead software architect at Oklahoma Heart Hospital and Chief Technology Officer at vendor Encardio Health, along with Kevin Montgomery, Chief Technology Officer at patient engagement company Relatient, explained why during a recent HIMSS20 Digital session.
In their presentation, Achieving Patient Engagement in a Mobile-First Market, Minson and Montgomery described how too many hospitals and health systems want to do something new with patient engagement tech – but still want to stick with old practices and processes.

From precision medicine to precision health

Precision medicine’s equivalent for people who are not necessarily ill, precision health, is only now starting to be developed.
May 19, 2020 02:50 AM
Precision health is the delivery of customer and personalised solutions to people to encourage them to better manage their health, by addressing potential behavioral risk factors, like lack of exercise, and also better managing some predisposing other factors that can cause disease, like genetic predisposition.
There are various drivers encouraging change and these are starting to demonstrably exert their influence as well as start to act synergistically.
These changes comprise:
  1. Ageing and accompanying multi-morbidity, both of which drive increases in activity in existing health and care systems as they strive to manage non-communicable diseases. This increase in activity puts further financial pressures on these systems which are already over- trading” and further encourage the adoption of value-based solutions where prevention of disease becomes at least as important as treatment of existing conditions.
  2. The explosion of data availability and the deployment of processes that allow for interoperability. This drives the potential to develop more customised treatment plans for people. This availability of data is likely to be further enhanced once 5G networks are employed and the internet of things enabled. 
  1. The availability of genomic information around individuals which is becoming more commonplace. It enables people to better assess their likelihood of developing disease and thus better target their efforts towards risk mitigation in situations where we understand the pathophysiology of disease and the behaviors we need to adopt to reduce the likelihood of developing these.

New standards will help advance medical device connectivity

Better interoperability between devices could result in the "silent ICU" in which alarms are not constantly going off by a patient's bed.

Advancements in connectivity between medical devices are expected in the coming years, as industry experts are planning to roll out new standards they say will reshape technological interoperability.
As medical technology has continued to advance, interoperability capabilities between devices such as ventilators and fusion pumps have lagged, according to Tobias Klotz, system architect for Dr├Ągerwerk AG and Co. KGaA.
Klotz, who spoke in a presentation for HIMSS20 Digital, said new standards will lay the groundwork for vendors to make products easily connectable through the use of vendor-independent medical apps. As it is, he said, patients are connected to multiple devices by multiple vendors that have little if any connectivity.

Hospitals should prepare now for future telehealth demands

Current patient deferral of nonurgent services could lead to a "care debt" down the line, say Duke researchers. To meet those needs, health systems should be building out a robust telemedicine infrastructure.
May 19, 2020 09:17 AM
In an article published in the Journal of the American Informatics Association this week, Duke University researchers examined COVID-19's effect on transforming the telehealth landscape.
"Whether healthcare enterprises are ready or not, the new reality is that virtual care has arrived," researchers said. 
As federal and state governments evolve in messaging around COVID-19, healthcare facilities have responded accordingly. These responses have included ramping up support for telehealth services to minimize in-person contact in both inpatient and outpatient care.
After examining a number of examples reported by U.S. healthcare organizations, researchers noted the advantages and limitations of a variety of telehealth platforms during multiple phases of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Fewer HIT Leaders Are Involving Employees Technology Investment Process

May 19, 2020
A new survey of healthcare workers has concluded that in the struggle to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer HIT execs are involving employees in health IT investment decisions. This is not a good sign, as it suggests that we may see a new wave of Health IT investments that end users hate.
The survey, which was conducted by Eagle Hill Consulting, involved interviewing a random sample of 675 healthcare industry employees, asking questions about technologies like AI, robotics and automation.
The researchers found that health IT investment levels remain high, with almost half of those surveyed reporting that their employer introduced a new technology during the last two years.

How to Use Telehealth in Cancer Care During the Coronavirus Pandemic and Beyond

By Christopher Cheney  |   May 19, 2020

For cancer patients, telemedicine is appropriate for many consultations and follow-up visits.


·         Initial consultations are appropriate via telehealth when cancer patients have nonpalpable findings such as an abnormal mammogram, a breast cancer specialist says.
·         In cancer care, best practices for virtual visits include sticking to the pattern of an in-person visit, the specialist says.
·         Telemedicine is well-suited for tumor boards—multidisciplinary meetings held regularly to review cancer cases.
The coronavirus pandemic has revealed multiple opportunities to use telehealth in cancer care, a breast cancer specialist says.
Telemedicine provides physician practices with a safe method to interact with patients remotely during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Telemedicine also enables physician practices to expand services for patient care such as virtual patient check-in capabilities and remote patient monitoring that collects biometric data.

You Don't Need Invasive Tech for Successful Contact Tracing. Here's How It Works.

By ProPublica  |   May 19, 2020

While most discussions have focused on countries’ use of surveillance technology, contact tracing is actually a fairly manual process. After interviewing contact tracing experts and taking an online course, ProPublica health reporter Caroline Chen presents her takeaways.

This story was first published on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 in ProPublica.
I want you to mentally prepare yourself for a phone call that you could receive sometime over the course of this pandemic: in the next few months or year.
Your phone might ring, and when you pick it up, you may hear someone say, “Hi, I’m calling from the health department.” After verifying your identity, the person may say something like, “I’m afraid we have information that you were in close contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.”
The person calling is what’s known as a contact tracer. As most states begin to lift restrictions on movement and people once more start to eat in restaurants, work in offices and get on public transit, these phone calls will become more frequent. State public health departments are hiring thousands of these workers, and experts are calling for more than 100,000 contact tracers to be deployed across America.
I can only imagine how I would feel if I got a call telling me that I had been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient — shocked, a little scared and possibly a bit in denial. But after spending a week talking to contact tracing experts across the country, and taking an online course as well, I think I’d also feel one more thing: empowered. Here’s why.

Microsoft to adapt its cloud for healthcare industry

By Stephen Nellis on May 20, 2020 6:46AM

Maintain data throughout an interaction with a patient.

Microsoft plans to roll out a version of its cloud-based software that will be modified to suit the needs of healthcare organizations.
While Microsoft is known for general productivity software such as Outlook and the chat app Teams, it also makes more specialised business software such as programs used by customer service agents and artificial intelligence tools that software developers can use to make chat bots.
Microsoft said it will pull all of its technologies together into a package it calls "Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare."

Industry Stakeholders Say Telehealth Is Key to COVID-19 Response

Telehealth is helping overcome many common challenges organizations face in battling the coronavirus outbreak, according to a recent Insights by Xtelligent Healthcare Media survey.
May 15, 2020 - Telehealth is playing a critical role in the healthcare industry’s response to COVID-19. The technology is helping a variety of organizations overcome some of the pandemic’s most common challenges.
In fact, telehealth is helping organizations respond to a limited supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), increased patient flow, increased demands for testing, and the worried well, according to a recent Insights by Xtelligent Healthcare Media survey.
Stakeholders from hospitals, health systems, primary care physician offices, specialist offices, federally qualified health centers, and accountable care organizations provided insight into their coronavirus response strategies. The goal of the survey was to understand how the industry was responding to the pandemic and share strategies for overcoming some of its most common challenges.

Cut Through the Fog of Coronavirus War

The CDC needs to streamline and publish clinical data to help doctors on the front lines.

By Scott Gottlieb
May 17, 2020 2:08 pm ET
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made its first definitive statement last week describing a rare but disturbing condition in children related to Covid-19. Doctors in the U.K. first reported in April a spike in previously healthy children presenting with features similar to another rare condition, Kawasaki disease, whose symptoms include rash and fever and, later in its progression, inflammation of blood vessels.
This is a reminder of how much we don’t know about Covid-19. We’ve learned a lot over the past two months as Covid-19 became an epidemic, with 1.5 million Americans diagnosed and more than 90,000 dead. New insights have translated into improved care. This knowledge is saving lives and will be especially useful if infections flare up again.
Yet such data on patients isn’t being streamlined and shared with the public quickly. There are shortcomings in our ability to access the electronic systems designed to help glean facts from clinical data. CDC hasn’t been filling its traditional role of promptly publishing medical findings that may help doctors care for patients. Instead, a lot of this information is being passed around social media, by email or even through word of mouth. It’s trial and error on a global scale.

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a long-term impact on healthcare. Here are 4 changes to expect

May 18, 2020 3:00pm
Even after the immediate emergency of the current COVID-19 pandemic passes, the healthcare industry won't return to business as usual, experts say.
Healthcare is in a state of flux and there will be financial tough times in the near term for many health systems, according to Justin Gernot, vice president at healthcare advisory firm Healthbox.
"It’s an emphasis on the haves and have-nots of healthcare providers," said Gernot speaking during a recent virtual media event sponsored by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) on the impact of the pandemic on the future of healthcare.
"The organizations that had a tight digital strategy, that were good at telehealth, had money in the bank, by and large, those healthcare systems, unless they are in hard-hit areas, those systems will do well and emerge with an eye toward acquisitions and advancing the position of strength they have,” he said.

How will Europe’s coronavirus contact-tracing apps work across borders?

Natasha Lomas@riptari  / 4:00 am AEST May 16, 2020
A major question mark attached to national coronavirus contact-tracing apps is whether they will function when citizens of one country travel to another. Or will people be asked to download and use multiple apps if they’re traveling across borders?
Having to use multiple apps when travelling would further complicate an unproven technology which seeks to repurpose standard smartphone components for estimating viral exposure — a task for which our mobile devices were never intended.
In Europe, where a number of countries are working on smartphone apps that use Bluetooth radios to try to automate some contact tracing by detecting device proximity, the interoperability challenge is particularly pressing, given the region is criss-crossed with borders. Although, in normal times, European Union citizens can all but forget they exist thanks to agreements intended to facilitate the free movement of EU people in the Schengen Area.
Currently, with many EU countries still in degrees of lockdown, there’s relatively little cross-border travel going on. But the European Commission has been focusing attention on supporting the tourism sector during the coronavirus crisis — proposing a tourism and transport package this week which sets out recommendations for a gradual and phased lifting of restrictions.

New Ventilator Surveillance System Supports Frontline Caregivers During Coronavirus Pandemic

By Christopher Cheney  |   May 15, 2020
Ventilator information is transmitted to respiratory therapy supervisors, who can direct respiratory therapists to care for ventilated patients.
During the coronavirus pandemic, frontline respiratory therapists have been inundated with ventilated patients.
·         The new surveillance system connects ventilators, which were previously standalone devices, to Yale New Haven Health's information technology network.
·         The health system launched the surveillance system with 60 ventilators and plans to have remote monitoring in place for 270 ventilators by the end of the year.
·         Yale New Haven Health has launched an initiative to monitor ventilators remotely.
Ventilators are essential equipment for the care of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients who experience respiratory failure. During the COVID-2019 pandemic, ventilators have been not only in short supply but also a staffing pain point, stretching the ranks of respiratory therapists and pulmonologists.

Analysis: Privacy worries could derail virus tracking plans

May 18, 2020
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Worries about the breach of individual privacy rights could undermine Louisiana’s ability to quickly pinpoint those who have encountered someone infected with COVID-19, a tracking plan that public health experts say is critical to slowing the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has started reopening much of Louisiana’s economy, saying residents have done well with staying home and apart from others that the state’s no longer at risk of overwhelming its hospitals with COVID-19 patients.
Loosening restrictions means more people are moving around, visiting salons and restaurants, attending churches and encountering others. To avoid overwhelming spikes in coronavirus cases, infectious disease specialists say, requires robust testing to locate virus hot spots and widespread contact tracing to determine who has come into close contact with someone infected so they can be urged to self-isolate.
Dr. Alex Billioux, leader of Louisiana’s public health office, said he knows some people will find the process of contact tracing “scary,” to be asked about their interactions with people and businesses or to find out someone else has shared information about where they’ve been.

HIE Launches New COVID-19 Data Monitoring Platform

May 18, 2020
The following is an interview with Jaime Bland, CEO of Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NEHII).
Tell us about the new COVID-19 Data Monitoring Platform that NEHII launched.  What does it accomplish and how does it work?
NEHII partnered with KPI Ninja to develop the COVID-19 Data Monitoring Platform.  The COVID-19 platform ingests data from multiple sources including ADT messages, EHR daily extracts, lab hub tests, and summary reports.  The platform combines the real-time data being received by NEHII into a single set of dashboards for consistent information for planning purposes and decision-making.  Specifically, the dashboards include real-time bed management, labs and patient tracking, and ventilator and PPE tracking information as well as forecasting of capacity and resource utilization. To integrate the various sources, NEHII relied on Optum, InterSystems, 4Medica, and NextGate, and for components as data sources or identity matching.
Who will use the data that’s being collected on this platform?
Current users of the platform are local and state health officials.
What made it possible to bring all these organizations together? Who drove the collaboration?
NEHII has long been recognized as the source for clinical and population health information for Nebraska.  Transferring into a COVID-19 trusted source was a natural transition for NEHII and our partners.  The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and Governor Pete Ricketts office were supportive of NEHII efforts.

Healthcare IoT Data at the Point of Care

May 18, 2020
IoT is here to stay. Smaller devices and more intelligent sensors, combined with the advent of 5G, are ushering in a new era of patient-generated data. Intelligence at the edge also opens the door to distributed Artificial Intelligence (AI) and analytics.  Plus, the current environment has pushed this to the forefront even more.
When building out your Edge and IoT ecosystem – both at the hospital and at the patient’s home – how should cybersecurity tools be incorporated to avoid unauthorized access? With new access points being introduced, how can security blueprints be designed proactively– rather than being an afterthought?  What are the exciting IoT solutions that are being implemented at the point of care?  What’s the overlap of AI and IoT and are we heading towards the “Artificial Intelligence of Things”?

Irish drone operator bins fast food for medical drops

By Padraic Halpin and Jason Cairnduff on May 19, 2020 12:36AM
WorkS with Ireland's health service operator to try out the system.
Ireland's Manna Aero should have been dropping off its first takeaway orders around a Dublin university campus by drone in March but then the coronavirus pandemic shut the country and its pilot programme down.
Within a week, the drone company was testing out an entirely different concept - delivering medication and critical supplies to isolated elderly people whom the Irish government had told to stay home to avoid infection.
Manna worked with Ireland's health service operator to try out the system in Moneygall, the small midlands town best known for its ancestral links to former U.S. President Barack Obama, who visited in 2011.

Banner Health launches virtual waiting rooms for telehealth and in-person doctor appointments

Conversational mobile technology allows patients to safely access care
The health care industry must rapidly innovate to ensure all patients can see their doctors again through safe, private and convenient channels
PHOENIX (May 14, 2020) -- As part of reimagining the health care delivery experience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Banner Health has launched a next-generation virtual waiting room across its network of 300 clinics that serve more than one million patients throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.
The LifeLink mobile chatbots interact with Banner patients in a conversational style to help complete digitized intake forms, provide education and enable remote check-in capabilities for all telehealth and in-person physician office visits.
“The health care industry must rapidly innovate to ensure all patients can see their doctors again through safe, private and convenient channels,” said Jeff Johnson, Banner vice president of digital business. “The traditional patient experience of walking into an office, filling out paper forms, reading instructions and then waiting for an exam room had to change. LifeLink chatbots have already helped hundreds of thousands of Banner patients navigate emergency room visits, so the concept of digitizing regular doctor appointment visits with a mobile, virtual waiting room chatbot assistant was a natural extension of the technology.”

How coronavirus is changing NHS technology

By Sooraj Shah
·         15 May 2020
"Many people within the NHS are talking about two years of transformation done in two weeks," says Adrian Byrne, chief information officer at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHSFT).
His hospital has been among the many seeing innovations, including the use of a chatbot to provide automatic alerts for Covid-19 test results.
"Doctors don't look on the system every five minutes to see whether test results are back and this can waste time in being able to discharge or provide patients with care," says Mr Byrne.
The coronavirus outbreak has spurred hospitals to deal with all sorts of technology issues, not least staff having to use devices while dressed in full personal protective equipment (PPE).

Contact tracing must balance privacy and public health

By David Blumenthal and Richard Blumenthal
May 15, 2020
Contact tracing armies in California and New Jersey. Rapid-response contact tracing in Washington. Track and trace in Connecticut. Across the country, governors are putting contact tracing — the tried-and-true public health practice of finding individuals who were in contact someone with an infectious disease — front and center in their Covid-19 reopening strategies.
This is excellent news. Contact tracing, paired with widespread testing, is an essential component of the toolbox for containing a disease outbreak. This is especially true for a disease like Covid-19, which can be spread by people who have no symptoms. Robust contact tracing is one of the reasons why Germany, South Korea, and China have so far fared better than the U.S. in the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the digital age, contact tracing comes with a modern twist: the ability to use smartphones and devices to do the work of walking back through weeks of our lives to find out where we have been, who we have been with, and how widely we may have spread a virus. Digital contact tracing is moving fast. Google and Apple are making test versions of their tracing software available to public health agencies, and Australia’s government already has a contact tracing app called COVIDSafe up and running. Three million Aussies downloaded it in the first three days.

Weekly News Recap

  • Cerner moves its October health conference to an online format.
  • Epic is working with an unnamed group on a COVID-19 “immunity passport.”
  • AMA publishes privacy principles for companies that aren’t HIPAA covered entities, such as technology firms.
  • Quarterly reports from Livongo and Health Catalyst beat Wall Street expectations for revenue and earnings.
  • Akron Children’s Hospital creates the country’s first endowed chair in telehealth and appoints its CMIO to the role.
  • Researchers find that an app’s four-question COVID-19 questionnaire can determine with 80% accuracy if the user is infected.
  • KLAS says that more than 100 Epic customers are using its AI-powered model, making it the only inpatient EHR vendor to have a significant number of sites live on AI.

Cyber company deploys 50m digital health passports

Wednesday, 13 May, 2020
British cyber tech company VST Enterprises (VSTE) has signed a deal with digital health technology company Circle Pass Enterprises (CPE) to integrate its cybersecurity technology into a secure digital health passport — COVI-PASS.
VSTE’s VCode and VPlatform cybersecurity technologies will be paired with approved SARS-CoV-2 testing kits to provide an authenticated gateway for public services, businesses and employees to manage a safe return to work, life and safe travel.
COVI-PASS uses colour mapping (green, amber, red) to authenticate and validate a COVID-19 test, providing test history and relevant health information, allowing for accurate data metrics at specific times and locations.
The cybersecurity technology developed by VSTE can be used by various sectors including critical-care workers, doctors, nurses and health and emergency services workers.

Televisits may be here to stay for doctors, patients

Fran Kritz, The Washington Post
Published 8:55 am PDT, Saturday, May 16, 2020
Since the 1960s, telehealth cheerleaders have been predicting that video visits with doctors would soon become common for many U.S. patients. That became true only weeks ago, six decades later, when the coronavirus pandemic essentially shut down the world.
"Since about mid-March, it's become a reality and even a likelihood for millions of patients," said Lori Uscher-Pines, a senior policy researcher at the Rand Corp., whose research includes innovations in telehealth. "Before then, less than 10 percent of U.S. adults had ever had a telemedicine visit. But covid-19 [is changing] all that, likely permanently."
The terms telehealth, telemedicine and e-health have nuances when used legally, but for consumers, they are usually used interchangeably and refer to health care provided by a professional in a non-face-to-face manner, says Mei Wa Kwang, executive director of the Public Health Institute's Center for Connected Health Policy in Sacramento. Options can include a phone call, email, text, video visit or even a video email.
Before mid-March, Jay Mazel, a cardiac electrophysiologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, gave little thought to telemedicine. His specialty involves the treatment of heart rhythm problems. While he's still doing emergency procedures, with enhanced safety protocols, two days a week, maintenance visits are largely by video.

Video service helps families stay in touch with patients in Glasgow hospitals

Loved ones of patients are normally warmly welcomed into NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde hospitals, but because of COVID-19 visiting has been restricted to keep everyone safe.
Saturday, 16th May 2020, 7:30 am
A video message service is now more important than ever to help families stay in touch with patients in hospital.
The vCreate secure video service was first developed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Hospital for Children at the Queen Elizabeth in Glasgow.
During the coronavirus pandemic It has now been expanded for use in adult ICUs across NHSGGC and more widely in Scotland, to help keep families connected to their loved ones.
The service allows nurses and doctors to record video messages which are uploaded to a secure platform for family members to view.