The National Institute of Standards and Technology has drafted a guide to help health IT teams secure mobile devices used in health care. The guidance discusses the most serious risks to patient data and strategies for dealing with security attacks, and it calls for balancing security with ease of use for health care teams.
The percentage of people who used health technologies to view, save and send health data rose to 22% in the last year, up from 13% in 2013, according to a Deloitte Center for Health Solutions report. The report also found 16% of people surveyed used the Internet to learn about the cost of needed care, up from 11%.
Fitness trackers and health apps are not based on good science and could cause harm, researchers told the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting. Johns Hopkins University professor Greg Hager said without trials or scientific evidence it cannot be known whether apps are having their intended effect, and University of Pittsburgh professor John Jakicic said people should be careful about relying solely on the devices.
More than 4,000 ransomware attacks occur across all industries daily, with health care being a major target, but only nine organizations reported such incidents to the HHS Office for Civil Rights last year, according to the Justice Department. James Scott of the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology notes that the reasons behind health care organizations' failure to report data breaches include the fear of liability and economic impact, negative publicity and disruption of business operations due to investigations.
A total of 312 data breaches have been recorded across all industries, including health care, this year through Tuesday, according to an Identity Theft Resource Center report. The health care sector accounted for 25.3% of all data breaches, with more than 740,000 records exposed, the most among all sectors, according to the report.
Alexa and other voice assistants can change internet exploration for people who have visual impairments, Ian Bogost writes. Bogost, whose father has been legally blind since age 18, details the value of these devices for people with disabilities, noting that they offer hands-free operation and new accessibility for individuals with limited dexterity or mobility.
Six in 10 US hospitals had the technology to allow enabled patients to download and transmit their health data last year, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. Patient engagement capability was greatest at medium and large hospitals.
Wearable devices that help female consumers manage their health and offer a bit of style are becoming a popular segment for tech companies. Bellabeat, a maker of wearable health-tracking pendants, and Omsignal, a wearable brand that puts women first, are just two of the companies looking to take wearable tech beyond the "boys' club" and just counting steps to a more holistic approach to monitoring women's health.
A study in Health Affairs found that only 30% of US hospitals had achieved EHR interoperability as of 2015, up from 25% the previous year, meaning they could fully share electronic health records with other providers. The findings, based on a survey of American Hospital Association members, revealed that although 43% of hospitals said they could access external electronic patient data when necessary, only 19% often did so.
Seventy-eight percent of IT professionals at health care provider organizations said they experienced a malware or ransomware attack in the previous 12 months, with 43% of larger organizations experiencing 16 or more attacks, according to a HIMSS Analytics/Mimecast survey. Researchers found that cybersecurity incidents are most likely to be caused by email, and 87% of respondents expect an increase or a significant increase in security threats related to email in the future.
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