Apple is funding three large medical research studies involving the company's iPhones, Watches and apps, including a women's health study led by researchers at Harvard University. These "virtual studies" potentially expand access to participation by enabling the collection of data from patients across a broad geographic area, and Apple has acquired its own health and wellness startups and added medical researchers.
Physicians from various specialties participating in a survey led by the American Medical Association collectively gave EHRs a failing grade on the System Usability Scale and said EHRs are a source of burnout, researchers reported in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Google's search engine was ranked "A" in a larger survey using the same scale; microwave ovens, automated teller machines and Amazon were ranked "B"; Microsoft Word, DVRs and GPS trackers were ranked "C"; and Microsoft Excel received an "F," though its numerical score was higher than EHRs' score.
Delta Dental of Arizona initiated an independent investigation into a July phishing attack and has notified subscribers that their personal data might have been compromised. The dental insurer says an employee responded to a phishing attack that gave the attacker access to the employee's email account.
US hospital systems differ in their approach to sharing patients' health information with Google and other technology giants, which might be due to differences in hospitals' and states' privacy standards, but it could also stem from a lack of modern standards in HIPAA, according to health information specialists and ethics experts including Harvard University professor John Halamka. "Regulation is a road map for how to appropriately use data and ensure the data owners, users, and generators all understand the rules of the road," Halamka said.
Ambulatory surgery centers, physician offices and other health care sites will be subject to appropriate use criteria for advanced diagnostic imaging services beginning Jan. 1. Requirements include consulting an electronic clinical decision support tool before ordering advanced diagnostic imaging for patients covered by Medicare Part B, and the CMS will begin denying claims in 2021 if the CDS tool has not been consulted.
Google is far from the only technology company collecting and storing personal data and protected health information, and the collection of such data is legal as long as patients have signed a common HIPAA form, says Cynthia Burghard, a research director at IDC. "When you go to a health care provider's office as a patient, you sign a HIPAA release form, which allows the institutions to use your data for medical research or improved care management; so there is patient consent there," Burghard says.
Deloitte and Amazon Web Services are offering customers the ability to find and use cloud-based third-party health care data. Deloitte is integrating its ConvergeHEALTH Miner with the AWS Data Exchange to create a health care data system for biomedical research, clinical trials, insights into real-world data, population health and reimbursement.
The FDA approved the use of Ultromics' artificial intelligence-based system for analyzing echocardiograms and calculating left ventricular ejection fraction to detect cardiovascular disease. The FDA also approved Hologic's AI-powered breast tomosynthesis system.
The number of cyberattacks on hospitals, medical practices and other health care organizations was 60% higher in the first nine months of 2019 than for all of last year, and attacks involving trojan malware grew by 82% between the second and third quarters of 2019, according to a Malwarebytes report. Cybersecurity is a lower priority than patient care and research among many health care organizations, which continue to rely on insecure legacy hardware and software and medical devices that lack security software altogether, the report says.
Blue Cross Blue Shield will share deidentified medical and pharmacy claims data through its Blue Health Intelligence arm with the Health Care Cost Institute, allaying fears that the nonprofit used by health policy researchers would have to fold. Kaiser Permanente and CVS's Aetna will also continue to provide data to the HCCI.
- Page 1