Health IT News
Top stories summarized by our editors
9/20/2018

President Donald Trump's nomination of James Gfrerer as the Department of Veterans Affairs' CIO has been approved by the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. Gfrerer will supervise the agency's $15.8 billion EHR modernization program, which includes replacement of its legacy VistA EHR system, if he's approved.

9/20/2018

Health care has remained at the forefront of technological advancements, but it lags on consumer-focused technologies because the industry has primarily been patient-focused, said Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling. Increasing consumer influence in health care will prompt the growth of patient-facing home care products and changes in care delivery amid increased virtual outlet engagements, Dowling said.

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MobiHealthNews
9/20/2018

Heidelberg Engineering has secured clearance from the FDA to market its optical coherence tomography angiography module. The module is designed to be used with the company's Spectralis diagnostic imaging devices for noninvasive 3D visualization of perfused vasculature.

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FDA
9/20/2018

The NIH awarded Kephera Diagnostics a two-year, $599,316 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant to go toward work on a point-of-care test to diagnose Chagas disease. The company said it has developed a prototype assay with higher analytical sensitivity than Chagas tests currently on the market.

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Chagas, NIH
9/20/2018

The California Department of Insurance filed a lawsuit against AbbVie, accusing the drugmaker of illegally increasing prescriptions of its arthritis drug Humira by paying kickbacks to health care providers in exchange for prescribing the drug and hiring a network of nurse ambassadors to make sure Humira prescriptions were regularly refilled. According to the complaint, health insurers received about 274,000 claims for Humira prescriptions from 2013 to 2018, causing them to shell out approximately $1.2 billion in improper payments.

9/19/2018

Spanning Cloud Apps polled over 400 US employees and found that 60% of government workers would let colleagues use their work computer, compared with 40% of health care staffers. Another study by Wombat Security found that on average, health care employees incorrectly answered 23% of questions related to IT security best practices, compared with 24% among those in the hospitality industry.

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Health IT Security
9/19/2018

Marburg virus persisted in the testes of crab-eating macaques, suggesting that Marburg and other filoviruses, such as Ebola, might also persist in human testes after the body clears the virus from other organs, researchers reported in Cell Host & Microbe. Marburg virus caused the breakdown of the blood-testes barrier that protects Sertoli cells, but the presence of the virus did not appear to affect sperm generation or reproductive function.

9/19/2018

The Argonaute 2 protein silences RNA and slows liver metabolism, impeding the organ's ability to process fat, and blocking AGO2 prevented obesity, diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in mice fed a high-fat diet. The findings, published in Nature Communications, might have implications for treating chronic metabolic disorders in humans.

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Medical News Today
9/19/2018

Health care providers can use connected care platforms to treat individuals for substance abuse and addiction, HHS Assistant Health Secretary Brett Giroir wrote in a blog post. "Working with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), HHS developed materials to help clarify how clinicians can use telemedicine as a tool to expand buprenorphine-based [Medication-Assisted Treatment] for opioid use disorder treatment under current DEA regulations," Giroir wrote.

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mHealth Intelligence
9/19/2018

Accenture, Merck and Amazon Web Services will work together to develop a cloud-based informatics research platform to help life science organizations become more efficient, innovative and productive as their drugs begin the development process. "Our collaboration will create a scientific technology marketplace providing the capabilities our researchers need to extend our tradition of scientific innovation, enabling our mission of bringing new breakthrough therapies to the patients who need them," said Joe Miletich, Merck's senior vice president of research.

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Healthcare Global
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Merck, Accenture, Amazon