More than 80% of health care organizations have experienced a security incident involving a connected medical device in the last 18 months, but medical IoT incidents can be prevented by aligning cybersecurity investments and medical device spending, according to a white paper from Medigate and CrowdStrike. Investments in cyberinsurance and defensive strategies such as network segmentation, orchestrated visibility and endpoint detection and response mitigate cyberattack risks, according to the paper.
Many acute, ambulatory and long-term or post-acute care organizations responding to a survey reported growth in patient use of portals, mobile apps, telehealth services, digital health insurance cards and online health information gathering over the past year, a trend likely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, regulatory changes and better functionality. In terms of security, only 32% of acute and ambulatory care organizations that responded to the survey had a comprehensive security program, but 60% had a designated chief information security officer.
Fairmarkit's procurement technology platform helped drive more competitive supply chain bids for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City and generated an ROI of more than 500% last year as Blue KC used it to secure high-demand items such as personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes at market parity pricing. Now the health plan is exploring the use of the platform for software, hardware and subscription-related procurements, says Jason Buck, director of strategic sourcing, procurement and vendor management at Blue KC.
An automated messaging platform that sent twice-daily text messages asking nonhospitalized COVID-19 patients about their symptoms contributed to 1.8 fewer deaths per 1,000 patients in the first 30 days and 2.5 per 1,000 at 60 days, equating to a 68% lower death risk, researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. A small team of nurses tracked patients in the program, and researcher M. Kit Delgado said the benefits were seen across patient populations, including high-risk patients, Black patients and patients with low incomes.
Patients with cystic fibrosis who received usual care and participated in a coach-guided exercise program delivered remotely completed 87% of their weekly prescribed exercise time and showed "improvement in important parameters linked to morbidity and mortality," according to researcher Joel Mermis and research presented at the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference. Patients wore fitness monitors during exercise sessions, and coaches provided motivation and instruction but let participants choose what kind of exercises they wanted to do.
Chief information officers at regional health systems, children's hospitals, universities and health technology companies are collaborating on Aurora Forge, an initiative to support health care technology startups and donate a portion of their profits.
Vocera is developing a new feature for Amazon's Echo device that will let hospitalized patients communicate remotely with their care team members, who will receive and respond to communications through a Vocera Badge, Smartbade or Vina app. Artificial intelligence will analyze phrases and keywords to route patient requests to the appropriate person.
Officials from HHS, the Defense Department and other federal agencies participating in a panel discussion talked about health IT goals, data collection and EHR interoperability. EHR modernization initiatives include standardization, developing APIs for prior authorization, linking EHRs to health insurance plans and integrating APIs in other CMS programs, according to Alexandra Mugge, CMS deputy chief health informatics officer.
Few so-called digital therapeutics are put through the same kind of randomized controlled trials drugs must undergo for approval, leaving the average patient, physician and investor in the dark, write Dominick Frosch and Robert Kaplan, principals at Health Science Diligence Advisors. An initiative for digital therapeutics akin to the Choosing Wisely campaign would give patients and health care professionals needed guidance, and it is in the best interest of investors to bring one to fruition, Frosch and Kaplan write.
A radio show host with a history of promoting conspiracy theories claimed a new ICD-10 code will be assigned for tracking purposes to people who have not been vaccinated for COVID-19, and a video on a social media site for health care workers resisting COVID-19 vaccination mandates claims a new medical diagnosis code will be used to send those who refuse vaccination to "education camps." ICD-10 codes Z28.20 and e Z28.21 have been in use since 2015 to document refusal to get any recommended vaccine, and while the CDC hopes to educate health care workers who refuse COVID-19 vaccination, there is no evidence of plans to send anyone to an "education camp."