Medical device maker Tandem Diabetes Care is notifying some 140,000 customers that their protected health information might have been compromised through a phishing attack that breached several employee email accounts. Potentially compromised information includes clinical data and, in some cases, Social Security numbers.
The developers of one of the most widely downloaded COVID-19 tracking apps in the UK want to use data from the app to glean insight into why the disease is more severe in some people than others, and to develop an outbreak map. The app was created by epidemiologist Tim Spector, who has been studying twins' genetics and medical histories for a quarter-century.
Victims and potential victims of domestic violence are at particularly high risk as businesses, schools and social service organizations slow or halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, advocacy groups and law enforcement officials say. Victims usually wait until their abusers are away to call for help, and advocates say social service workers and teachers should conduct video calls to check for signs that suspected victims are being abused.
The newly formed COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition is pooling resources and applying real-time data analytics and best practice guidance to change the trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic. Members include experts on pandemics, health systems, technology firms, nonprofits, academic institutions and startups.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the cancellation of elective procedures and chronic care visits that can have an impact on a practice's revenue, writes attorney Ericka Adler. Explore financial resources, review contracts and work with staff when deciding if your practice should close or lay off employees, Adler writes.
While health care professionals battle the novel coronavirus, cybersecurity specialists have teamed up to protect health institutions from cyberattacks. Cyber Volunteers 19 formed a week ago and already has 3,000 volunteers to assure health care institutions "we have your backs," said Lisa Forte, a partner at Red Goat Cyber.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT should help health care providers use technology to gather and share relevant clinical data from disparate sources, and should ensure interoperability rules "enable patients to access their records for their needs and uses," according to a letter to the ONC from Clif Gaus, CEO of the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations. Gaus also called for standardization of data on social determinants of health and integrating SDOH data into health information exchanges.
Guidance from the Office for Civil Rights spells out conditions under which entities subject to HIPAA may share protected health information of people with COVID-19 or exposed to the novel coronavirus with first responders, including paramedics, public health officials and law enforcement officers. PHI may be disclosed without patient permission when required by law, to protect first responders, to provide health care to a patient in custody or to mitigate a serious threat, among other circumstances.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is pushing to have public health information about COVID-19 broadcast in multiple languages, including Spanish and sign language, in an effort to counter disinformation and curb the virus' spread more quickly. Advocacy groups agree that reaching non-English speakers is important.
A startup launched by two graduates of Columbia University's Data Science Institute is developing algorithms that can quickly identify antibodies with the potential to counteract SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Gene sequences of promising antibodies are sent to labs to be engineered and tested, and any that are effective can be tested on animals before moving on to human trials.