| Vol. 14 No. 3, February 8, 2017 |
FACTS AND STATS
Healthcare IT Security Spending is Up, But So Are Data Breaches
Eighty-one percent of senior IT security executives at healthcare organizations from across the globe anticipate IT security spending increases in the next 12 months, yet, at the same time, successful data breaches are also up significantly. These were the findings of a recent survey conducted by Thales, a data security and information systems solutions provider, which point to an ongoing disconnect between the security solutions organizations spend money on and the ability of those solutions to protect sensitive data.
Findings from the Thales 2017 Data Threat Report, issued in conjunction with analyst firm 451 Research, indicate that, across all industries, companies are still prioritizing network and endpoint solutions over encryption despite the rise in data breaches. While 30 percent of respondents classify their organizations as ‘very vulnerable’ or ‘extremely vulnerable’ to data attacks (and the number of breaches continues to rise) the two top spending priorities are network (62 percent) and endpoint (56 percent) protection solutions. In contrast, spending on data-at-rest solutions (46 percent) comes last.
Overall, 68 percent of survey respondents, across all industries, have experienced a breach with 26 percent experiencing a breach in the last year – both numbers that rose from last year. According to Andy Kicklighter, director of product strategy at Thales e-Security, within the healthcare segment, the number of organizations that reported having a breach in the past year increased from 18 percent to 20 percent. “So, that’s one in five who said they had been breached just in the last year,” he said.
Paradoxically, overall security spending is also up; in 2017, 73 percent of organizations, across all industries, increased IT security spending – a marked jump from 58 percent in 2016. And, as mentioned above, eight out of ten healthcare IT respondents to the survey plan to increase IT security spending, the highest of any industry segment.
CAE Healthcare Announces First Mixed Reality Ultrasound Simulation Solution with Microsoft HoloLens
On the eve of the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) in Orlando, Florida, CAE Healthcare announced the release of CAE VimedixAR, an ultrasound training simulator integrated with the Microsoft HoloLens, the world’s first self-contained holographic computer. CAE Healthcare will be the first company to bring a commercial Microsoft HoloLens application to the medical simulation market.
VimedixAR delivers an unprecedented simulation-based training experience, allowing learners to interact and move freely within a clinical training environment that is augmented with holograms. For the first time, students will be able to examine 3D anatomy inside the body of the Vimedix manikin. As learners practice scanning an animated heart, lungs or abdomen, they will observe in real-time how the ultrasound beam cuts through anatomy to generate a ultrasound image.
NHS Grows Digital Healthcare Professionals Network
In the UK, the NHS has expanded the reach of its web platforms for healthcare professionals, with six trusts joining the Fendix Media digital network. The online network is made up of staff intranets providing HCPs with unlimited access to key clinical resources and care pathways for patients. It also allows pharmaceutical companies to run promotional and educational disease awareness campaigns directly targeting NHS staff.
New Low-Cost 'Lab on a Chip' Has Potential to Detect Cancer
Scientists have developed a low-cost reusable "lab on a chip" - using an ordinary inkjet printer - that can detect lethal diseases like cancer and could potentially enhance diagnostic capabilities around the world, especially in developing countries.
Inexpensive sequencing technology allows clinicians to sequence tumour DNA to identify specific mutations and recommend personalised treatment plans.
CardioInsight ECG Vest for Non-Invasive, Precise Heart Maps
Medtronic landed FDA clearance for its CardioInsight 3D cardiac mapping system that’s used to locate sources of arrhythmias. The system consists of an ECG vest with a whopping 252 electrodes. It’s used to collect highly detailed skin surface electric signal data while the patient is inside a CT scanner. This data is overlaid onto the resulting CT scan to create a 3D representation of the heart and its electric activity.
Cardiac mapping is normally done via a catheter, which introduces risks, costs, and discomfort. Because the CardioInsight can be used at the bedside or in a doctor’s office, it may be able to take some strain off of electrophysiology labs.
Kaiser Permanente Fined $2.5M for Failure to Report Required Medi-Cal data
Kaiser Permanente is well known as a leader in the implementation of EMRs and collection of health data. But it can be difficult to program for a complex system. As the company pointed out in a statement, it operates multiple entities: Hospitals, medical groups, and its own health plan. Its systems are currently geared toward quality, access and integration of care.
This begs the question: given the importance of compliance and potentially steep fines, why wasn’t Kaiser’s system up to the task of reporting adequately to the state? The answer may lie in part with the way payments are structured. Rather than following a fee-for-service model, the basis of most healthcare transactions in the U.S., Medi-Cal follows a model in which the state pays a fixed fee per Medi-Cal enrollee. Deviations from standard practices will often present an obstacle for record-keeping systems.
Further, if the deviation represents a relatively small portion of the company’s business, the incentive to change a system that otherwise works is bound to be small. As of 2015, Kaiser Permanente had 10.2 million members nationwide, only 850,461 of whom were in Medicaid or CHIP. Given the shifting requirements in today’s healthcare marketplace, other payers could easily find themselves facing the same kind of reporting challenges that led to Kaiser’s new fines.
Healthcare Technology Heavily Influencing the Legal Cannabis Patient Industry
The injection of modern technology into the developing world of cannabis and legal medical marijuana is helping the industry climb to new heights and increase engagement with consumers, especially when it comes to cannabis patients in the medical facet of the industry. The synergy created between modern technology and the explosive cannabis industry is allowing leaders in marijuana to leverage consumer technology engagement for companies such as Reliq Health Technologies Inc.
Virtual Reality Machines Set to Help Train Doctors
The University of Alberta (U of A) is adopting virtual reality systems for use in training new doctors. Dr. Martin Ferguson-Pell and his team at the U of A have built VR systems that help students to learn anatomy, and students will start using it in the coming weeks. He told Global News his simulation systems allow trainees to see anatomical structures and how they fit together. “You can peel back different layers, look at the labels on them and that is a way you can learn these three dimensional parts of the body in a much faster way than leafing through a book.”
Top 8 Trends in Healthcare and Technology
We are in a golden age of “exponential technology,” a term coined by author, executive, and innovator Peter Diamandis. Exponential technology, which refers to technology that is doubling in power and speed each year despite a continuous drop in price, includes innovations such as 3D printing, robotics, drones, gene editing, and artificial intelligence (AI).
Thanks to innovators around the world, the healthcare community is leveraging exponential technology and reaping incredible benefits. Healthcare providers, including pharmacists, are now able to access more affordable technology that helps to improve patient care, increase efficiency and reduce error rates.
Health Insurer Calls Analysed for Signs of Disease in Your Voice
Did your voice give it away? US start-up Canary Speech is developing deep-learning algorithms to detect if people have neurological conditions like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease just by listening to the sound of their voice. And it’s found a controversial source of audio data to train its algorithms on: phone calls to a health insurer.
The health insurer – which Canary Speech would not name but says is “a very large American healthcare and insurance provider” – has provided the company with hundreds of millions of phone calls that have been collected over the past 15 years and are labelled with information about the speaker’s medical history and demographic background.
Using this data, the company says its algorithms could pick up on vocal cues that distinguish someone with a particular condition from someone without that condition.
SIMPLY THE BEST
North York General Hospital Receives 2016 HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award
North York General Hospital, a community academic hospital located in the Toronto suburb of North York, Ontario has been named a 2016 HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award recipient. Since 1994, the HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence has recognized outstanding achievement of organizations that have utilized health information technology (IT) to substantially improve patient outcomes. The Davies Awards program promotes electronic health record-enabled improvement in patient outcomes through sharing of case studies and lessons learned across a wide range of efforts, including implementation strategies, workflow design, best practice development and adherence, as well as engagement that has improved care outcomes for patients.
Device to distinguish bacterial from viral infections wins EU innovation prize
A new device to help curb the spread of dangerous superbugs that are fast becoming resistant to antibiotics was awarded €1 million from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research programme on Monday. The test, co-developed by Swedish diagnostics-maker P&M Venge and Dutch tech giant Philips, helps doctors avoid inappropriately prescribing antibiotics. Using a prick of patient blood, the diagnostic calculates within 10 minutes whether an infection is bacterial or viral.
ELECTRONIC HEALTHCARE ARTICLES
In the Palm of Your Hand – Normalizing the Use of Mobile Technology for Nurse Practitioner Education and Clinical Practice
Kimberley Lamarche, Caroline Park, Shawn Fraser, Mariann Rich and Susan MacKenzie
A longitudinal study of the ways nurse practitioner students use mobile devices in clinical education was completed. This study used researcher-designed survey tools, including sociodemographic questions, and the numerical picture was augmented and interpreted in light of the textual data in the form of selected interviews.
Open Innovation Prizes and Challenges: Learnings from the ImagineNation Series
Jennifer Zelmer, Fraser Ratchford and Justin Noble
The authors provide an overview of the ImagineNation Challenges experience, as well as key lessons learned about what does and does not work to foster participation and progress towards identified goals. They also offer some suggested starting points for those interested in using this approach in other contexts.
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