OCR: More than 2.8M individuals affected by data breaches this year | Siemens' RAPID blood-gas analyzers have cybersecurity weaknesses | Poll: Younger people more likely to let insurers use their digital data
June 20, 2018
News for professionals interested in health care information technology
A total of 161 data breaches in the health care sector were added to the HHS Office for Civil Rights' reporting website, affecting more than 2.8 million people so far this year. The most common type of incidents were unauthorized access/disclosure breaches, which compromised the information of nearly 558,000 people, followed by hacking incidents, which affected more than 1.6 million individuals, and thefts or losses, which affected nearly 660,000 people.
Two cybersecurity vulnerabilities affecting Siemens Healthineers' RAPIDLab 12 and RAPIDPoint 400/405/500 blood-gas analyzer systems could affect the devices' integrity, confidentiality and availability if attacked, the company warned. Users are advised to disable the devices' remote viewing features, have backups and system restoration procedures ready, and modify hardcoded passwords, among other precautions.
Sixty-two percent of individuals ages 18 to 34 said they would let insurance companies use their digital data from sources such as fitness apps, smart-home devices and Facebook if doing so would lower their premiums, compared with 45% of those ages 35 to 54 and 27% of people ages 55 and older, according to a MuleSoft survey. Researchers polled over 8,000 consumers around the world and also found that 56% of respondents indicated they would change to a different insurance provider if they experienced poor digital service.
Switching EHR systems can improve efficiency and productivity, but the switch can also be costly, according to the Medical Economics 2017 EHR Report. Physicians can predict costs for software and hardware but some unanticipated expenses often result.
MedStar Health received an 18-month contract from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to evaluate two standards-based apps that collect patient-reported outcome data and integrate it into EHRs. "Ensuring that patients have a way to report on outcomes that are meaningful to them is critical to the delivery of safe and effective care," said Dr. Neil Weissman of MedStar Health.
Aetna polled 1,000 consumers ages 18 and older and found those ages 18 to 34 use digital health tools more often and more view virtual office visits as valuable, compared with consumers older than 65. When asked about patients' top concerns, 80% of respondents cited privacy, followed by data security at 76% and cost of care at 73%.
Medtronic and Nutrino have partnered to integrate the latter's AI-powered nutrition program, FoodPrint Report technology, into Medtronic's iPro2 myLog continuous glucose monitoring app to provide insights into users' diet, their reactions to various foods, and the link between meals and glucose variability. The groups may extend the collaboration to incorporate data and insights from Nutrino's platform into all of Medtronic's Diabetes Group businesses.
Providers, public health agencies, disaster relief agencies and other health care organizations that contribute medical records and connect to HealthlinkNY by Sept. 30 will be eligible for $76,000 in incentives, the health information exchange announced. "If we want to improve care and avoid repeating tests, it is vitality important that providers contribute medical records to the HIE," said HealthlinkNY Executive Director Staci Romeo.