Gemalto's Breach Level Index showed that data breaches across the world are increasing by 15% in the first half of this year compared with the previous six months, with 4.8 billion private records stolen since 2013 and the US having the most breaches, at 728, followed by the UK, at 61, and the rest of Europe, at 25. Though 27% of global breaches were in the health care industry, only 5% of the exposed records came from this sector, compared with 12% in the previous six months.
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Newly appointed National Coordinator for Health IT Vindell Washington said he will concentrate on the continued implementation of the ONC's Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap under HHS' initiative to move toward value-based payments. Information sharing is crucial to lay the foundation for the Obama administration's priorities, including delivery system reform and the Precision Medicine and Cancer Moonshot initiatives, Washington said.
Forty-six percent of respondents to a Silicon Valley Bank survey said big data would have the greatest impact on health care delivery next year, while 35% said it would be artificial intelligence. The major sectors to keep an eye on in the coming year include augmented or virtual reality, health care robotics and the internet of things, the report said.
Congress should accelerate the finalization and passage of national medical research legislation that was recently approved by House and Senate committees, the American Medical Informatics Association says. AMIA members also cited health IT's importance to patient safety and the modernization of clinical trials.
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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT reported that 96% of hospitals across the US are using EHR systems. Arizona, Louisiana and South Dakota are the states with the lowest percentage of hospitals that have the capability to exchange summary of care records, while Alaska, Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island have the highest percentage of hospitals capable of interoperability.
A Ketchum study found that 58% of smartphone users in the US have shared their medical information with a caregiver through the internet and 25% have sent a text or email with a photo of a medical issue to a physician. Forty-seven percent of respondents have apps to track health, medicine, fitness or exercise, and 83% who have exercise or fitness apps use them one or more times per week.
South Dakota-based Avera Health will provide telemedicine services to Great Plains area Indian Health Service facilities. Services include emergency care, wound care, nephrology, behavioral health and cardiology.
Startups such as Deep 6 Analytics and Flatiron Health and tech giants including Microsoft and IBM are using machine learning to plow through huge amounts of medical data and help doctors figure out which drugs and treatments can help their cancer patients. The next challenge will be coming up with better ways of getting the information generated by the software to clinicians and incorporated into their workflow.