The Amazon Comprehend Medical machine learning software introduced in November could address the health care industry's lack of a means to make use of its massive stores of patient data, says industry consultant Michael Abrams. The news also highlights the continuing push of nontraditional players into the health IT market and how they could accelerate the pace of change set by the current major health IT providers.
More than 772 million email addresses and almost 22 million passwords have been exposed as part of a series of hacks dating back to 2008. The compromised information is on security researcher Troy Hunt's website, Have I Been Pwned, where individuals can check if their information has been compromised.
The longest partial government shutdown in US history is cutting cybersecurity staff, leaving the US vulnerable to both short- and long-term cyberattacks, cybersecurity experts say. "We have laid out the welcome mat to any and all nefarious actors," says Mike O'Malley of Radware.
A new ransomware attack appears to offer PayPal as an option for regaining access to files held for ransom in the attack, but those who choose that option are then hit with a second potential security breach. The ransomware/phishing blend, the first attack of its kind in 2019, was discovered by MalwareHunterTeam.
Johnson & Johnson and Apple have teamed up to conduct a multiyear study starting this year to assess the efficacy of the Apple Watch, along with J&J's heart health monitoring app, in detecting irregular heart rhythms. "The goal is to identify early on [atrial fibrillation] and prevent stroke by combining the physical know-how from Apple and what we have from the medical and scientific know-how," said Paul Stoffels, Johnson & Johnson's executive vice president and chief scientific officer.
Patient portal adoption rates hit more than 90% last year, MGMA data show, but there are still ongoing challenges to patient data access, according to the 2018 ONC Annual Report to Congress. "Patients should be able to easily and securely access their medical data through their smartphones. Currently, patients electronically access their health information through patient portals that prevent them from easily pulling from multiple sources or health care providers," the report says.
Princeton University researchers used machine learning and data from more than 6,000 patients to create a system to reduce testing frequency and improve treatment timing in the ICU. The system, presented at the Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing, included blood tests to measure lactate, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen and white blood cells, which can help diagnose kidney failure and sepsis.
The FDA seeks to update its Sentinel Initiative postmarket safety monitoring system in a five-year plan. The system, which will feature natural language processing and machine learning, will incorporate more than 10 years' worth of data gathered by Sentinel.
The CMS unveiled its proposed notice of benefit and payment standards for Affordable Care Act plans for the 2020 coverage year and it includes proposals to lower ACA user fees, allow insurers to adopt midyear prescription formulary changes and increase the annual cost-sharing limit to $8,200 for self-only coverage and $16,400 for family coverage. The agency also asked for comments on how it might address the practice of silver-loading -- concentration of premium increases in silver plans -- and indicated support for a legislative fix enabling cost-sharing reduction payments to resume.
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