Doctors practicing telemedicine should be certified in it because a virtual visit "involves a true medical interaction that needs to be defined and categorized," said Dr. Michael Nochomovitz, co-author of a paper published as a JAMA Viewpoint. Nochomovitz does not think there will be a problem with telemedicine adoption if the certification takes shape because "[d]octors will want to do it right."
Scarab, a new type of ransomware that allows victims to email hackers to negotiate payment for the retrieval of encrypted files, was suddenly distributed in spam emails by the botnet Necurs in November, according to Fortinet researchers. "While entering into negotiations definitely makes it more likely that a ransom of some kind will be paid, it also allows [hackers] to fluctuate demands depending on the value of bitcoin at that time," said PhishMe co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Aaron Higbee.
The Health Management Academy and the Center for Connected Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center surveyed 35 of the largest US health systems and found that although most are not getting reimbursed for virtual care or remote patient monitoring, more than 70% of those not receiving reimbursement think that will change in 2018, and many are continuing to implement telehealth programs. "Health systems are highly focused on becoming consumer-centric organizations, and view the integration of telehealth/virtual care/remote monitoring as part of the journey to putting consumers first," the report says.
The 2017 HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award of Excellence was given to Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas in recognition of its efforts to use health IT to improve value and patient outcomes. Parkland's Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic therapy program instructs patients on how to safely self-administer IV antibiotics in their homes, said Parkland's Dr. Kavita Bhavan.
Researchers and nursing homes are using an NIH grant to develop an advance care planning program for patients with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias that can be integrated into the homes' regular workflows. The project aims to create decision-making supports and have nursing home staff work with residents and their families on care goals and values.
A draft guidance document describes the types of clinical decision support software the FDA will and will not regulate, and another draft indicates that mobile apps intended solely for promoting or maintaining a healthy lifestyle fall outside the agency's purview. A final guidance document establishes a risk-based regulatory framework for assessing the safety, efficacy and performance of software-as-a-medical-device.
Hospital and health system executives responding to a survey said they are interested in artificial intelligence, machine learning and other emerging technology, but they are not rushing to implement it. Instead, they want to improve current EHR systems, standardize IT platforms and strengthen cybersecurity protocols.
Engineers at the University of California at San Diego have developed a 3D-printed smartphone case and companion app that can check and record the user's blood glucose levels. A permanent sensor is embedded in the case and works with single-use enzyme-packed pellets in an attached 3D-printed stylus to measure glucose levels in a drop of blood and transmit the information via Bluetooth to the app.
Anil Sethi is leaving his job as Apple's health team director and starting Ciitizen, a startup to help people obtain and share personal health information, ethical wills and advanced care directives. Sethi joined Apple when the company bought his medical records startup, Gliimpse.
The National Quality Forum received a list of 32 clinical quality measures under consideration as part of the CMS' Meaningful Measures initiative, and CMS Chief Medical Officer and Center for Clinical Standards and Quality Director Kate Goodrich said the measures are expected to "help quantify health care outcomes and track the effectiveness, safety, and patient-centeredness of the care provided." Stakeholders have until today to submit comments on the 2017 MUC list.
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