A study in Health Affairs showed that only 23% of 121 mobile health apps that allow patients to enter health data responded properly after information that indicated a potential health danger was recorded. The findings also showed at least half of apps for the elderly and people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder or a history of stroke gave appropriate responses to relevant health data.
Although reports show that sales of wearable health monitors are declining, some industry experts say the drop may be the prelude to a better market with more focus on the capabilities of wearables. Rachel Kalmar, a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, says that once the health care field learns how to use the data collected from wearables, wider mainstream adoption could ensue.
Health care CIOs and CISOs can successfully implement cybersecurity strategies in their organizations by developing security frameworks, investing in cyberinsurance, taking a risk-portfolio approach and creating risk-management programs based on organizational threats, experts said at the CHIME Lead Forum in Dallas. They should also pursue an honest dialogue when addressing cyberbreaches within the industry, said CHIME's Vice President of Education Adrienne Edens.
Health care professionals, patients, lawmakers and caregivers have until 5 p.m. Dec. 19 to comment on the Quality Payment Program's Merit-based Incentive Payment System and advanced alternative payment models, the CMS announced. The agency is seeking comments on various factors related to virtual groups, MIPS scoring, advanced APMs and the All-Payer Combination, among others.
Legislation requiring Michigan's health care providers to secure patient consent before using telehealth services has received unanimous approval from the state Legislature and will become law in 90 days. The measure seeks to address patient privacy and quality of care concerns from telehealth, lawmakers said.
Health care organizations must replace outdated security tools, including cloudless security, use of simple passwords and flat networks, and reliance solely on compliance for network security, said Intermountain Healthcare Chief Information Security Officer Karl West. He recommends using multi-factor authentication, creating a security perimeter for all devices connected to the internet, and using real-time and data analytics for security alerts.
Studies in Caenorhabditis elegans, a short-lived species of roundworm whose genome is similar to humans', showed that manipulating the RNA splicing process might extend healthy human life spans. The researchers reported in Nature that dietary restriction and increasing levels of splicing factor 1 appeared to slow the worms' aging process.
Researchers detected a gene called blaIMP-27 at a swine farm that renders bacteria resistant to the last-resort class of antibiotics known as carbapenems, and they say the gene could be transmitted to bacteria that might colonize people. Because the gene is carried on plasmids, it readily moves between microbes.
HITECH federal funding is still available for health information exchanges aiding Medicaid providers in meeting stage 2 and stage 3 meaningful use requirements. "We now explain that State costs of facilitating connections between Eligible Providers and other Medicaid providers ... or costs of other activities that promote other Medicaid providers' use of EHR and HIE can also be matched at the 90 percent HITECH matching rate, but only if State expenditures on these activities help Eligible Providers meet the Meaningful Use objectives," wrote the CMS' Vikki Wachino.
A computer-assisted coding solution that can be integrated into the Epic EHR system and includes natural language understanding has been launched by health IT company M*Modal. The solution "complements the EHR coding workflow to significantly increase productivity and improve coding accuracy while avoiding workflow duplication," said M*Modal's Detlef Koll.
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