Personal data tracked by fitness apps and websites goes beyond heart rate and workout statistics, producing detailed maps of where users live and when, where and with whom they work out, which makes the apps lucrative targets for hackers who may try to monetize the data on a large scale. Linking accounts and sharing data with third-party apps also presents security risks, regardless of vendors' security tools, and app developers should employ the most current security protocols.
The FDA's fiscal 2019 budget request includes funding for the agency "to make significant investments in advancing critical areas of science, domestic technology and public health," including "a new paradigm in the regulation of digital health technology" to spur growth, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said. The FDA will also seek funds and authority to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities in medical devices and intends to form a public-private analysis board to assist device makers, Gottlieb said in a statement.
An app intended to improve medication adherence in patients with hypertension did not improve clinical outcomes, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Although issues related to self-monitoring of blood pressure might have contributed to the lack of clinical improvement, the app itself might not have improved adherence enough to make a difference, researchers said.
Data on what patients do in between visits with health care providers will be the most important type of information to capture as artificial intelligence gains ground in disease prevention efforts, says Omada Health co-founder and CEO Sean Duffy. Omada collects so-called in-between data for diabetes and cardiovascular health management programs, using digitally connected scales and health coaches who check patients' weight, exercise plans and diets.
The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is reducing the monthly fee charged to health plan carriers from $7.46 to $3.46 per patient for 2019 plans bought via the state's Washington Healthplanfinder. Operational improvements, record-high enrollment and revenue from other sources allowed exchange officials to reduce the fee, spokesman Ben Spradling said.
The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange's board of trustees agreed to apply for federal permission to set up a reinsurance program for health insurers offering plans through the state's exchange.
A study published in Perspectives in Health Information Management showed a reduction in EHR use time, an increase in patient care time, an increase in provider productivity and an improvement in the job satisfaction of therapists after Mayo Clinic Rehabilitation Services implemented lean methodologies to its inefficient EHR system. Researchers found that lean methodologies "proved to be an effective approach to identify inefficiencies in the first-generation EHR documentation templates and processes."
Michigan-based Lakeland Health implemented its cybersecurity strategy by involving IT security and project teams and a steering committee to improve the organization's technology and processes, as well as by educating all its employees to change the mindset and culture regarding security throughout the organization, said CIO Robin Sarkar. Considering the cybersecurity program as an organizational priority, and not as an IT priority, has been crucial to its success, Sarkar said.
Goals of the FDA's Medical Device Safety Action Plan: Protecting Patients, Promoting Public Health include improving medical device cybersecurity, creating a strong medical device patient safety net and encouraging innovation to have safer medical devices. "Our aim is to make sure that the new advances in technology that are enabling better capabilities and benefits are also harnessed to bring added assurances of safety, so that more patients can benefit from new devices and address unmet needs," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
Software Advice polled nearly 400 consumers and found that although 77% were more likely to choose physicians offering telehealth services than those who didn't offer them, only 8% have used telehealth within the past six months and 83% reported never using the technology. Meanwhile, more than 90% said they preferred an in-person visit to treat blurred vision or a toothache, 71% preferred in-person care for upper-respiratory issues and 55% preferred an in-person visit for headache treatment.
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