Researchers in the US, Canada and Australia tested two dozen health-related apps used by patients and health care providers, including a medical reference app, a symptom checker and medication reminder apps, and found that 79% shared at least some user data outside of the app. Some of the data were used to improve the apps, but some were used for targeted advertising by third parties, and some third parties sell bundled data to fourth parties, researchers reported in The BMJ.
Scientists at Rochester Institute of Technology are developing a toilet seat capable of measuring and analyzing heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygenation level, body weight and heart stroke volume. The toilet seat could transmit data to heart patients' health care providers, who could use the data to order medication changes or checkups, potentially reducing hospital readmissions.
A BioEnterprise report showed Minneapolis topped the Midwest region in biomedical investments with $664 million last year. It was followed by Chicago with $551 million and Cleveland with $294 million.
The FDA approved Impulse Dynamics' Optimizer Smart system for people with moderate to severe chronic heart failure who are not eligible for cardiac resynchronization or other heart failure devices. The system consists of a pulse generator implanted in the chest and connected to three leads implanted in the heart, a battery charger and a programmable interface.
Roche has released its Navify Mutation Profiler clinical software, designed for next-generation sequencing cancer test annotation, interpretation and clinical reporting, after receiving CE mark approval. The company also launched an optional clinical decision support app called Navify Therapy Matcher, which aids in connecting clinically actionable mutations to therapy options.
Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., filed a bill that would restore funding for navigators to help people enroll in exchange-sold health plans and another bill that would ban some short-term insurance plans with limited coverage. Federal funding for navigators was cut by 81% last year.
CHIME CEO and President Russell Branzell expressed support for the FDA's draft guidance seeking to address the possible danger from cybersecurity attacks on medical devices. CHIME also urged the agency to expand its definition of medical device risk to include elements of the health IT ecosystem that interact with the devices, such as networks, apps and firewalls.
A report in HIPAA Journal showed that the health care industry experienced at least one data breach daily last month, exposing more than 2.11 million records across 21 states, an increase of 330% compared with January.
The Spokane Digestive Disease Center in Washington State has found that providing patients with more cost and quality data increases engagement and patient knowledge about their care. The transparency also helps the practice compete with area hospitals, which are required to publish their standard charges.
Young physicians considering jobs in non-urban communities to obtain a higher salary should weigh additional factors, says Ken Hertz, a principal consultant with MGMA. "It's far more important to take a position because it interests you and you want to be in the community -- to build your practice with less competition and to serve that community. The reality is that you're not going to become a millionaire in three years just because you chose a rural opportunity over an urban one."
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