Breaking News Stories in Healthcare Information Technology
The Baylor College of Medicine has started using an AI system to assist physicians by detecting minor variation in perinatal monitoring of the infant’s heart rate. The system, originally being used to evaluate the perinatal mortality/morbidity statistics in the country was found to be effective in detecting abnormal fetal heart rates that would indicate a situation existed that required attention by medical staff. In one example of use, a woman was struggling at term, and the situation caused a deceleration of the fetal heart rate. The decrease was not noticed by the responsible nurse, but the AI system sounded the alarm. The baby was born healthy.
Phillips and Oxford University Hospitals have joined together into an initiative that has the potential to increase the effectiveness and speed of pathological analysis in the treatment of cancer and other ailments. Typically, the process of sending out a slide of sample of cells for a consult has required transporting the slides to another location. During the transportation of such slides, there is the risk of damage to the cells or the slides being lost, which would delay the diagnosis and treatment. However, using the system that they are developing, OUH can bring together consultations remotely via the Phillips IntelliSite Pathology Solution. Clinical cases are expected to being Q3 of 2018.
The accounts of two Minnesota Department of Human Services employees were accessed by hackers that used the accounts to access the insurance information of 21,000 individuals and to send out spam emails to those individuals. The data breach took place between Jun 28th and July 9th and the state agency has been notifying those involved of the incident and asking them to check their credit reports to identify potentially related identity theft transactions. The data breach affected more than just that DHS agency, and the state’s IT professionals were able to re-capture the email accounts and stop further use of them by external elements.
Four people were indicted in Tennessee for being a part of a conspiracy to defraud insurance companies out of nearly $1 Billion. The accused were charged with erecting an elaborate scheme in which they manipulated tens of thousands of patients and over 100 doctors. The defendants used telehealth company HealthRight (a company offering cellphone app consultations to patients) to get health insurance information and prescriptions to be filled. Then, they got the doctors to fill the illegal prescriptions. Once the prescriptions were approved, they turned around and overbilled Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee for the cost of the prescriptions. HealthRight and CEO Scott Roix pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy and are facing wire fraud charges, as well.
UnitedHealth is the latest health organization to enter the electronic health record field, announcing that by 2019 they will be rolling out their system for providers and customers. The company says that offering this to the consumers will allow them to identify lacks in their coverage and care and suggest important steps to resolve those gaps. Meanwhile, it will enable providers to have an electronic health record to access that came with an element of predictive analysis.
Legacy systems of companies’ healthcare information technology provide a security hole for hackers into data, according to a new report by ERI released. The report says that 3.15 million patient records were accessed in the second quarter of 2018 in 142 data breaches. According to the report, the 2 types of legacy data breach threats involve medical devices that were created without forethought of data security concerns and hospitals are focusing their budget on saving lives and not on security. As a result, medical devices are being used in the healthcare community that were not created with added data security. In some cases, the software makers of the products have stopped creating software patches for the devices being used. Having a large collection of personal data in an environment with low security makes medical equipment hacking a tempting target for hackers seeking access to secure patient information, such as Social Security Numbers. However, while the threat exists for patient data leaks, physicians report such a hack could also have a lifesaving risk to the patients’ threatment, as well.