Breaking News Stories in Healthcare Information Technology This Week

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Smartphones Could Soon Act as Healthcare Assistants

Smartphones may be the key to manage our health. Equipped with internet data, a powerful processing power, accelerometer, and a camera, smartphones can now be used to diagnose various health problems, including malaria, children’s respiratory diseases, Parkinson’s disease, measuring blood flow, HIV, and even detecting suicidal tendencies and behavior. Various research groups have tapped into the technology available in these gadgets to transform them into tremor detectors, heart monitors, microscopes, and more. Apps these days have the capability to collect data in order to come up with a potential disease out of symptoms and also to predict a person’s risk of suicide. Experts believe that the accessibility of smartphones and the availability of healthcare technology news are beneficial to all and may help save the lives of people who live far from advanced medical tools.

Bionic Bike Debuts at CES 2019

Bike manufacturers Xmera, Inc. introduced the Xmera Bionic Bicycle at this year’s CES expo with a goal of attracting American and European backers. The Bionic Bike, according to Xmera, is a mix between a motorcycle, a bicycle, and a workout machine, equipped with a long-range battery making it possible for commute use. The mobile app that comes with it can mounted on the bike’s handle bar and riders will be made to wear wristband sensors to help them maintain their desired heart rate during workouts. The bike also reports routes, distance, and calories burned in order to bring riders closer to their fitness goals. The Bionic Bicycle, however, is still in its development stage and needs more backers, which could be challenging for the company especially that the technology entails risk. Spectators have commended on the feasibility of the Bionic bike, but it also attracted controversy as it needs to find a market and find acceptance from consumers.

Hypoglycemia App Developed by Medtronic and IBM Watson Health

Medtronic and IBM Watson Health have partnered to develop the IQcast prediction feature in the Sugar. IQ app. IQcast is aimed for diabetics in need of multiple daily injections (MDI). The AI-driven app will collect data regarding how a patient manages diabetes and their time spend under, within, and over the target range. The companies said that hypoglycemic predictions can be difficult, but the app should be able to predict the likelihood of low blood sugar level events to happen within the next one to four hours. Accurate event predictions are essential for patients with chronic conditions and illnesses in order for them to be always a step forward ahead of their health problems. Along with access to healthcare technology news, the feature on the app is just one of the forms of digital health that can affect the healthcare system greatly in the future.

GAO Calls for Better Patient-Matching Standards

Vendors and providers both continue to struggle to match patients with their health information accurately, according to the Government Accountability Office. The mismatch on health information is blamed at inaccurate and incomplete patient data, which could risk the safety of patients should this practice be left unimproved. The GAO suggests to adopt a standard in order for demographic data to be stored and recorded the same way every time. Vendors and providers are now calling on the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to issue a standard in terms of collecting and formatting data, but others were quick to point out that such standards should be left to industry organizations, healthcare technology news outlets report. Those involved in the initiative all agree, however, that patient matching approaches should be the norm to lift the burden off of providers and vendors.

Concerns Over Cybersecurity in Healthcare Arises

A new survey from BDO USA, an accounting and advisory firm based in Delaware, showed that healthcare is likely to suffer more of all industries when it comes to data privacy breaches and cyber attacks. In fact, 43% of cited it as their biggest and primary concern. These digital threats should be the industry’s main concern these days according to two technology thought leaders, Chip Cohron and Gregory Garrett. An interview with Healthcare Informatics revealed both security professionals’ perspective when it comes to creating a cyber-security strategy in the healthcare industry. Apparently, the most frequent types of breaches that transpire within the industry are email breaches and unauthorized access and disclosure. A response to these risks should include the enhancement of technical procedures and policies to ensure that only authorized personal will have access to electronic health records and protected health information, as well as personally identifiable information. A more stable audit control to identify and track both external and internal access should also be implemented, and intrusion detection systems should be bolstered as well. All these should be a standard in healthcare organizations so they can accurately monitor traffic moving through their information system endpoints, network, and email, and so they can identify suspicious activity in real time.