News Clips

Coronavirus Lessons From the Asteroid That Didn't Hit Earth

Benny Peiser and Andrew Monfort | Wall Street Journal | April 2, 2020

London: The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically demonstrated the limits of scientific modeling to predict the future. The most consequential coronavirus model, produced by a team at Imperial College London, tipped the British government, which had until then pursued a cautious strategy, into precipitate action, culminating in the lockdown under which we are all currently laboring. With the Imperial team talking in terms of 250,000 to 510,000 deaths in the U.K. and social media aflame with demands for something to be done, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had no other option. But last week, a team from Oxford University put forward an alternative model of how the pandemic might play out, suggesting a much less frightening future and a speedy end to the current nightmare.

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Michigan Tech Engineering Team Joins Open Source Ventilator Movement

Press Release | Michigan Technological University | March 20, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to spread, the research community is looking for solutions. In addition to work on vaccines and medicine, medical technology is needed. In severe cases of COVID-19, the disease attacks the respiratory system, and one of the major bottlenecks in treatment is having enough ventilators. The open-source hardware community wants to change that. Joshua Pearce...an open-source hardware expert and co-editor-in-chief of HardwareX [explained] that 3D-printed lab hardware and other open-source tech can be cost-effective and encourages design improvement. "Even complex medical devices are not outside the realm of possibility anymore."

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White House Call to Action to the Tech Community on New Open Access Machine Readable COVID-19 Dataset

Press Release | White House | March 16, 2020

Today, researchers and leaders from the Allen Institute for AI, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), Microsoft, and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health released the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) of scholarly literature about COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and the Coronavirus group. Requested by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the dataset represents the most extensive machine-readable Coronavirus literature collection available for data and text mining to date, with over 29,000 articles, more than 13,000 of which have full text.

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COVID-19 Will Be The Ultimate Stress Test For Electronic Health Record Systems

Eric D. Perakslis and Erich Huang | STAT | March 12, 2020

As the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 continues its march around the world and through the United States, it is spawning another kind of infection: Covid-19 cyber threats aimed at individuals and health systems. We aren't crying wolf here. Disaster planning experts know all too well that preexisting weaknesses become worse during crises. The WannaCry cyber attack that devastated the United Kingdom's National Health Service is a good example. Outdated infrastructure containing components with long-understood vulnerabilities are a hacker's paradise...The undeniable fact that electronic health record systems are designed to track and bill procedures rather than provide optimal patient care is likely to be on full display as the health system becomes increasingly saturated with Covid-19 patients.

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Coronavirus Adds New Stress To Antiquated Health Record-Keeping

Darius Tahir | Politico | March 11, 2020

The U.S. health care system is on the leading edge of many technologies - except when it comes to passing information between doctors, laboratories, and public health officials. And that could add another snarl to the already troubled effort to test for coronavirus. Overreliance on faxing, phones and paper records is problem enough in ordinary times. Adding thousands of coronavirus tests a day will test the ability of providers, labs, and public health officials to keep track of all the results. Because not all results are automatically downloaded into physicians' records, the doctors may need to log into laboratory web portals or, if all else fails, turn to faxes and phones to learn test results.

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WELL Health Announces Flu Surveillance Partnership with McMaster University and the Public Health Agency of Canada

Press Release | WELL Health Technologies Corp., McMaster University | March 10, 2020

WELL Health Technologies Corp...is pleased to announce it has partnered with McMaster University ("McMaster") and the Public Health Agency of Canada ("PHAC") to introduce the digitization of the sentinel surveillance program of FluWatch, a program administered by PHAC to monitor the spread of the flu and other flu-like illnesses in the community. The FluWatch surveillance system has been in place for over two decades; however, the new "Flu Automated Surveillance Tool" or "FAST" facilitates real-time surveillance of patients presenting flu-like symptoms and automated reporting of results to PHAC to enable better assessment and decision-making, resulting in more timely results and better health outcomes for all. FAST was developed by McMaster's Department of Family Medicine, and has been clinically proven as effective in capturing an accurate picture of the actual incidence of flu in a surveillance region.

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HLN Releases Upgrade of Open Source Immunization Forecasting Tool

Press Release | HLN Consulting | February 18, 2020

HLN Consulting has released a new version (v1.22.1) of the Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE). ICE is a state-of-the-art open-source software system that provides clinical decision support for immunizations for use in Immunization Information Systems (IIS), Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Personal Health Record (PHR) Systems. This version includes important updates including...

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Medsphere to Grow Interoperable Healthcare IT Platform with $40 Million Preferred Equity Investment from TPG Sixth Street Partners

Press Release | Medsphere, TPG Sixth Street Partners | January 14, 2020

Medsphere Systems Corporation...today announced new $40 million funding to support organic growth and pursue opportunistic strategic acquisitions through a preferred equity investment by TPG Sixth Street Partners. "We are pleased to add a new partner to our software solutions-driven campaign for quality, affordable healthcare," said Medsphere President and CEO Irv Lichtenwald. "Our technology and business model allow all providers to address core needs and we are energized by the support of institutions like TPG Sixth Street Partners." "Medsphere represents a compelling opportunity to support a differentiated healthcare technology platform," said Michael McGinn, Partner and Co-Head of TPG Sixth Street Partners' Capital Solutions business.

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Big Tech Should Stay Out of Healthcare

Matthew Buck | Washington Monthly | December 2, 2019

...The use of digital technology in health care has enormous promise, to be sure. But, as the Wall Street Journal's coverage of Google's Project Nightingale revealed, there is also a potential dark side to these projects. Ascension, it noted, "also hopes to mine data to identify additional tests that could be necessary or other ways in which the system could generate more revenue from patients, documents show." That detail raises a key question that's largely overlooked in our health care debates: should the drive to maximize corporate revenues determine how health information technology develops and becomes integrated into medical practice, or should that be determined by medical science and the public?...An alternative path exists. In the 1970s, the Veterans Affairs Administration (VA) developed VistA, an open-source code system that was the country's first EHR system... Read More »

Intiva Health Incorporates TxMQ Technology for Credential Management Platform

Press Release | TxMQ, Intiva Health | November 12, 2019

TxMQ, a full-service enterprise IT solutions and consulting firm, has completed Intiva Health's Hashgraph-powered credential and career management solution, Ready Doc™. Leveraging its development partnership with Swirlds, TxMQ was selected to integrate Hashgraph into Intiva Health's platform, resulting in the first immutable and primary source-verified health care platform specifically for credential and career management-secured and powered by Hashgraph. Intiva's Ready Doc allows for the fastest placement and ongoing credentialing of physicians, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals. This innovative platform reduces the time it takes to verify and onboard new medical practitioners at facilities, ensuring quicker access to services for patients. Read More »

careMESH Launches its HL7 FHIR-Based Provider Directory in the District of Columbia

Press Release | careMESH, CRISP DC | November 12, 2019

careMESH, the only service provider to guarantee digital delivery of patient health information to any US-based clinician, today announced that is has implemented its National Provider Directory for users of the DC Health Information Exchange (HIE) in partnership with the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP)."We deployed the careMESH directory so that our DC providers would have a central place to locate the most up-to-date information about each other including their preferred communication preferences and digital contact information," said Ryan Bramble, Executive Director for CRISP DC. Read More »

Medical Health Records on iPhone Now Available to US Veterans

Press Release | Apple | November 6, 2019

Health Records on iPhone brings together veterans' hospitals, clinics and existing information on the Health app to make it easy for them to see their medical data across multiple providers.Apple and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that veterans across the nation and surrounding territories now have access to the Health Records feature in the Health app on iPhone. The VA gradually launched Health Records to select patients this summer, and now veterans who are iOS users and receive their care through the Veterans Health Administration can see a fuller, more comprehensive picture of their health that includes information from multiple providers. "Helping veterans gain a better understanding of their health is our chance to show our gratitude for their service," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer. "By working with the VA to offer Health Records on iPhone, we hope to help those who served have greater peace of mind that their health care is in good hands." Read More »

ASF Announces Singapore's Apache SINGA Deep Learning Tool as a Top-Level Project

Press Release | Apache Software Foundation (ASF) | November 4, 2019

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF)...announced today Apache® SINGA™ as a Top-Level Project (TLP). Apache SINGA is an Open Source distributed, scalable machine learning library. The project was originally developed in 2014 at the National University of Singapore, and was submitted to the Apache Incubator in March 2015. "We are excited that SINGA has graduated from the Apache Incubator," said Wei Wang, Vice President of Apache SINGA and Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore. "The SINGA project started at the National University of Singapore, in collaboration with Zhejiang University, focusing on scalable distributed deep learning. In addition to scalability, during the incubation process, built multiple versions to improve the project's usability and efficiency. Incubating SINGA at the ASF brought opportunities to collaborate, grew our community, standardize the development process, and more." Read More »

Why Computerized Medical Records Are Bad for Both You and Your Doctor

Samuel Shem | Newsweek | November 1, 2019

We should not click for cash, but for care. We can use the data to benefit the patient-and the medical professionals...The EMR could have been a lifesaver. It still can be. If we get rid of on-screen, for-profit billing, and use electronic screens exclusively for care, we solve a lot of problems. We could create a true national health care system, modeled after our existing two national systems-Medicare/Medicaid and the VA. As in all other national systems, each procedure would cost about the same all over the country. On longitudinal charts showing the health of Americans as they age, a sharp rise in good health suddenly increases at age 65, when Medicare kicks in. Read More »

Global OpenHIE Community to Hold 2019 Conference in Ethiopia

Press Release | Regenstrief Institute | October 29, 2019

The OpenHIE community will hold its second annual community meeting November 4-8, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Between 200 and 300 individuals are expected to attend with the ultimate goal of development and efficient and effective operation of national and regional health information exchanges. OpenHIE, short for Open Health Information Exchange, is a global, mission-driven collective dedicated to improving the health of the underserved through open, collaborative development of implementation tools and to supporting country-driven, large-scale health information exchange. Read More »