News Clips

Top White House Biodefense Official to Address Bipartisan Panel

Press Release | Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense | November 12, 2018

The Trump Administration recently released a National Biodefense Strategy to better defend the United States against myriad biological threats. The development and implementation of a comprehensive national biodefense strategy were among the top recommendations made by the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense in 2015. This Wednesday, November 14, the Panel will convene at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. to gain a better understanding of how far the Executive Branch has come in implementing its National Blueprint for Biodefense.

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Open Source Machine Learning Tool Could Help Choose Cancer Drugs

Press Release | Georgia Institute of Technology | November 6, 2018

The selection of a first-line chemotherapy drug to treat many types of cancer is often a clear-cut decision governed by standard-of-care protocols, but what drug should be used next if the first one fails? That's where Georgia Institute of Technology researchers believe their new open source decision support tool could come in. Using machine learning to analyze RNA expression tied to information about patient outcomes with specific drugs, the open source tool could help clinicians chose the chemotherapy drug most likely to attack the disease in individual patients. In a study using RNA analysis data from 152 patient records, the system predicted the chemotherapy drug that had provided the best outcome 80 percent of the time. 

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FDA Launches Open Source Tool to Help Capture Data from Patients

Press Release | Food and Drug Administration | November 6, 2018

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is announcing the MyStudies app, a new mobile technology to foster the collection of real world evidence via patients' mobile devices. Real world data can be collected from a variety of sources, such as electronic health records, claims and billing activities, and product and disease registries, as well as from patient-generated data including in home-use settings, or from data gathered from other sources, such as mobile devices. As part of the agency's work to foster greater opportunities around real world evidence, the FDA partnered with Kaiser Permanente on a pilot study to measure the functionality and engagement of the MyStudies app.

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Dr. Noam Arzt named Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association

Press Release | HLN Consulting | November 1, 2018

Dr. Noam H. Arzt, president ofHLN Consulting, LLC, has been named a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). Dr. Arzt joins 129 of his colleagues in the inaugural class of fellows. The fellowship was created to recognize AMIA members who apply informatics skills and knowledge within their professional setting, who have demonstrated professional achievement and leadership, and who have contributed to the betterment of the organization. A member of AMIA since 1998, Dr. Arzt has been a leader in public health informatics for many years. He has been active in various AMIA task forces and workgroups, and has been a speaker at AMIA conferences, events, and webinars.

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Developers from 156 Nations Work on Open Source Apps to Help Victims of Natural Disasters. Project OWL Wins 'Call for Code Global Prize'

Press Release | Call for Code Global Initiative | October 30, 2018

With the global reach and vision of Call for Code Creator David Clark Cause, Founding Partner IBM, and Charitable Partners United Nation Human Rights and The American Red Cross, the largest engagement of developers in history culminated with the Call for Code Global Prize winners and finalists being celebrated last night during a gala event globally broadcast from The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Knowing that people suffer when communications are destroyed when natural disasters strike, Project OWL is an innovative software/hardware solution that includes an offline communication infrastructure, providing first responders with a simple experience for managing all aspects of disaster response.

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IBM To Acquire Red Hat, Completely Changing The Cloud Landscape And Becoming World's #1 Hybrid Cloud Provider

Press Release | IBM, Red Hat | October 28, 2018

IBM and Red Hat the world's leading provider of open source cloud software, announced today that the companies have reached a definitive agreement under which IBM will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Red Hat for $190.00 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $34 billion...."The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the cloud market," said Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "IBM will become the world's #1 hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses.

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FDA Partners with Sensato-ISAO and H-ISAC to Create Open Source Cybersecurity Intelligence Network and Resource

Press Release | Sensato, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (H-ISAC) | October 9, 2018

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) has officially executed a tri-lateral agreement between the FDA, the Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (H-ISAC) and the Sensato-Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (Sensato-ISAO), Sensato announced today. The goal of the agreement is "to ensure that essential medical device or healthcare cybersecurity vulnerability information can be shared with all stakeholders within the HPH Sector, including those who are not members of H-ISAC and Sensato-ISAO," according to a statement from the FDA. "This collaboration will help inform a common understanding of that risk threshold upon which exploit of a vulnerability might impact on patient safety and/or public health."

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HHS Deputy Secretary Hargan Announces Collaboration to Accelerate Innovation and Investment in Healthcare

Press Release | US Department of Health and Human Services | September 19, 2018

Today, Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan announced the creation of the Deputy Secretary's Innovation and Investment Summit (DSIIS). The DSIIS will be a yearlong collaboration between healthcare innovation and investment professionals and HHS personnel who will meet quarterly to discuss the innovation and investment landscape within the healthcare sector, emerging opportunities, and the government's role in facilitating more investment and accelerated innovation.

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Bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense Applauds Release of National Biodefense Strategy as a Crucial Step in Protecting the U.S. From Biological Attacks

Press Release | Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense | September 18, 2018

The bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense today applauded the Trump Administration for developing and releasing a National Biodefense Strategy to better defend the U.S. against myriad biological threats. The development and implementation of a comprehensive national biodefense strategy was among the top recommendations of the Panel's 2015 report: A National Blueprint for Biodefense...Governor Tom Ridge, Panel Co-Chair, [said] "Today's release of the National Biodefense Strategy is an important and necessary part of U.S. national security...We look forward to the White House assigning responsibilities for each element of this Plan to specific federal departments and agencies, and establishing timelines for their completion. This is the sort of proactive planning and preparation the American people are looking for in their federal government." Read More »

What Puerto Rico’s Death Toll from Hurricane Maria Really Tells Us

Nicolette Louissaint | The Hill | September 7, 2018

The recently released report from the Milken Institute is perhaps the strongest rebuke to date on the impact of Hurricane Maria during the 2017 hurricane season. The report notes nearly 3,000 people have died in Puerto Rico because of the storm. These numbers provide a more accurate depiction of the devastation and lives lost in Puerto Rico. While sad and troubling, it is important to call out that these updated numbers do not even account for the death toll in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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José Andrés’s riveting ‘We Fed an Island’ calls for a revolution in disaster relief

Tim Carman | Washington Post | September 6, 2018

After dealing with so much red tape and mismanagement... Andrés wants the government and nonprofit groups to rethink the way they handle food after a large-scale natural disaster. He wants them to drop the authoritarian, top-down style and embrace the chaos inherent in crisis. Work with available local resources, whether residents or idle restaurants and schools. Give people the authority and the means to help themselves. Stimulate the local economy.“What we did was embrace complexity every single second,” Andrés writes. “Not planning, not meeting, just improvising. The old school wants you to plan, but we needed to feed the people.” Andrés and World Central Kitchen have embraced complexity. An organization not originally designed as a food relief organization, WCK has, in the aftermath of Puerto Rico, sent chefs to Hawaii, Guatemala, Indonesia and other locales to feed locals in need.

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“The Opioid Crisis Wake-Up Call” Takes Aim at Roots of Century’s Greatest U.S. Healthcare Crisis

Press Release | Health Rosetta | September 4, 2018

The widespread overprescription and abuse of opioids has become the most visible symbol of the failures of the U.S. healthcare system. Now a new book by Dave Chase, founder of Health Rosetta, provides the first comprehensive prescription for fixing that entire broken system. The Opioid Crisis Wake-Up Call: Health Care Stole the American Dream. Here’s How We Take It Back is a rallying cry for nationwide systems change, spearheaded at the local level. “The opioid epidemic is affecting millions of families, thousands of employers, and nearly every community,” said Chase. “It’s a problem that demands our attention and focus, and which we can only truly fix by attacking the upstream cause of the entire mess: the continued dysfunction of the U.S. healthcare system.”

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FEMA Was Overwhelmed by Hurricanes and Wildfires in 2017, GAO Says

Erin Ailworth | Wall Street Journal | September 4, 2018

The back-to-back devastation of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, followed by catastrophic wildfires in California, overwhelmed federal disaster responders in 2017, according to a government report released Tuesday. The unprecedented sequence of storms and fires forced Federal Emergency Management Agency staff to jump from one disaster to another and in some cases use uncertified workers to fill key roles. “They were 30% understaffed when Harvey hit,” said Chris Currie, director of emergency management issues at the Government Accountability Office, which wrote Tuesday’s report. “By the time Maria hit Puerto Rico, they were down to the bottom of the barrel.”

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GWU Milken Institute School of Public Health releases report on deaths due to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and outlines steps to protect the most vulnerable communities from disasters

Press Release | GWU Milken Institute School of Public Health | August 28, 2018

In an independent report published today, researchers at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GW Milken Institute SPH) estimated there were 2,975 excess deaths in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria from September 2017 through the end of February 2018. The researchers also identified gaps in the death certification and public communication processes and went on to make recommendations that will help prepare Puerto Rico for future hurricanes and other natural disasters.

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Plan VI - OSEHRA Launching Internationalized Version of VistA

Press Release | OSEHRA | August 28, 2018

OSEHRA is pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative to create an internationalized version of the VistA Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. Originally developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VistA is periodically released to the public via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and enhanced by the OSEHRA community to create OSEHRA VistA, an open source resource for the entire EHR community. The internationalization effort, dubbed Plan VI, aims to expand VistA capability by making it compatible with various different languages and creating a reference implementation for global use.

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