coronavirus

See the following -

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.

Read More »

Coronavirus and the Recurring Mistake of Fighting the Wrong Wars

What do the coronavirus and Navy ships have in common? For that matter, what do our military spending and our healthcare spending have in common? More than you might think, and it boils down to this: we spend too much for too little, in large part because we tend to always be fighting the wrong wars.I started thinking about this a couple weeks ago due to a WSJ article about the U.S. Navy's "aging and fragmented technology." An internal Navy strategy memo warned that the Navy is "under cyber siege" by foreign adversaries, leaking information "like a sieve." It grimly pointed out...

Read More »

Corporate Resilience During A Pandemic

As humanity grapples with the spread of COVID-19 globally, the emotional response is to do something, anything, everything. But how do we take that energy and successfully adapt? Most prudent organizations have had on their radar more visible threats like hurricanes, earthquakes, power outages, terrorism, and war. The quiet pervasiveness of a pandemic seems to have caught us by surprise. But is adapting to a pandemic really that different? The good news is that proven principles still apply. Read More »

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.

Read More »

How Laboratories and their Systems can Weather Natural Disasters and Pandemics

We are currently experiencing a global pandemic - which, while perhaps included in disaster preparedness Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by many labs as a possible disaster, still has caught most the infrastructure and health systems of most nations largely unprepared, and is causing major disruption because it was arguably not seen as one of the most likely events. Disaster preparedness has typically tended to focus on IT and data management risks and/or natural disasters. SOPs center around standard, daily lab safety. The truth is that whatever the odds of a particular disaster, they become 100% once they happen. It's important to have sufficient risk-reduction SOPs in play, and a good Continuity Of Operations Plan (COOP) for each potential scenario to ensure the best chance of coping during the event and recovering afterwards.

Read More »

How open source software is fighting COVID-19

Since the end of January, the [open source] community has contributed to thousands of open source repositories that mention coronavirus or COVID-19. These repositories consist of datasets, models, visualizations, web and mobile applications, and more, and the majority are written in JavaScript and Python. Previously, we shared information about several open hardware makers helping to stop the spread and suffering caused by the coronavirus. Here, we're sharing four (of many) examples of how the open source software community is responding to coronavirus and COVID-19, with the goal of celebrating the creators and the overall impact the open source community is making on the world right now.

Read More »

How to Contribute to Open Source Healthcare Projects for COVID-19

Many of those that are familiar with the maker movement, including me, believe there is a significant opportunity to apply open source design principles and mass-scale collaborative distributed manufacturing technologies (like open source 3D printing) to at least partially overcome medical supply shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic...Many people agree there is enormous potential with the approach despite the challenges and have started to self-organize to develop open source hardware to fight COVID-19. The largest group is Project Open Air. They are a group of "Helpful Engineers" who have congregated to aid in the COVID-19 pandemic response by developing both open source hardware and open source software. The Helpful Engineers are working on medical devices such as open source ventilators, to create a solution that can be quickly reproduced and assembled locally worldwide. Read More »

LabLynx Joins the COVID-19 Fight by Introducing Laboratory System Dedicated to Infectious Disease Diagnostic Testing

Press Release | LabLynx | April 9, 2020

LabLynx, Inc., long-time leader in enterprise-level cloud-hosted LIMS/LIS, today announced it has developed the world's first LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) dedicated specifically to COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Called "CovidLiMS," its main features include, crucially, swift setup-to-live time: 2-5 days, including training, according to LabLynx President John H. Jones.

Read More »

Pandemics Are the Mother of Invention

Many believe that the Allies won WWII in large part because of how industry in the U.S. geared up to produce fantastic amounts of weapons and other war materials. It took some time for businesses to retool and get production lines flowing, during which the Axis powers made frightening advances, but once they did it was only a matter of time until the Allies would prevail. Similarly, COVID-19 is making scary inroads around the world, while businesses are still gearing up to produce the number of ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE), tests, and other badly needed supplies. COVID-19 is currently outnumbering these efforts, but eventually we'll get the necessary equipment in the needed amounts. Eventually. What intrigues me, though, is how people are innovating, inventing new solutions to the shortages we face. I want to highlight a few of these:

Read More »

The Need for Speed - It's Time to Act!

As a society we also need to get moving on the population level as well - and the sooner the better! In his fascinating genomic epidemiology detective work Trevor Bedford conducted based on the COVID-19 research he and his team had done in the Bedford lab in Seattle WA, he concluded that the narrow testing that was done in the Seattle area in the early days of the Coronavirus spread allowed the virus to spread faster. In contrast, the Coronavirus testing-blitz in South Korea appears to keep the death rate lower than it could be. It's time to test! The FDA gave high-tech labs the green light to operate tests before receiving any agency review or authorization and both Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp already announced that they have test in the market. But according to CDC, as of March 8 there were only 1,707 tests performed in the US vs. 189,236 in South Korea.

Read More »

Using Open Technology To Build a Biodefense Against the Coronavirus

As the number of US cases of the coronavirus rises, how will healthcare professionals be able to tell the difference between which panicked patients with similar symptoms has what? Even if the patient hasn't traveled to Wuhan or China recently, what if they sat at a Starbucks with someone who did? With the incubation time-lag before symptoms appear, who would even know? The challenge of monitoring 330 million people for infectious disease outbreaks is daunting. Take the flu as an example. During the last flu season which, as already discussed, was not as complex as this year's season, approximately 35.5 million Americans had flu symptoms, 16.5 million received medical care, 490,600 were hospitalized and 34,200 died.

Read More »

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.

Read More »