Health IT

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An Epic Fight For the Metaverse—Fortnite Takes on the Big Tech Oligopolies

You might have missed it amongst all the headlines about the U.S.P.S., the 2020 elections, and, of course, that little thing we call the pandemic, but Fortnite got kicked off Apple's App Store (and subsequently Google Play). I'm not a gamer, but I am fascinated by gaming, because, as Steven Johnson put it, "The Future is where people are having the most fun." Tim Sweeney, the founder and CEO of Epic Games, Inc., which makes Fortnite, seems to be having a lot of fun. And he thinks the future is the Metaverse. Healthcare, take note. The tech giants were reacting to Epic allowing "permanent discounts" on developer fees for in-game purchases made directly, rather than going through Apple or Google. Developers thus avoid the 30% commission charged in those Stores. Mr. Sweeney has been railing about the commission level for some time, leading to the recent decision.

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An interoperability update: Do we need more carrots and sticks?

Earlier this year, the ONC released the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), which responds to a mandate included in 2016’s 21st Century Cures Act and lays out principles, terms and conditions on which to base an interoperability framework that healthcare organizations can embrace. “This means patients who have received care from multiple doctors and hospitals should have their medical history electronically accessible on demand by any other treating provider in a network that signed the Common Agreement,” said National Coordinator for Health IT Donald Rucker in a recent blog post. To achieve that goal, TEFCA is divided into parts A, the principles, and B, the terms and conditions, which is also where the rubber meets the road for many who live in the healthcare IT world...

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Andy Oram

I write and edit documents about many aspects of computing, with a scope ranging from blog postings to full-length books. For many years I worked as an editor at O'Reilly & Associates, a highly respected book publisher and technology information provider. My topics there covered a wide range of computer technologies: data science and machine learning, programming languages, Web performance, Internet of Things, databases, free and open source software, and more.

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ApacheCon 2020 features Natural Language Processing for Electronic Medical Records in dedicated track on Apache cTAKES

Press Release | Apache Software Foundation | September 21, 2020

ApacheCon, the official conference series of The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the world's largest Open Source foundation, announced today its first dedicated track on Apache cTAKES. The track will be held on all three days of the ApacheCon@Home virtual conference, taking place online 29 September - 1 October 2020. Registration is free of charge for all participants and is required in advance to participate. Now in its 22nd year, ApacheCon is the primary gathering of the collective Apache community worldwide, drawing attendees from more than 130 countries. ApacheCon showcases the latest breakthroughs from dozens of Apache projects, upcoming innovations in the Apache Incubator, and sessions on developing community-led Open Source projects "The Apache Way".

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Application Deadline to Host OpenMRS 2018 Annual Implementers Meet Coming Up

The deadline to apply to host the 2018 International OpenMRS Implementers conference is coming up on April 30 [updated]. Nations that want to host the meeting need to answer the detailed questionnaire by that time. For those Open Health News readers who have missed one of the greatest health IT stories of the decade, the Government of Uganda hosted the 2016 OpenMRS meeting in their capital city of Kampala. The conference was such an extraordinary success that a large number of other national governments volunteered to host the 2017 Implementer's conference. There are currently close to 40 countries around the world where OpenMRS is being implemented throughout the county in large-scale deployments.

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Are CMS' Efforts Too Little and Too Late to Save the Collapsing US Rural Healthcare System?

With 35 percent of rural hospitals losing money and almost two-thirds running a negative operating margin, there’s simply no way rural facilities can invest in health IT without help...It’s clear that CMS understands we can’t leave rural hospitals to fend for themselves. But it also seems clear that a lot of hospitals invested in electronic health records (EHRs) they could ill afford to qualify for Meaningful Use funds—dollars that seldom covered implementation costs for solutions that didn’t yield significant cost savings and required additional technical personnel...“The high capital and operating costs associated with health IT, specifically EHRs, have put some hospitals in a difficult position,” wrote Becker’s Hospital CFO in a prescient January 2014 article. “Do they absorb the financial hit now, even if they know they can't afford it? Most organizations are doing so …”

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Are The Keys To Interoperable Health IT Hidden Outside The Health Care Field?

Billy Mitchell | FedScoop | September 24, 2014

To build a truly modern and interoperable health care system, some leading health IT experts think critical answers may be hidden in industries typically thought to be unassociated with health care...

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As Funding Dries Up, ONC Reorganizes, Consolidates Offices

Dan Bowman | Fierce Health IT | May 30, 2014

National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo, in an internal memo sent to ONC staffers and emailed to FierceHealthIT late Friday, announced a slew of organizational changes at the agency. The changes also are set to appear in the Federal Register on June 3...

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Astronaut VistA Training Site Operational

Ignacio Valdes, MD | Press Release | November 28, 2012

Astronaut, LLC is proud to release its Astronaut VistA Training website and Astronaut VistA cloud. The Astronaut VistA Training site offers 24/7 clinician training and basic administrator training with certification while the Astronaut VistA cloud offers supported, no installation or on-site server necessary VistA service. Astronaut VistA Training is an entirely web-based learning platform for training and review by clinicians and basic system administrators.

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Astronaut, LLC

Astronaut EHR is an advanced version of VistA, the electronic health system developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Astronaut LLC has spent the past 18 years working on a fully modernized EHR based on VistA that leverages new technologies while relying on the solid VistA core to provide a highly capable, well-designed, sophisticated, and usable EHR that has everything needed by medicine practitioners, including mental health practitioners to efficiently record their patient’s data and leverage the date to provide better quality care.

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Been there, Done that, Doesn’t Work: Veterans Health Administration IT goes back in time

If you have an interest in the worlds of economics, healthcare or technology, here’s a story that’s emerged this month that is worth noting for the record books. In the US, amidst the chaos of the Trump administration, yet another mistake has been made this month. For the record, it is worth noting that the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) ended up with a contract for a large IT solution for the next 10 years worth about $10 billion as of May 2018. On the face of it that may appear to be unremarkable news: just another big expensive contract for an IT system. Yet there is a part sad/part silly dimension to it that is well worth flagging up at this point.

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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 »

Bingo Medicine: Are EHRs Oppressive Straightjackets?

For several decades, software builders have tried to help doctors practice medicine more efficiently and more effectively. As is often the case with good intentions, the results turned out to be a mixed bag of goods, with paternalistic overtones from the helpers and mostly resentment and frustration from those supposedly being helped. Whether we want to admit it or not, the facts of the matter are that health IT and EHRs in particular have turned from humble tools of the trade to oppressive straightjackets for the practice of medicine. Somewhere along the way, the roles were reversed, and clinicians of all stripes are increasingly becoming the tools used by technology to practice medicine.

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Brad Thompson: CDS Legislation Could Create Confusion

Dan Bowman | FierceHealthIT | July 18, 2014

On Thursday, lawmakers with the House Energy & Commerce Committee and health IT stakeholders convened on the Hill to once again discuss the role of health information technology in improving patient care...

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careMESH

careMESH is the only service on the market that guarantees 100% digital delivery of patient health information to any clinician nationwide so that healthcare providers and their support teams can communicate and collaborate with each other…instantly. Our secure services, hosted on the Google Cloud Platform© and inclusive of our proprietary FHIR-based National Clinician Directory, make it possible for clinicians and their support teams to locate each other and share digital patient health information, without the burden and expense of complex integration projects. Read More »