HealthTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Healthcare en 5 Essential Questions to Answer for a Smooth Windows 10 Migration <span>5 Essential Questions to Answer for a Smooth Windows 10 Migration</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-0" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dan.watson_nZF0</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/18/2019 - 15:48</span> <div><p>Migrating to <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft Windows 10</a> is a complex process, but <strong>careful planning and tool selection</strong> will ensure that it runs smoothly. Here are answers to common questions about migrating to the new operating system.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> Keep device security in mind when making the Windows 10 migration</a></em>.</p> <p><strong>1. What should be included in a Windows 10 migration plan?</strong> Decide whether to upgrade or perform a fresh installation. Fresh installs require more upfront work but can be more reliable in the long term. Schedule migration and hardware replacement simultaneously to save time and money. Determine which software branch to use; most devices should use the Semi-Annual Channel.</p> <p><strong>2. What items should a migration checklist include?</strong> Test all apps to ensure Windows 10 compatibility. Decide how to deal with future feature and quality updates. Finally, determine which <strong>user and OS settings</strong> to migrate. Run test migrations for targeted user groups and phase the migration across devices.</p> <p><strong>3. Which tools assist with Windows 10 migration?</strong> Upgrade Readiness in the <a href="" target="_blank">Azure</a> Operations Management Suite determines if hardware will work. The User State Migration Tool (USMT) saves and reinstates user settings after a fresh install; the Application Compatibility Toolkit tests app compatibility. Use the <strong>Microsoft Deployment Toolkit</strong> and System Center Configuration Manager to orchestrate upgrades and fresh installs.</p> <p><strong>4. What steps can be taken to avoid data loss during migration?</strong> Use the USMT data store to temporarily hold user data and settings. Group Policy folder redirection and <a href=";ctlgfilter=&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">OneDrive</a> for Business Known Folder Migration can also guarantee that data is safe. Make sure employees store data only in approved locations.</p> <p><strong>5. What updated security measures are in place in Windows 10?</strong> Application Guard and Credential Guard use virtualization-based security to protect against malicious software and domain credential attacks. Microsoft Edge is a new standards-based browser with better security than Internet Explorer. <strong>Anti-malware</strong> is included in the form of Windows Defender, and Windows Hello provides password-free biometric login support. Advanced threat protection is built in for subscribers.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> 4 tips for a balanced healthcare mobile device management rollout</em></a>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/russell-smith" hreflang="en">Russell Smith</a></div> </div> Tue, 18 Jun 2019 19:48:26 +0000 dan.watson_nZF0 42606 at How Mobile Devices Improve Patient Experience, Quality of Life <span>How Mobile Devices Improve Patient Experience, Quality of Life</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-0" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dan.watson_nZF0</span></span> <span>Thu, 06/13/2019 - 15:10</span> <div><p>Adolescent and young adult oncology patients wrestle with significant mental and social issues in addition to the challenges of their medical condition. Fatigue, reduced physical activity and social isolation are all common. But one study suggests technology can improve their health-related quality of life.</p> <p>Most patients (<strong>85 percent</strong>) who were equipped with <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Fitbits</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Apple</a> iPads<strong> </strong>loaded with a meditation app and a suite of games designed for young cancer patients reported that they used the devices to track multiple aspects of their health and <strong>79 percent</strong> reported a subjective increase in physical activity. In addition to a user experience questionnaire designed for the study, researchers used the <a href="" target="_blank">RAND-36</a> standardized short-form health survey, assessing eight dimensions of health-related quality of life upon entering the study and again six months later, or at the end of treatment, whichever occurred first.</p> <p>After the intervention, participants demonstrated <strong>significant improvements across all eight dimensions</strong>, according to Dr. Ilana R. Yurkiewicz of <a href="" target="_blank">Stanford University School of Medicine</a> and her colleagues, who published their findings based on responses from 33 patients at Stanford University Medical Center in the <a href="" target="_blank">Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology</a>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> A different study found that Apple Watches can detect atrial fibrillation</em></a>.</p> <h2 id="toc_0">Wearables Can Help with Pain Management, Sleep</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Phoenix Children’s Hospital</a> found a <a href="">similar approach</a> helped boost satisfaction among their patients, who had access to an <a href=";b=APL" target="_blank">iPad</a> in every room. The device stored health records and treatment plans and included access to entertainment options such as games and social media.</p> <p>“Research shows that the quality of stay for patients and <strong>their potential medical recovery can be greatly influenced</strong> by whether they have a distraction device like this,” Executive Vice President and COO David Higginson told <em>HealthTech</em>. “We have patients with cystic fibrosis who have to be in isolation over the winter months. Imagine being a teenager locked in a room with no access to social media for a month. It’s miserable.”</p> <p>Appropriate and effective pain management is also closely tied to patient satisfaction, and some organizations are using handheld technologies in this arena as well.</p> <p>At <a href="" target="_blank">Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center</a> in Las Vegas, doctors use <a href="" target="_blank">Samsung</a> tablets running AI software and a connected wearable to <strong>help patients manage pain</strong> and reduce their dependence on opioids. When the device detects a pattern that indicates pain, discomfort or nausea, it delivers personalized diversionary content.</p> <p>In addition to pain management, seniors can play <strong>cognitive games</strong> on the tablets, and patients who have trouble sleeping in hospitals can use <strong>music apps</strong> to help them nod off.</p> <p>“This has greatly enhanced the patient experience in our hospital emergency department,” said Kathy Millhiser, director of emergency services at Southern Hills. “We understand how vulnerable our patients can feel when they are in pain and come to the hospital for care.”</p> <p>Providers must prioritize patient satisfaction as part of any strategy to leverage mobile tools, says Christine Holloway, vice president of <a href="" target="_blank">CDW Healthcare</a>.</p> <p>“Like Phoenix Children’s and other organizations, <strong>providers must continuously assess the mobile landscape</strong> and adjust their strategies accordingly,” she writes in a <a href="">recent <em>HealthTech</em> article</a>. “Without a well-thought-out plan in place, hospitals will struggle to reap the benefits of deploying technology that caters to today’s end users and meets patients on their terms.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/gienna-shaw" hreflang="en">Gienna Shaw</a></div> </div> Thu, 13 Jun 2019 19:10:48 +0000 dan.watson_nZF0 42596 at 5 Ways Healthcare Organizations Guard Against Disaster <span>5 Ways Healthcare Organizations Guard Against Disaster</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-0" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dan.watson_nZF0</span></span> <span>Thu, 06/13/2019 - 14:09</span> <div><p>As paper records go the way of the dodo and as internet-enabled devices and other technologies have proliferated, <strong>keeping health IT systems up and running</strong> is critical. Hospitals, health systems and physician practices are increasingly investing in tools to ensure they can continue to provide care for patients when the worst happens.</p> <p>Whether it’s a natural disaster, a ransomware attack or even a planned outage, keeping data safe and accessible — and continuing to serve patients — requires a variety of tools, including firewalls, data encryption and monitoring solutions, and it requires services such as <strong>health information exchanges, data centers and cloud solutions</strong>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> How to optimize disaster recovery plans to withstand cyberattacks</em></a>.</p> <h2 id="toc_0">Infrastructure Upgrades for Emergency Preparedness</h2> <p>Case in point: The nation’s largest public hospital system is getting a $52 million capital infusion to <strong>upgrade its infrastructure</strong>, including $25 million to upgrade the emergency power system, critical to ensuring access to health IT systems, including networks, computers and medical devices, during an emergency.</p> <p>“We want our staff to be able to focus on meeting our patients’ care needs and keeping them healthy, not worrying about roofs and power systems,” said Dr. Mitchell Katz, CEO of East Harlem’s NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan, in an <a href="" target="_blank">announcement</a>.</p> <p>“NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan has been a mainstay in this community for decades, and this investment will help the hospital get the upgrades needed to continue serving the community,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio added.</p> <p>Here are a few of the technologies and tactics organizations use to protect themselves and their patients:</p> <h2>1. Brick-and-Mortar Lays the Foundation</h2> <p>The Houston-based <a href="" target="_blank">MD Anderson Cancer Center</a> was <a href="">prepared for Hurricane Harvey in 2017</a> in part because of lessons learned during Hurricane Allison in 2001. That meant investing in physical infrastructure. It used Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to build flood walls, and <strong>it moved technical equipment out of the basement</strong>. The data center on the main campus now resides on the fourth floor, with the electronic health record and other primary applications spread between it and two other data centers, miles away. Its systems can run for about 80 days on diesel generators.</p> <h2>2. HIEs Ensure the Flow of Information</h2> <p>The use of Health Information Exchanges should be <a href="">baked into emergency plans</a>, says Doug Dietzman, executive director of the Grand Rapids, Mich.–based <a href="" target="_blank">Great Lakes Health Connect HIE</a>. “If and when people in our communities get spread to the wind, or even sent to other states, there is an ability to have that data ready to follow them, and care for them,” he says. The HIE resides in two colocated data centers, both of which support the organization’s Health Connect platform to <strong>maintain high availability</strong>, he says. “If the platform goes down, it’s immediately picked back up.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> After disaster strikes, technology planning is critical to helping hospitals rebuild</em></a>.</p> <h2>3. Technology Flies in to Save the Day </h2> <p>Organizations are thinking up new ways to connect patients and providers during emergencies. For example, <a href="" target="_blank">Healthcare Integrated Rescue Operations</a> offers kits for <strong>critical care and mass casualty response delivered by drones</strong>, even before first responders can arrive. Along with standard medications and medical equipment, the kit includes a pair of smart glasses that integrate with an augmented reality headset. This solution allows physicians to see the same thing as a bystander delivering care at the scene, Dr. Italo Subbarao, an associate dean and associate professor at <a href="" target="_blank">William Carey University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine</a> in Hattiesburg, Miss., <a href="">tells <em>HealthTech</em></a>.</p> <h2>4. Telehealth Finds a Way Through</h2> <p>In communities cut off by natural disasters, telehealth is, quite literally, a lifesaver. Patients who can’t travel can reach out to local physicians via smartphone, laptop or tablet. As long as patient and doctor have mobile access, they can use apps such as <a href="" target="_blank">Skype</a> to connect, but if power is down at the local hospital, patients and physicians can also reach each other across state lines.</p> <h2>5. Flash Storage Puts Data at Hand </h2> <p>Some progressive organizations are <a href="">turning to flash storage for primary storage and backup</a>, particularly for EHRs and virtual desktop infrastructure, according to Josh Gluck, vice president of global healthcare technology strategy at <a href="" target="_blank">Pure Storage</a> and an adjunct professor of health policy &amp; management at New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. “The performance and availability benefits offered in production and backup environments can provide <strong>significant improvements in patient care and clinical efficiency</strong>. What’s more, with the right solution in place, flash technology can deliver reductions in total cost of ownership for providers of all sizes,” he writes in a <em>HealthTech</em> <a href="">article</a>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/gienna-shaw" hreflang="en">Gienna Shaw</a></div> </div> Thu, 13 Jun 2019 18:09:11 +0000 dan.watson_nZF0 42591 at Q&A: Microsoft Healthcare’s Peter Lee on How the Cloud Will Transform Health IT <span>Q&amp;A: Microsoft Healthcare’s Peter Lee on How the Cloud Will Transform Health IT</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-0" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dan.watson_nZF0</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/11/2019 - 15:47</span> <div><p>Cloud technology is <a href="">becoming a crucial solution for healthcare systems</a> of all types. No provider is too large or small to benefit, says Peter Lee, corporate vice president of <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft Healthcare</a>.</p> <p>“From a one-nurse clinic in Kenya to <a href="" target="_blank">Kaiser Permanente</a> and everything in between, we have the privilege to see these organizations making this <strong>shift of their fundamental IT infrastructure from on-premises systems to the cloud</strong>,” Lee says, “and a real desire to embrace machine learning and AI and data science.”</p> <p>The challenge comes in helping providers embrace the shift and in developing new tools and interventions to facilitate seamless, intuitive care. But much of the relevant data to do so comes via electronic health records — a platform Microsoft wants to assist, not displace.</p> <p>“What the EHR companies do is really important and has a level of complexity and expertise Microsoft would never take on,” Lee says. “But we know that <strong>more and more of those systems will be migrating to the cloud</strong>. Even the ones that don’t will have a need for cloud services.”</p> <p>The goal: using cloud technology to help providers collaborate, cut costs and cure disease.</p> <p>Lee recently spoke with <em>HealthTech</em> at the 2019 Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C.:</p> <p><strong><em>HEALTHTECH:</em> What cloud-related security concerns do healthcare systems have?</strong></p> <p>It has been a learning process for us to realize that the <strong>healthcare industry isn’t aware of the security benefits of the cloud</strong>. There’s a level of robustness and knowledge and global view we have that really can’t be matched.</p> <p>To give you a sense of scale, we have over 270 data centers around the world dispersed in 54 geographical regions. All of those centers are on our own private global network. It’s a level of security that is really impossible to match on a smaller scale.</p> <p>As little as two years ago, cloud systems weren’t really capable of onboarding large amounts of patient data in accordance with regulatory requirements. That has changed dramatically. Our cloud is now to the point where it is <strong>fully compliant with all requirements around HIPAA</strong>. You can now bring health data to the cloud, and you can analyze it using machine learning.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH</strong>: Service desk solutions help provider IT teams manage their day-to-day headaches</a></em>.</p> <p><strong><em>HEALTHTECH:</em> How might the roles of AI and the cloud evolve in healthcare?</strong></p> <p>The one that’s nearest and dearest to our heart has been developing AI technology that empowers people, enabling them to be more productive and improving workday satisfaction and healthcare experience.</p> <p>For example, we’ve been working very hard on understanding doctor and patient speech and language to <strong>reduce the burden of clinical note-taking</strong> — a system that would listen to doctor-patient encounters and automate a large portion of that conversation.</p> <p>Another effort, <a href="" target="_blank">Project Hanover</a>, is ingesting more than 3,000 research papers in oncology every day and doing automated machine reading to build a knowledge graph being used by tumor boards around the world.</p> <p><strong><em>HEALTHTECH:</em> What function can predictive analytics play?</strong></p> <p>AI can look at health data from large populations and <strong>extract insights and make predictions</strong>. It’s one of the primary parts of <a href="" target="_blank">our collaboration with Walgreens</a>, which has more than 9 million customers entering their stores every day.</p> <p>The company has the opportunity to see an extremely large amount of trend data. So, we might be able to project the demand for, say, the shingles vaccine in different regions of the world. That’s not only a public health benefit but a revenue benefit for Walgreens.</p> <p>The other side of predictive analytics is being able to look at claims from a large number of people. From that, <strong>you’re able to develop models that can make a good prediction</strong>; for example, what’s the next health event that a person with a given history most likely could have?</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH</strong>: Data lakes take healthcare analytics to the next level</em></a>.</p> <p><strong><em>HEALTHTECH:</em> Where is precision medicine headed in this context?</strong></p> <p>We’ve been working with organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to sequence all of their patients to open up the <a href="" target="_blank">world’s largest pediatric cancer gene database</a>. We did that in close collaboration with the top researchers at St. Jude to make a foundation for what we hope to be <strong>a source of AI-powered research tools</strong> to really help get at these rare cancers.</p> <p>We’ve also been focused on work with <strong>adaptive biotechnologies, sequencing and understanding the adaptive immune system</strong>. We’ve been building a vast machine learning pipeline, similar to what we do in translating different languages.</p> <p>The long-term dream is a test for everything: Every year, you take a simple blood test and you get a snapshot of what your adaptive immune system is dealing with. The rate of training data we’re generating for machine systems is about 1 trillion labeled data points per year. We’ll need several trillion for this to work.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/kevin-joy" hreflang="en">Kevin Joy</a></div> </div> Tue, 11 Jun 2019 19:47:53 +0000 dan.watson_nZF0 42586 at mHealth Tools Boost Medication Adherence <span>mHealth Tools Boost Medication Adherence</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-0" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dan.watson_nZF0</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/10/2019 - 14:22</span> <div><p>There are a lot of <strong>barriers to medication adherence</strong> among patients with chronic conditions. Among them, many people overestimate how well they think they’re complying with their prescription regimen. Those who admit to skipping doses cite side effects (<strong>44 percent</strong>) or inconvenient timing of their dose (<strong>28 percent</strong>) as key obstacles.</p> <p>And help from loved ones isn’t always welcome: Participants in the <a href="" target="_blank">survey</a>, which was conducted by Russell Research on behalf of <a href="" target="_blank">Express Scripts</a>, said the most annoying source of reminders is their spouse or partner.</p> <p>“This survey shows that while patients with chronic diseases know that medication is critical to their treatment and health, they don’t always act on that knowledge,” Snezana Mahon, vice president of Express Scripts Clinical Solutions, said in an <a href="" target="_blank">announcement</a> of the survey results.</p> <p>“Given <strong>the huge cost of nonadherence</strong> to an individual patient’s health, as well as to the country as a whole, it’s essential for patients and clinicians to work together to find solutions to help overcome barriers to adherence.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH</strong>: How wearables can help to battle heart disease</em></a>.</p> <h2 id="toc_0">The Most Effective Medication Reminders</h2> <p>So what’s the best way to improve medication adherence (and also keep the peace at home)? Respondents see technology-based medication reminders as helpful tools: <strong>74 percent</strong> of respondents aged 18-34 years and <strong>62 percent </strong>of those aged 35-54 years believe assistance from mobile health apps or wearable devices would help them be better at taking their medications.</p> <p>That tracks with research that younger people, especially millennials and Generation Z, want their providers to offer digital capabilities, such as mobile access to test results and prescription refills. In one <a href="">recent Accenture study</a>, <strong>half of all patients</strong> said they expect providers to communicate digitally; <strong>70 percent</strong> said they were more likely to choose a provider that offered the ability to follow up or send appointment reminders via email or text.</p> <p><strong>Mobile health technology</strong> can also help patients take their medication as prescribed, according to the Express Scripts survey, with features such as reminders to take medications and refill prescriptions. Bonus features allow patients and caregivers to track compliance and offer easy in-app refill orders.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH</strong>: Clinical apps and virtual assistants can improve patient engagement</a></em>.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">The Potential of mHealth Technology</h2> <p>“The influx of innovations in mobile and <a href="">digital solutions to facilitate healthy behavior</a> and improve health outcomes is enormous,” Sheana Bull, a professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health in the Colorado School of Public Health and the director of the mHealth Impact Laboratory, wrote in a recent <em>HealthTech</em> article.</p> <p>And although the industry is still trying to quantify the effectiveness of mHealth solutions, “a small but growing body of evidence demonstrates that <strong>text messages effectively facilitate healthy behaviors</strong> such as medication adherence and compliance with healthcare appointments,” she writes.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Ochsner Health System</a> in Louisiana is putting it all together with <a href="">a digital medicine program that allows patients to wirelessly upload remote vital signs</a>, such as blood pressure readings, to an app on their smartphone. Pharmacists and health coaches monitor the results and contact patients if they need to adjust medication or suggest lifestyle changes. As part of the program’s pilot in 2015, Ochsner also equipped patients with an <a href=";ctlgfilter=&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Apple Watch</a>, providing medication and exercise reminders, activity tracking and prescription renewal notifications.</p> <p>“The three main drivers of nonadherence come from <strong>cost, clinical or behavioral reasons</strong>,” Kyle Amelung, a senior clinical consultant to Express Scripts, <a href="" target="_blank">tells</a> mHealth Intelligence. “All three can be solved through mobile health tools.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/gienna-shaw" hreflang="en">Gienna Shaw</a></div> </div> Mon, 10 Jun 2019 18:22:13 +0000 dan.watson_nZF0 42581 at FDA Debates Framework for AI-Based Medical Devices <span>FDA Debates Framework for AI-Based Medical Devices</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-0" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dan.watson_nZF0</span></span> <span>Fri, 06/07/2019 - 12:44</span> <div><p>The FDA is crafting <strong>a new regulatory framework</strong> to promote the development of safe and effective medical devices powered by advanced artificial intelligence algorithms. The agency sees promise in adaptive AI and machine learning technologies, <a href="" target="_blank">noting</a> they “have the potential to adapt and optimize device performance in real time to continuously improve healthcare for patients.”</p> <p>Under the current rules, any changes made in medical devices’ software requires FDA approval. But that rule would be burdensome for companies that make adaptive software powered by AI and machine learning because <strong>the software is continuously changing</strong> — and improving — as it <a href="">gathers data</a>.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH</strong>: Three ways to manage risks posed by connected medical devices</a></em>.</p> <h2 id="toc_0">New Technologies Are ‘a Harbinger of Progress’</h2> <p>An <a href="" target="_blank">April FDA discussion paper</a> outlines some of the ways the agency could adapt to the technology, making it easier to get such devices to clinical providers and their patients.</p> <p>“The authorization of these technologies was a harbinger of progress that the FDA expects to see as more medical devices incorporate advanced artificial intelligence algorithms to improve their performance and safety,” then–FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a <a href=";utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=Eloqua;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=Eloqua" target="_blank">statement</a>. “I’m confident that these technologies will have <strong>a profound and positive impact</strong> on healthcare.”</p> <p>Modifications to traditional Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) that could have a significant effect on the safety or effectiveness of a device would still require a submission to the FDA.</p> <p>The agency <strong>has already begun approving medical devices</strong> that are driven by AI software, including one that can <a href="" target="_blank">detect diabetic retinopathy</a> and one that can <a href="" target="_blank">alert providers of a potential stroke</a> in patients. But the agency is still working to align regulations with new and evolving technologies; for example, by streamlining device approvals.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH</strong>: How predictive analytics in healthcare is changing hospitals</a></em>.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Will Innovation Continue with a New FDA Commissioner?</h2> <p>Gottlieb left his post in April, but not before laying the groundwork for federal regulations to adapt along with technology. Many saw him as <a href="">a champion for innovation</a>, and his departure “rattled” the medical device industry, <a href="" target="_blank">according to</a> the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. But Kevin Hrusovsky, founder and chairman of the annual Powering Precision Health Summit, says the <strong>new acting commissioner, Dr. Norman E. “Ned” Sharpless</strong>, has experience in healthcare entrepreneurship, which could portend a similar mindset.</p> <p>“I believe — like Gottlieb — Sharpless will not simply stand by and play a regulatory role but be more of an active innovator and partner with the business community,” writes Hrusovsky <a href="" target="_blank">in a post for <em>Barron’s</em></a>.</p> <p>Comments on the discussion paper will inform future guidance, Gottlieb said in April upon its release. “Our approach will focus on the <strong>continually evolving nature</strong> of these promising technologies. We plan to apply our current authorities in new ways to keep up with the <a href="">rapid pace of innovation</a> and ensure the safety of these devices,” he added.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/gienna-shaw" hreflang="en">Gienna Shaw</a></div> </div> Fri, 07 Jun 2019 16:44:26 +0000 dan.watson_nZF0 42576 at Cryptomining Threats Grow Stronger for Healthcare Organizations <span>Cryptomining Threats Grow Stronger for Healthcare Organizations</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-0" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dan.watson_nZF0</span></span> <span>Fri, 06/07/2019 - 11:03</span> <div><p>The value of cryptocurrencies such as <strong>bitcoin and Monero</strong> might be tumbling, but cryptocurrency mining malware is on the rise. In fact, in a <a href="" target="_blank">“most wanted” threats list</a> by security firm Check Point, resource-draining <strong>cryptomining malware were the top three items</strong>.</p> <p>Hackers can earn digital currency legitimately by mining it, but doing so takes a lot of computing power, bandwidth and electricity. Hackers use malware to steal those resources from the system of the organizations they infiltrate.</p> <p>For example, Cryptoloot, which took the top spot on the Check Point list, performs online mining of Monero cryptocurrency when a user visits a web page, a web service or an app. It happens without the user’s knowledge or approval, and the user doesn’t get a share of the currency.</p> <p>A persistent version will continue to use resources even after the user has left the site. “The implanted JavaScript [of a cryptominer] uses great computational resources of the end users to mine coins and <strong>might crash the system</strong>,” Check Point notes in <a href="" target="_blank">an earlier report</a>.</p> <p>Healthcare organizations, though not a specific target of cryptominers, are particularly vulnerable because of the sensitive data contained in their systems and because of regulations such as HIPAA, which requires breach notifications.</p> <p>Thought to be the first healthcare organization to fall victim to this kind of attack, <a href="" target="_blank">Decatur County General Hospital</a> in Parsons, Tenn., notified more than 20,000 individuals that <strong>their personal health information may have been compromised</strong> by an incident in 2017 involving cryptocurrency mining software discovered on an EHR server. The hospital noted, however, that the perpetrator wasn’t targeting personal health data and that they had found no evidence the information was actually acquired or viewed by an unauthorized individual.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH</strong>: Find out how to protect against new Mobility and IoT security threats in healthcare</a>. </em></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Equipment That May Be Vulnerable to Cryptomining</h2> <p>The hackers can attack any internet-connected device that contains a CPU, including Internet of Things devices and network and mobile devices. Their malware can also operate within browser software.</p> <p>Certain types of cryptocurrency miners could be <strong>just as damaging as a ransomware attack</strong>, particularly if they compromise or crash systems in a way that causes them to lose medical data.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH</strong>: Four cybersecurity threats to watch out for in 2019</a>.</em></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Signs of Cryptomining to Watch Out For</h2> <p>Because it runs in the background, and often when the processor is relatively idle, cryptojacking can be difficult to identify, writes Rod Piechowski, senior director of health information systems at HIMSS, <a href="">in a HealthTech article</a>.</p> <p>“The most obvious signs of a cryptominer in operation are related to performance (such as unknown processes taking up an unusual amount of CPU time) or <strong>excessive heat buildup</strong> (which can cause devices to shut down or even fail completely),” Piechowski writes. “The best action an organization can take is to understand what its normal traffic and CPU activity look like. If things slow down, cryptojacking could be involved.”</p> <p>Other best practices, according to the <a href="" target="_blank">National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center</a>, include deploying anti-virus software and firewalls, updating and patching operating systems, reviewing system privileges and <strong>educating employees about the threat</strong>.</p> <p>Of course, these are all steps healthcare organizations have taken to guard against ransomware, which has plagued the industry for years. But a <a href="" target="_blank">recent report by Kaspersky Lab</a> has good news and bad news: Ransomware is “rapidly vanishing,” and “cryptocurrency mining is starting to take its place.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/gienna-shaw" hreflang="en">Gienna Shaw</a></div> </div> Fri, 07 Jun 2019 15:03:34 +0000 dan.watson_nZF0 42571 at Why Healthcare Organizations Need Strategies for Effective Multicloud Management <span>Why Healthcare Organizations Need Strategies for Effective Multicloud Management</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-0" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dan.watson_nZF0</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/03/2019 - 15:35</span> <div><p>Healthcare organizations have embraced cloud computing and storage for a variety of business and clinical systems, from financial tools to electronic health records to connected medical devices and healthcare applications.</p> <p>But increasingly, organizations are looking to <a href="">diversify with a multicloud approach</a> — using <strong>a combination of private and public cloud services and infrastructure</strong> to store their caches of ever-expanding data.</p> <p>Before taking that step, organizations must carefully weigh the costs, benefits and drawbacks of a multicloud approach and understand the architectural implications, says Susan Snedaker, director of IT infrastructure and operations at Arizona’s Tucson Medical Center, who’s also a certified information security manager, author and consultant.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: </strong>Should you utilize multicloud or hybrid cloud?</a></em></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Migration Challenges Must Be Addressed in a Multicloud Environment</h2> <p>The cost of a multicloud deployment is “significant,” she says, because it requires building an abstraction layer between an organization’s IT infrastructure and the cloud providers’ interfaces. “For some organizations, a multicloud solution makes a lot of sense. For others, it simply adds cost and complexity,” Snedaker says. “Be sure you’re moving to a multicloud solution for the <strong>right reasons</strong> and not just because it’s the latest buzz in healthcare IT.”</p> <p>A multicloud architecture can also introduce security risks, Snedaker says. It requires solid planning and execution along with well-trained staff to carry out the work on an ongoing basis. “A solid multicloud strategy is a forever project. There is no set-it-and-forget-it mode,” she says.</p> <p>Munzoor Shaikh, a director at West Monroe Partners who leads the consulting firm’s health systems practice, says that while a multicloud setup may come with risks, <strong>cloud providers generally deliver a high level of security</strong>. “There’s a lot of fear, still, about going to the cloud. I tell my clients, ‘You are way more secure when you go to the cloud’” using solutions such as Microsoft <a href="">Azure</a>, he says.</p> <p>“Any kind of data center or any kind of cloud has way more professional-quality disaster recovery, business continuity and security,” he says. “Very few hospital IT departments can provide all three of those at a strong level.”</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: </strong>Is Cloud a Priority at Your Healthcare Organization? Then a CASB Should Be, Too</a>.</em></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Improving IT Options with Multicloud Solutions</h2> <p>University Health Care (UHC) in Miami has migrated to a multicloud architecture in part due to concerns about the region’s weather. During a natural disaster such as a hurricane, keeping healthcare IT systems up and <strong>running even in the face of a power outage is crucial</strong>, says CIO Jose Bellas.</p> <p>“If the internal network is unavailable but I have a connection to the internet and that resource is there, then, boom — I’m going to use that. It’s seamless, it’s transparent to the end user, and they stay up. Which will allow us, if there is a natural disaster, to open up at a different location, run the operations out of there, or work at another location — as long as they have an internet or cellular data connection. It just gives us that added flexibility,” Bellas says.</p> <p>UHC uses <a href="">Nutanix</a>’s hyperconverged infrastructure platform, which combines networking, storage and computing into a single appliance. The company’s Enterprise Cloud OS software converges the full infrastructure stack to manage applications across server platforms and in the public cloud.</p> <p>One of the crucial decisions that organizations must make when contemplating a multicloud strategy is <strong>what to keep on premises</strong> and what to host in the cloud. The answer depends on a variety of factors, including performance requirements that could be affected by latency in cloud services, and even how end-users interact with the system.</p> <p>For example, latency issues related to cloud applications could add seconds to each transaction made through a hospital’s cafeteria and gift shop payment systems, Shaikh says. When those seconds start to pile up, customers may face serious delays.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> Here's How to Ensure Your Healthcare Cloud Storage Stays HIPAA Compliant</a>.</em></p> <h2 id="toc_2">The Power of Cloud Diversity</h2> <p>“You could take every single application — not just your EHR but everything that a hospital runs — and send it over to the cloud. But that is not the right thing to do,” Shaikh says.</p> <p>In fact, it may be a good idea to <strong>host high-value applications</strong> — such as EHRs and data analytics — in separate clouds, he says.</p> <p>“Data analytics has special needs,” Shaikh notes. “It’s not just storing data. It’s storing large amounts of data, ingesting large amounts of data, doing so very quickly with a lot of different capabilities.”</p> <p>Resources are also a practical factor. “Depending on how fast we need to roll out the workload and whether we have the on-premises resources to run it, we’ll decide, ‘OK, maybe this workload needs to live in the cloud,’” Bellas says. “More often than not, it’s a necessity of what that workload is and how fast we need it and whether or not we can maintain it on-premises.”</p> <p>Those calculations, along with the expertise to evaluate, design, implement, maintain and troubleshoot disparate systems from multiple vendors, are among the keys to a successful project, Snedaker says. “In many respects, a multicloud solution offers <strong>failover, high availability and traditional risk mitigation</strong>, and it introduces complexity, cost and new risks that must be evaluated,” she says.</p> <p>The fact is, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution — nor is there a perfect one. Health IT leaders should plan and set expectations accordingly. “Organizations often view the cloud as a magic cure-all without downtime ever,” Snedaker says. “Yes, using various platforms provides fault tolerance. But swinging a function from one provider to another in a downtime scenario, for example, will involve additional downtime.”</p> <p>For Bellas, the technology is more than a utility — it’s <strong>a business driver</strong>. “We’re really leveraging technology to make us more efficient, to make us better,” he says.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/gienna-shaw" hreflang="en">Gienna Shaw</a></div> </div> Mon, 03 Jun 2019 19:35:08 +0000 dan.watson_nZF0 42561 at Where Does AI Automation Fit into Health Data Security? <span>Where Does AI Automation Fit into Health Data Security?</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-0" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dan.watson_nZF0</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/03/2019 - 14:50</span> <div><p>It’s a no-brainer that technology can be instrumental to enhancing the patient experience, improving organizational efficiencies and, most important, saving lives. But ensuring that the data that fuels all of those things is stored, shared and accessed in a manner that is secure and complies with privacy laws is an ongoing challenge for healthcare organizations.</p> <p>A recent <a href=" Annual Patient Privacy %26 Data Security Report FINAL 6.pdf" target="_blank">Ponemon report</a> found that a whopping <strong>75 percent</strong> of providers said their IT security teams are <strong>understaffed</strong> and that they struggle to attract qualified candidates. On top of that, <strong>90 percent of healthcare organizations have suffered a breach</strong>, according to Ponemon.</p> <p>At the same time, cyberthreats are increasing in frequency and sophistication, in part because stolen medical data is even more valuable on the black market than credit card numbers.</p> <p>“The numbers are staggering,” says Anne Genge, CEO and co-founder of data and security compliance firm Alexio Corporation and a Certified Information Privacy Professional.</p> <p>“Scheduling patients, managing staff, keeping up with the ever-evolving technologies and techniques — there are plenty of pressing things to worry about as a healthcare provider,” she says. “That means <strong>cybersecurity is sometimes low down on the daily totem pole</strong> of never-ending tasks. Hackers know this and they’re taking full advantage.”</p> <p>Artificial intelligence, with its ability to automate processes, is emerging as one tool that can help overburdened IT departments. AI can analyze, anticipate, defend against, identify and respond to cyberattacks, viruses and other threats. It can even perform rote but important security tasks such as reminding users to reset their passwords.</p> <p>Skip Rollins, CIO of Joplin, Missouri–based <a href="" target="_blank">Freeman Health System</a>, says AI automation shows a lot of promise. “Learning software is great, because you solve a problem one time and it remembers how to solve it and it moves on,” he says. Freeman uses AI to monitor network activity and automatically flag unusual behavior, such as a large file download on the computer of a user who doesn’t typically download large files.</p> <p>“You can look across the network for anomalies and how traffic is moving, which gives you better eyes on things,” he says.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH</strong>: What you should do if your organization has been hacked</a></em>.</p> <h2 id="toc_0">Install AI as a Bodyguard for IT Security</h2> <p>The IT world is split on whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea to use the speed and scale of AI when it comes to organizational security. On one hand, cyberattacks are automated, so systems should be fighting fire with fire, Genge says.</p> <p>“In the realm of cybersecurity, IT capabilities can be significantly augmented through intelligent automation,” says Nick Semple, a partner at PA Consulting who specializes in healthcare. Intelligent automation is a blended use of rule-based automation and sophisticated machine learning techniques and algorithms that can help detect and deter bad actors. “Though there are many ways to use AI to help prevent cyberattacks, the high-level principle is the same: <strong>The system monitors for anomalous behavior (intelligence), and immediately blocks it (automation)</strong>.”</p> <p>Organizations “are beginning to look at modern device management for their Windows PCs and laptops that can provide secure <a href="" target="_blank">Azure</a> Active Directory service along with real-time anti-virus protection and security capability,” Semple says.</p> <p>“That reduces the need for multiple security products on laptops, ensures settings and configuration and signature files are up to date when logging on, and enables immediate or rapid deployment of patches automatically, as opposed to waiting for internal staff to review and deploy them. That together with user access and multifactor authentication are critical.”</p> <p>Another benefit of AI-fueled automation, he notes, is that <strong>it frees up analysts to spend more time on “higher-value activities”</strong> such as serving and educating end users and using data analytics to work on projects that can improve efficiency, workflow, and clinical quality.</p> <p>But some say personal health data is too valuable to risk on AI.</p> <p>“It’s an interesting idea in concept, but putting it into practice is a little bit dicey,” says Ken Dort, a partner in the intellectual property group at Drinker Biddle and chair of the law firm’s data security and technology committees. “It’s comparable to autonomous cars. Yeah, the idea works really well, but do you want to be the guy in the car on the highway going 70 miles per hour with no one in the front seat?”</p> <p>Social engineering, by definition, is <strong>designed to fool humans</strong>, Dort says. But that doesn’t mean AI is immune.</p> <p>“What is to keep the AI piece from itself being compromised in some kind of quasi-social-engineering effect? Given the squishiness of cybersecurity and how it morphs and changes all the time, I’m not sure AI would be up to that challenge,” he says.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH</strong>: How organizations can stay vigilant amid digital threats</a></em>.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">How to Use a Mixed-AI Approach to Security</h2> <p>At Freeman, Rollins is striking a balance by using a blend of tools, some powered by AI, some not.</p> <p>“There’s generally <strong>a 50/50 split</strong> with folks who have done what we do. A best-of-breed, targeted strategy: using a tool built to do one thing and do it well,” he says. Others think it’s better to have more tools with a single vendor because it’s easier to maintain and sustain them, he adds — the single-pane-of-glass approach.</p> <p>Using multiple tools is <strong>more labor-intensive</strong> and often more expensive, he says. But his focus is on the efficacy of those solutions rather than convenience. “We’re attracted to vendors who do things differently,” he says. “Our whole strategy is built around finding tools that address a specific problem.”</p> <p>One such tool he uses runs on desktops and creates a virtual memory that looks like the machine’s real memory. When a hacker or other threat looks in the morphed memory to find programs to attack, the program traps and isolates the threat.</p> <p>“I believe that we should aggressively pursue new technology that’s out there. We tend to go to a safe place and live there sometimes,” Rollins says. “I’m very aggressive about evolving vendors’ tools to be more in line with what’s trending and figuring out how it helps you solve problems.”</p> <p>The stakes are high. Organizations must <strong>protect personal health</strong> and other data, but must <strong>also protect reputations</strong>. “My number one goal is to keep my name out of the paper,” Rollins says. “If I can do that, then everything will be OK.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/gienna-shaw" hreflang="en">Gienna Shaw</a></div> </div> Mon, 03 Jun 2019 18:50:39 +0000 dan.watson_nZF0 42556 at How Predictive Analytics in Healthcare Is Changing Hospitals <span>How Predictive Analytics in Healthcare Is Changing Hospitals</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-0" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dan.watson_nZF0</span></span> <span>Wed, 05/29/2019 - 17:03</span> <div><p>As healthcare organizations strive to improve care, value and the overall patient experience, data is increasingly <strong>an essential ingredient</strong> to unlocking innovation and resources. In healthcare, analytics is used not only to measure and track outcomes but also to predict them.<br />      <br /> So far, <strong>value-based care payment models </strong>have been a major driver of predictive analytics in healthcare, says Brian Murphy, director of research at <a href="" target="_blank">Chilmark Research</a>. <br />      <br /> Value-based care is a newer payment model that has been “filled with unknowns and uncertainties and reluctance on the part of providers,” Murphy says. “A little bit of analytics and reporting can certainly help dispel some of that.”  </p> <p>Here’s what’s happening now with predictive analytics that could really push the needle forward in healthcare.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> Check out why provider strategies must make room for data.</a></em></p> <h2>What Is Predictive Analytics in Healthcare Used For?</h2> <p>Predictive analytics use has grown in <strong>primary care and bundled payment programs</strong>, says Murphy. In hospitals, it has found a home in the <strong>emergency department</strong>. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Montefiore Health System</a> in New York is an accountable care organization, which means that the health system’s “incentives are aligned with patients. If the patient gets better, we get paid,” says Dr. Parsa Mirhaji, director of the Center for Health Data Innovations at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Montefiore Medical Center. “<strong>If the patients don’t get better, we don’t get paid</strong>. If patients get worse because of what we do, we pay, which means we are at risk if patients don’t get better.” </p> <p>Predictive analytics helps to keep patients healthy and reduce readmissions, which results in better outcomes.</p> <p>In 2017, Montefiore launched an artificial intelligence platform called the Patient-centered Analytical Learning Machine, which is powered by <a href="" target="_blank">Intel</a> Xeon processors. PALM seeks to incorporate data to better manage emergency department patients. <br />      <br /> “<strong>It really looks into all the data and learns about patients and understands them</strong> — what their vulnerabilities are, what their needs are — and in the future, coordinates their care,” says Mirhaji. “Once the hospital knows its patients based on all of this data, we can do all kinds of different things for them when they show up in the hospital.” </p> <p>From PALM, Montefiore introduced an algorithm that sends an alert, called Accurate Prediction of Prolonged Ventilation, when patients are admitted into Montefiore’s emergency department. APPROVE helps to determine if patients are likely to need ventilation in the ICU.</p> <p>“<strong>You can really improve your delivery of care</strong>, based on what you know about the patients, and you can share information across many applications and many different teams that are responsible for taking care of patients,” he said. </p> <h2>Use of Predictive Analytics in the Operating Room </h2> <p>Predictive analytics also helps healthcare systems make better use of their human and physical resources; for example, <a href="">take Jefferson Health</a>. <br />      <br /> This Philadelphia healthcare system implemented <a href="" target="_blank">Qlik Sense</a> analytics and visualization solutions to capture clinical and financial data from electronic systems throughout the organization — including its new Epic electronic health record and its legacy EHR — to help plan for OR use.</p> <p>“Every minute in the OR is very costly, so<strong> saving time saves money</strong> for both the hospital and the patient,” says Cara Martino, RN, enterprise business intelligence manager for Jefferson Health.</p> <p>Jefferson has <strong>increased on-time starts by 25 percent</strong>, improved patient satisfaction and realized savings of nearly $300,000 a month. It also uses Qlik Sense with its EHR to aggregate and track opioid orders and provide clinicians with interactive reports to control overprescription of the addictive drugs.</p> <p>Eighteen months ago, <a href="" target="_blank">Augusta Health</a> in Virginia implemented a <strong>sepsis surveillance system</strong> that uses predictive analytics for early identification of patients with sepsis. If a patient scores above a certain threshold, their nurse gets an alert that sounds different than what they’d hear if a patient pushed the nurse call button. “There’s no intervention by anyone. It goes directly to the nurse assigned to the patient,” says Penny Cooper, data scientist at Augusta Health.</p> <p>Since the rollout, the surveillance system has <strong>saved 262 lives</strong>. “We have the capacity to do artificial intelligence, so why not do it? It’s better for patients. It’s better for the healthcare facility,” Cooper says.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> See which cloud architecture is right for your organization.</a></em></p> <h2>This Is Just the Beginning for Predictive Analytics</h2> <p>Mirhaji says that <strong>being able to handle an influx of data</strong> about patients — whether generated inside the healthcare setting or by the patient themselves through their own tracking devices and apps — is key to making predictive analytics work to its fullest capacity.</p> <p>“We are sitting on a treasure trove of data that’s being generated by patients just by breathing,” Mirhaji says, so it makes perfect sense for a hospital system to think of data as being all-inclusive, as <a href="" target="_blank">Google</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Amazon</a> do.</p> <p>Data is on the mind of C-suite executives too. <a href="" target="_blank">According to research conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions late last year</a>, <strong>84 percent</strong> of the 56 health system CIOs, CTOs and chief analytics executives surveyed said that analytics will be important to their organizational strategies over the next few years.</p> <p>Also, <a href="" target="_blank">a report published this year by the Society of Actuaries</a> finds that both payers and providers are increasing — and have big expectations for — their use of predictive analytics.</p> <p>“Predictive analytics obviously has <strong>architectural ramifications</strong>, and you need systems and architecture to process that,” Mirhaji adds. It’s “analytics that can consume these kinds of data service lines and workflow processes that are informed by a combination of care providers as well as automated systems collaborating with each other.” </p> <p>Murphy expects the use of predictive analytics to grow as the technology continues to show results and as healthcare organizations become more accustomed to value-based payment systems. Right now, he says, predictive analytics is mostly seen in larger hospitals that have more money and are “in a better position to scrutinize what they do,” but that it could trickle down as use of the technology becomes widespread.</p> <p>“It’s early days,” Murphy says. “The range of things that people are able to predict with existing tools is still relatively narrow. I think the upside here is still pretty significant.” </p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/jen-miller" hreflang="en">Jen A. Miller</a></div> </div> Wed, 29 May 2019 21:03:14 +0000 dan.watson_nZF0 42546 at