Items tagged with healthcare

CareFirst, a Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurer, announced on Wednesday that it was the target of a "sophisticated cyberattack," making it the third major healthcare player this year to suffer a security breach. In this instance, CareFirst estimates that around 1.1 million current and former members and individuals who do business with CareFirst online who registered before June 20, 2014, are affected. The health insurer enlisted the help of Mandiant, a leading cybersecurity firm, to audit its systems for any suspicious activity following the recent hacker attacks affecting other health insurers.... Read more...
It's bad enough when you're in possession of a database containing 80 million customer records and it gets hacked. But what's even worse than that is when you fail to encrypt all that data. Such is the unfortunate situation facing Anthem, the second largest healthcare provider in the U.S., and its tens of millions of customers who are potentially affected by a recent security breach. Had Anthem encrypted its records, the stolen data might not be all that valuable to hackers, or at least more difficult to access. But the reason Anthem consciously chose not to encrypt all that data is so that it... Read more...
Last year was a busy one for hackers, and it doesn't look like 2015 will be much different. The latest to get hit is Anthem Inc., the second-largest health insurer in the United States. While investigators are still determining the extent of the breach, it's said that hackers broke into a database containing personal information for around 80 million of the company's customers and staff members. Anthem believes that "tens of millions" of records were stolen from its database, making this one of the largest data breaches ever disclosed by a healthcare firm. Personal information that... Read more...
A pair of healthcare organizations have agreed to pay a combined $4.8 million to settle charges that they potentially violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (otherwise known as HIPPA). The charges were the consequence of a data breach in which protected health information of thousands of patients was compromised. An investigation into the breach took place after New York and Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) and Columbia University (CU) submitted a joint breach report dated September 27, 2010. The report said that 6,800 individuals had their electronic protected health... Read more...
According to a report from MarketsandMarkets, the 3D printing industry is poised for huge growth in the next several years. By 2020, the industry should hit upwards of $8.4 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of a healthy 23%. Of note is that much of that growth will come from the healthcare and aerospace industries, as opposed to hobbyists, makers, and the like, and although the Americas currently leads the world, Europe is slated to surpass it in terms of revenue by 2020. The APAC region will see a lot of growth, as well. Growth will come from hobbyists and makers with printers like the... Read more...
Well, this surely isn't a good look. The United States government has never been particularly adept when it comes to web technologies, and given the red tape that's used just about everywhere in Washington, D.C., that's probably not something that should come as a shock. After a botched launched and growing concerns of privacy violations, a new report has pinpointed a specific case where a used found "an apparent security flaw that disclosed eligibility letters addressed to individuals from another state." Once he finally managed to get the website to accept his login attempts at all, he was presented... Read more...
No matter where you stand on President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, one thing most people can agree on is that the rollout of the government sponsored website, HealthCare.gov, has been absolutely horrific. Weeks after launching, the website is still spitting out a range of errors when people try to create an account and browse plans. Part of the problem seems to be that the website opened its virtual doors to everyone at the same time, and handling that kind of load is a tall order for any organization. Something clearly needs to be done, and it looks... Read more...
There's been a ton of hoopla surrounding Google Glass and the potential privacy issues the platform raises, but lost in all the negatively about the search giant's wearable computing device is the potential it offers for learning and innovation. Serving as a reminder of why technology rocks, a surgeon at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center became the first in the United States to consult with a distant colleague using live, point-of-view video from the operating room courtesy of Google Glass. "It’s a privilege to be a part of this project as we explore how this exciting new technology... Read more...
Researchers at National Taiwan University have developed a tiny sensor that can be embedded into a tooth cavity, dentures, or braces to stop you from lying through your teeth, in a manner of speaking. The sensor is able to detect with nearly 94 percent accuracy common oral activities such as chewing, drinking, speaking, and coughing. The end goal of something like this is to enable healthcare applications, such as fluid or intake monitoring, or to tell if a patient has been smoking. There have been other similar sensors before, but rather than being placed on the body, this one goes inside the... Read more...
Google and many tech manufacturers for that matter lately, have been evangelizing the mantra that technology is here to enhance and improve our lives, not get in the way; in the truest sense to "serve humanity." Recent events and breakthroughs in the healthcare industry, which make use of leading-edge technology, illustrate this vision better than any marketing or ad campaign could ever possibly hope to. A 3D-Printed Tracheal Splint that saves a baby's life is a pretty wonderful advancement; and now a surgeon from the New England area has taken Google Glass into the operating room to record and... Read more...
Maybe in another 10-15 years we'll press our finger to our tablet or smartphone to have our temperatures taken and to record other vitals, which will then be uploaded to a doctor who will email us his or her prognosis. It sounds terribly impersonal, but then again, what's so great about sitting in a waiting room for an hour, just to be called in to have to wait another 45 minutes before you're actually seen by a doctor? Regardless of what the future holds, there appears to be strong interest in virtual doctor visits. Cisco on Monday announced at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems... Read more...
IBM's Watson is soon to hit a major milestone: it'll begin to deal with real patients. You might recall that this is one of the major goals IBM laid out for Watson back at its inception. As a "learning" computer, Watson has the ability to peruse information, understand it to the best of its ability, and then develop algorithms based on the information it's learned to help produce some (hopefully) accurate guidance to the patients it deals with. While the ultimate plan is to have Watson-based computers replace doctors to a small degree, it's never going to be the final answer in a serious diagnosis.... Read more...
The so-called "silver tsunami" is coming, and there's nothing we can do to stop it. In order to ensure that the coming wave of baby boomers are well taken care of, medical outfitters the world over are working around the clock to crank out new technologies that can keep seniors out of nursing homes longer and independently functional. Some of the latest concoctions dreamed up by medical device manufacturers involve complex sensor systems that can be embedded into anything from carpet to bed sheets. For example, one Eva Olweea -- an 86-year old gal who was having trouble resting at night -- was... Read more...