Medical Tech

Data breaches target electronic health records

As the growth of electronic health records increase, so does the possibility of data breaches, security incidents and criminal attacks.

A recent study by the Ponemon Institute, an independent researcher on privacy and data protections, reveals criminal attacks are up 125 percent since 2010 and most healthcare organizations are unprepared to thwart threats. According to the institute, there is a lack of resources and processes to protect patient data.

The FBI adds criminals see the information-rich healthcare sectors as one-stop place to gather personal, credit and health information for a high return when sold later. The study indicates the top stolen targets are medical files, billing and insurance records.

As the emerging EHR industry moves forward, healthcare organizations will need to have processes in place to reduce data breaches.
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Electronic medical records becoming vogue

It seems the electronic medical records technology is slowly coming into the mainstream. Despite the privacy concerns, I think tech-savvy consumers will eventually warm up to the services EMR provides, mainly because of the convenience and accessibility of the information.

According to ReportsnReports.com, an online market research reports library, the North American market is considered the largest market and is positioned to grow at a rate of 7.96 percent between 2012 and 2018. The European electronic medical market is considered to be the second largest market with a projected growth of 7.17 percent, while the Asian market is the third largest with a projected growth of 7.88 percent.

Although in second place for projected growth, the European healthcare industry is one considered to be one of the biggest sectors and is expected to grow larger with their technological advances and aging population.

I am also beginning to like the EMR landscape. Just recently, I was able to navigate a prescription refill using the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s “MyChart” online portal. After being invited to sign up by my doctor, I found the interface is very useful, with a wealth of information at your fingertips, such as the Message Center, where you can ask your doctor a question or request a refill.

In the My Medical Record section, your medications are listed, along with immunizations, hospital admissions and medical history.

In the future, the EMR technology is expected to be an innovative tool to assist in managing medical data being offered to patients at health care centers. I think the future of online medical records management is almost here.
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Medical care gets mobile with CathMaps app



Medical technology is now going mobile and can provide emergency assistance for cardiac events with CathMaps+, an app for people with elevated risks of cardiac incidents.

The HIPAA -compliant app integrates a patient's health history and medical records with an interactive map of catheterization labs.

Recent research by the Center for Disease Control shows that approximately 715,000 Americans have heart attack each year. The CDC also says nearly 30% of those have already suffered a heart attack.

With the CathMaps+ app, patients can quickly locate a medical facility and share their medical history with emergency professionals, which can save critical treatment time, even if they are traveling and away from home. They can also share their medical information with loved ones or caregivers.

CathMaps+ was developed by an Israeli-based technology company and is available for purchase at around $5 for most Android and iOS users.

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SurDoc aims for secure online medical records



As the storage and sharing of electronic medical records continue to evolve, the elephant in room continues to be privacy, security and convenience, along with compliance to HIPAA standards.

SurDoc labels themselves as a leader in cloud services and has announced their SurMD line of HIPAA-compliant services for physicians, hospitals and patients to share medical records online.

According to SurDoc, electronic medical records offer health care providers total patient privacy while improving response time and collaboration, as well as being more effective than sharing medical reports through CDs and email.

The medical records' service includes archiving of patients' medical histories and billing information, while doctors could add test results, medical records and reports.

By using the SurLink File Sharing service, a user can select up to five files to share by sending a secure URL to recipients of their choice. The files would be protected by a SurLink-generated access PIN, which is no longer valid after the files are downloaded.

To learn more about SurDoc Corp.'s suite of cloud services, you can start by setting a free 100-megabyte cloud-storage account and exploring the medical records information. When ready to start sharing medical records, SurDoc hopes to set the industry standard for privacy and security.

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Bedwetting treatment can improve lives

There is a new groundbreaking treatment for the age-old condition of bedwetting, which can affect children, teens or adults.

According to research from The Center for Bedwetting Treatment, the underlying cause to bedwetting is related to a sleep disorder and happens when when a person is in the deepest stage of sleep for too long.

It is possible for even grownups to not outgrow this condition, which can linger through several generations from toddlers to grandparents.

The Center for Bedwetting Treatment, with a team of specialists comprised of registered nurses, psychologists and educators, will partner with patients and families to end bedwetting by training the brain to achieve proper sleep. The Center also offers remote treatment by phone or Skype for those living with their "secret condition."

With an effective treatment program, The Center hopes to eliminate "hidden shame" for those affected by bedwetting.


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Summon emergency help with one touch



The ability to alert someone during an emergency can be a life-saving measure, especially for seniors and the baby-boomer generation.

In the emerging field of emergency alert technology, one of the latest devices to address this need is the SafeGuardian Responder, a "One Touch and You are in Touch" mobile personal communicator, distributed by SafeGuardian, LLC, a company specializing in the mobile personal help communicators.

According to the company, this device is the world's smallest Help Alert Voice communicator, which consist of a tiny mobile SOS call button about the size of key chain. The technology in this device uses cellular signals to connect wearers to emergency monitoring centers. It is about 1.75 inches square and weighs less than two ounces. The communicator can fit on a key chain or be worn as a pendant. It is also water resistant and can be worn in the shower.

The communicator uses a lithium-ion battery that is rated to last 30-45 days per charge, with two-way voice communication provided by AT&T. If the device is activated, SafeGuardian's "AlertLink" service can automatically send emails or text alerts to up to three caregivers or personal contacts.

The Responder has a suggested retail price of $149, but is available directly from SafeGuardian for $99 for a limited time. The required around-the-clock monitoring starts at $29 per month.

If there is an emergency, this small device can summon help with the touch of a button.

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MyDoc HealthCard to debut as a Visa



There is a new twist for insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act by way of a HealthCare Visa Card that can be used to pay for health care at participating medical facilities where Visa cards are accepted.

The MyDoc HealthCard is the brainchild of MyDocTV.com, a Chicago-area tech company specializing in patient-centric mobile health care. According to CEO Meg Kubiak, this solution is simple and straight forward, while avoiding all the confusion about paying for health care.

The card are available at mydoc.tv/visa in values from $20 to $1,000 and are backed by Bancorp Bank in Chicago. According to the company, the cards deliver health care in smaller, controllable bites and are intended to be great gifts for customers, clients, family and friends.

In addition to health care payments, a live-call center with e-Nurses will be available to assist patients and physicians. The card also has personalized QR Code for each user, which can access the patient's medical records.

This emerging technology seems to be another step in the direction of electronic medical records and more efficient doctor visits.

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Medical game app aims to fight cancer



A couple of forward-thinking organization have joined forces to use technology to help improve people improve their health.

HopeLab, a non-profit research based company and Cigna, a global health service company, are on a mission to go get HopeLab’s Re-Mission 2: Nanobots’s Revenge, a cancer fighting game app, onto the devices of young cancer patients. The Android and iOS compatible app is designed to help young cancer patients fight their disease.

Based on HopeLab’s research, playing games bring positive emotions and reinforces the belief in the ability to fight cancer and develop a better attitude toward chemotherapy. According to the developers, the app designed for teens and young adults and puts the players inside the body to defeat cancer with weapons like chemotherapy, antibiotics and immune cells.


A young cancer patient is introduced to Re-Mission 2 games. (Photo by PRNews/Cigna

"Whether you have cancer, or a family member, friend or classmate does, Re-Mission 2 games are a fun way to help you understand what it takes to fight the disease. Playing these games can help you or someone you care about fight and beat cancer," said Scott Josephs, M.D., Cigna national medical officer.

According to HopeLab and Standford University researchers,the app activates brain circuits involved in positive motivation, with an overall goal of boosting positive emotion, increasing self-efficacy, and shifting attitudes toward chemotherapy.

This cancer-fighting video game could be the start of using technology to develop innovative tools for addressing serious health issues in the near future.

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Share medical data with just a tap

Before long, you'll be able to use your smartphone or tablet for more than reading, playing games or just killing time in the doctor's office waiting room. The Near Field Communications, or NFC technology, will allow the seamless sharing of vital medical information.

A Hong Kong based company, Plus Prevention, is developing a range of medical devices known as TapCheck, that will allow data from blood pressure monitors, body fat scales, glucose meters, pedometers and other devices to be shared with just a simple tap of any Android NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet.

Once in your smartphone, the medical information can then be shared with your doctor, pharmacists or other medical professional via email or text messages.

With this medical technology, vital health information will be just a tap away.

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Orion Health teams with HP

Wrap Text around Image The medical technology arena will be lively in the coming years as electronic health records and health information exchange platforms arrive on the scene. The major players in medical software solutions are aligning themselves to take advantage of this growing technology.

Two of the heavy hitters – Orion Health, founded in Auckland, New Zealand in 1993, and will use HP's Converged Cloud to support its global managed health services.

The idea is to utilize health technology to allow medical providers to access patient data wherever and whenever the need arises, while also meeting compliance and regulatory requirements.

Orion Health, which products and services used by clinicians for patient care in more than 35 countries, will tap HP's CloudSystem Matrix, a private cloud environment, to tailor cloud services for their customers.

As the health technology arena continues to evolve, we can expect more health-related technological solutions from tech companies and the medical industry. Orion Health is out of the gate early in developing solutions for helping clinics and physicians work with patient information.

The data exchange between hospitals, health systems, clinics and other providers will continue to grow and we'll see other initiatives and partnerships enter health technology marketplace in the near future.


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Wireless pill bottles coming soon

The technology in the medical industry is moving fast, as indicated by one of the latest innovations for remembering to take prescription medications.

The wireless pill bottle, developed by AdhereTech, a New York technology firm, will wirelessly transmit data to the patient as a reminder to take medications via a phone call or text message. The hi-tech bottle will also measure the exact number of pills or liquid left in the bottle.

By using built-in sensors and technology similar to a cell phone, the goals of the wireless pill bottle is to use a cellular network for secure data transfer to help patients adhere a schedule for taking their medication on time.

The wireless pill bottle technology recently won the grand prize at the Healthcare Innovation World Cup, funded by Boehringer Ingelheim, a group of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies, and organized by HITLAB, a cross-disciplinary public health teaching and research organization.

The developers are in the funding stage and have plans for a trial at Walter Reed Army Medical Center this summer to test its technology with type 2 diabetes patients. Adhere hopes to have the wireless pill bottles in use at pharmacies for certain drugs and conditions in the near future.

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Medication dispensing going automatic



The method in which medication is dispensed to patients could change in the future. It might not require a trip to the pharmacy.

The state of Michigan is using an automated medication dispensing system in medical facilities, designed by Medbox, a developer of automated bio metrically controlled and dispensing storage systems.

According to Medbox, after a medicine is prescribed, it can be available in less than one minute in the waiting room by way of a MedVend Automated Medication Dispenser, or AMD. This ATM-like device with a touchscreen interface can be located in convenient locations, such as physician offices and hospital medical clinics. Patients would have more choices for getting prescriptions filled.

Upon leaving the doctor's office, a patient can choose to pay at the check-out counter or by credit card at the AMD, by using a unique pin number and birthday information. The transaction is handled using smart-billing technology, which will automatically choose the lesser costs, such as if a co-pay is more expensive than the actual medicine. Patients with questions can use the video capabilities of the MedVend terminal for a face-to-face consultation with a licensed pharmacist.

According to the Medbox, the MedVend AMD technology is one of the first systems to be approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for the acceptance of dispensing of e-prescribed medications.

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