Learn About the Latest in Healthcare and Healthcare IT by Reading this Week's Industry News Update
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• Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) is hoping to hold a vote this week on Dr. Stephen Hahn’s nomination to lead the Food and Drug Administration.
• Anthem Blue Cross has received a disproportionate share of violations and fines from California’s largest health insurance regulator, mostly related to its mishandling of patient grievances.
• Medical device failures that were documented in a hidden FDA database and recently brought to light are now bolstering lawsuits and research.
• Starting January 1st, California will become the first state to offer subsidies to middle-income people who make too much money to qualify for the federal tax credits that help consumers buy health coverage through Covered California.
• Health analytics and education company Elsevier announced its plans to acquire Dublin-based 3D4Medical, a startup specializing in digital medical education tools.
• Intel completed its sale of the "majority" of the company's smartphone modem business to Apple.
• Projecting up to $20 billion in revenue this year, GE Healthcare is aiming to capitalize on the shift toward more precision in patient care with investments in 3D printing firm Formlabs, robotic surgery company CMR Surgical and virtual care monitoring software vendor Decisio Health.
• Eko, maker of devices and platforms for monitoring heart function, announced the rollout of a second version of its CORE stethoscope including noise canceling capabilities and a sound amplifying feature.
• ISalus Healthcare integrates prescription price transparency and electronic prior authorization solutions from CoverMyMeds with its EHR and practice management software.
• Amazon is expanding its automatic transcription service for AWS, Amazon Transcribe, to include support for medical speech, for physicians to quickly dictate their clinical notes and speech into accurate text in real time, without any human intervention.
• Cerner’s 500th patent pertains to voice-assisted technology that captures verbal interactions, then extracts relevant information and presents it on a physician’s mobile device.
• New owners of Internet-connected smart TVs might not be as good at spotting hackers as they are at spotting deals. Hackers may be able to access those TVs remotely, allowing them to spy through the camera and microphone. The FBI’s Portland, Oregon, field office shared some tips last week for anyone who needs to secure a smart TV.
• The GPS network is easy to hack, and the U.S. has no backup. At risk are airliners, electric grids, stock markets and other systems that rely on GPS to time their operations. The U.S. Air Force runs the American Global Positioning System and is preparing for the next generation to harden security.
• Norwegian app security company Promon disclosed a vulnerability that has been exploited by malicious Android apps, and warned that hundreds of popular applications are at risk of being targeted.
• Twitter has launched a privacy center, admitting it has "room for improvement" when it comes to protecting user privacy.
• Consumer Reports observes that the list price for arthritis drug Humira has jumped 78% in five years, but most of the increase went to the pharmacy benefit manager middlemen (CVS Caremark, Express Scripts, and OptumRx) that took a bigger cut of its $5,174 per month list price.
• In a small Wisconsin village, the doctor makes house calls and sees the rarest diseases on Earth among the Amish and other closed communities that don’t allow marriage to outsiders.
• As alarms proliferate, hospitals in California and across the nation are working to sort through the cacophony that can overwhelm staff and cause them to overlook real signs of harm.
• The HIStalk blog recently interviewed Michelle O’Connor, President of MEDITECH. Among other comments, she said in January they are releasing their first cloud-based product, High Availability Snapshot, where they are providing the ability for a customer to have access to the electronic health record through Google Cloud services.
• Blood glucose monitor maker Dexcom recovers from a server overload that has prevented updates and alerts from reaching users, keeping parents from learning when a child with diabetes is experiencing dangerous blood sugar swings.