This week's highlights: an acquisition of Orpheus Medical, initiatives to improve medical device cybersecurity, and an official name for the coronavirus.
• Lawmakers on Wednesday pressed leaders from the Veterans Affairs Department on how the agency reviews apps for inclusion in the VA App Store, its marketplace of nearly 50 smartphone apps designed to help veterans manage their healthcare.
• The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Yale New Haven Hospital (CT), alleging its policy mandating eye and neuropsychological exams for employees age 70 or older who seek medical privileges violates two federal antidiscrimination laws.
• 3M’s Health Information Systems division accuses IBM and its Truven Health Analytics business of using 3M software to sell data to customers without the proper licensing agreements.
• Forbes reports that the DEA is asking EHR vendors to provide EHR patient information to help it investigate suspected opioid overprescribing.
• CVS Health slightly topped Wall Street expectations for the fourth quarter of 2019 on both earnings and revenue, which clocked in at $66.9 billion, up almost 23% year over year.
• Gento, a tech-enabled home health staffing startup, has picked up $5 million in Series A funding in a round ed by Palisades Growth Capital, and brings Gento’s total raise to more than $7 million.
• Da Vinci robotic surgery system vendor Intuitive Surgical acquires Orpheus Medical, which offers a video documentation system for surgery.
• Online prescription and virtual care company Ro launches Health Guide, a Web-based resource for consumers looking for information on a variety of health conditions.
• Snapchat has released a beta version of a search tool called “Here For You” that will connect users to mental health resources.
• With its recent cloud success and a new CEO, IBM is likely to put forth a powerful competitor to the coming Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop.
• The first artificial intelligence-enabled cardiac ultrasound software from Caption Health has received De Novo marketing authorization, the FDA announced.
• The Food and Drug Administration, in partnership with the MITRE Corporation, has championed two initiatives to improve medical device cybersecurity preparedness and response.
• Attacks targeting operational technology (OT) infrastructure increased by over 2000 percent in 2019 compared to the previous year, and the piece of malware most commonly seen in these attacks was the Mirai variant named Echobot, IBM revealed on Tuesday.
• Software called TextFooler can trick natural-language processing (NLP) systems into misunderstanding text just by replacing certain words in a sentence with synonyms.
• Scientists in Spain are refining technology that has helped a blind woman see a low-resolution version of her environment manifested by glowing dots and shapes.
• The Navin, Haffty & Associates February newsletter previews MEDITECH sessions at HIMSS20.
• The World Health Organization said the official name for the disease caused by the new coronavirus will be Covid-2019.
• CNBC reports that Google Health has grown to more than 500 employees who work from its Palo Alto, CA office under VP David Feinberg, MD, MBA.
• The CDC estimates flu has caused 22 million illnesses, 210,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths this season and confirmed 10 additional pediatric flu deaths, bringing the total to 78 for the 2019-20 season.