This week's highlights: issues the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee will tackle, mental health tools developed by a company called Headspace, and data-entry errors are the top cause of duplicate medical records.
• A federal judge dismissed some charges this week against Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, but let stand wire fraud charges accusing her and an associate of misleading patients about the abilities of her company’s blood tests.
• Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has published a bill which, if passed, would create a U.S. federal data protection agency designed to protect the privacy of Americans and with the authority to enforce data practices across the country.
• The Health Information Technology Advisory Committee on Wednesday finalized its list of 31 issues to tackle over the next two years, including price transparency and third-party access to health data.
• Meditation app developer Headspace will use a $93 million funding round to develop mental health tools for chronic disease patients.
• LabCorp's diagnostics division increased revenues by nearly 4% in the fourth quarter, largely due to positive impact from acquisitions. However, adjusted operating dropped from 16.5% to 15.8%.
• Delta Air Lines said on Friday it will invest $1 billion over the next decade in initiatives that would limit the impact of global air travel on the environment, the first airline to make a commitment of that scale.
• Health Data Management magazine has shut down abruptly after 25+ years, parent Arizent announced.
• The Chinese government develops an app that alerts users when they come into close contact with a person infected with Covid-19.
• MEDITECH takes Expanse to the next level for nurses and therapists with Expanse Patient Care. The intuitive, web-based software empowers nurses and therapists to mobilize care delivery using the device best suited for the task to conveniently perform bedside verification, review clinical decision support tools, conduct patient assessments, and review the patient record in the palm of their hands.
• Intel and QuTech have provided some technical details for Horse Ridge, a cryogenic control chip that should make quantum computers, smaller, faster and with less aggressive cooling.
• The privacy protections Americans have come to expect when it comes to their medical information may not always apply in school settings, a new report suggests.
• Ring will start requiring two-factor authentication for all users when they sign into their Ring accounts. When the feature is released this week, users will get a six-digit code sent to either their email or (less recommended) SMS in order to complete the login process.
• More than half of healthcare professionals surveyed in new study said implementing patient-facing digital tools, such as online portals for accessing medical records and scheduling appointments, along with more advanced services such as triage tools and telehealth, are a top priority at their organizations.
• A small survey of health system providers and HIE staff conducted by the EHealth Initiative and NextGate finds that data-entry errors are the top cause of duplicate medical records.
• A literature review of six smartphone-based skin cancer apps finds that they miss melanomas, produce false positives, are poorly regulated, and don’t inform users of their limitations. None of the six have received FDA approval.
• Per-capita health spending for the 160 million Americans in employer-sponsored health plans grew by 4.4% in 2018, the third consecutive year of increases above 4%, according to the latest annual spending report by the Health Care Cost Institute.
• New research from Cornell University confirms what previous studies have found: Physicians prescribe more medications after marketing visits from pharmaceutical reps touting those drugs.