This week's highlights: Quest Diagnostics is now releasing self-collection kits for COVID-19 due to an Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA, Savant Systems is purchasing General Electric's lighting division, and MEDITECH has created a secure extraction capability for their Data Repository solution for Expanse.
• Antibody tests that determine if someone has had the coronavirus in the past should not be used for making decisions about people returning to work, the CDC said in new guidance.
• The Joint Commission said it will resume regular certification and accreditation surveys in June that will incorporate new social-distancing precautions for COVID-19, and will reach out to hospitals due for a survey to assess their current state amid the pandemic.
• Quest Diagnostics said that it has received Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization for its self-collection kit for COVID-19. The kit allows individuals to self-collect nasal SARS-CoV-2 test specimens either at home or a healthcare setting.
• The HHS changed the rules for $50 billion in provider COVID-19 relief grants the day before providers are required to submit financial information to receive their full share of payments. The HHS is requiring providers to send their money back Wednesday if they still want to be eligible for their full grant allocation but aren't ready to accept the grant terms and conditions.
• General Electric is saying goodbye to the light bulb, shedding a struggling business founded by Thomas Edison more than a century ago. After years of failing to find a buyer, GE announced Wednesday it will sell its 129-year-old lighting division to smart home company Savant Systems.
• Georgia-based telemedicine company MyIdealDoctor merges with RelyMD, a North Carolina-based telemedicine company launched in 2015 by Wake Emergency Physicians P.A.
• Sharp declines in revenue and cash flow caused by the suspension of elective services will mean more hospitals could default on their credit agreements in 2020 than in previous years, according to a report from Moody's Investors Service.
• MobileSmith Health announced the launch of the PeriOp Patient Adherence mobile app to support hospitals and health systems as they face the current surge in critical and elective surgeries.
• MEDITECH has created a secure extraction capability for their Data Repository solution for Expanse to collect, aggregate, and analyze important data. In the coming weeks, this will be expanded to include their Client/Server and MAGIC customers.
• University of California San Diego engineers developed a remote monitoring platform for COVID-19 patients that automates the care team's daily check-ins to monitor symptoms. The eCOVID remote monitoring platform automatically transmits data from patients' wearable devices and uploads it to a dashboard that providers can monitor.
• Amazon’s new feature for Alexa turns any connected devices into walkie-talkies or an intercom system.
• As Chinese authorities expand the use of health tracking apps, privacy concerns are growing. China’s health tracking QR codes have played a key part in the country’s successful containment of the coronavirus and now look set to play a much broader role in daily life as local authorities dream up new uses for the technology.
• More than 45 companies now actively advertise facial recognition for real-time surveillance, according to an analysis of NIST-submitted vendors done by OneZero.
• Cisco’s Talos threat intelligence and research group identified two vulnerabilities in the Zoom client application that can allow a remote attacker to write files to the targeted user’s system and possibly achieve arbitrary code execution.
• In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Harvard Business School researchers used data from the 2018 American Hospital Association Annual Survey and IT supplement to examine the barriers hospitals faced when trying to meet meaningful use requirements. One significant challenge, researchers found, was the ability of public health agencies to receive the data hospitals were mandated to send.
• According to a new report from the Health Care Cost Institute, pathologists were the most frequent surprise billing offenders, with more than a third who billed for inpatient visits doing so on an out-of-network basis more than 90% of the time.
• The Boston Marathon, which had been postponed from April 20th until Sept. 14th, has officially been canceled due to concerns of bringing together large crowds amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
• Broad COVID-19 screening of patients who visited Seattle Children’s Hospital for a blood draw for any reason finds that 1% were positive in April in a sharp uptake from March as the outbreak spread.
• Hospital EHRs are doing a better job of identifying potentially harmful medication ordering errors – their scores on simulation testing have improved from 54% in 2009 to 66% in 2018 — but advanced clinical decision support lags and overall results vary among hospitals that use the same EHR.
• The local news profiles Hixny’s efforts to help the New York State Department of Health better identify and track cases of COVID-19. The HIE began in March to tailor its flu surveillance capabilities to better identify patients with COVID-19 symptoms and is now preparing to help with contact-tracing efforts.