This week's highlights: FDA officials are scrambling to collect and analyze data that clearly demonstrates the COVID vaccine boosters' benefits, Moderna’s version of a COVID-19 vaccine is proven to demonstrate 93% efficacy against symptomatic disease in a 6-month window, & Imprivata makes its digital identity solutions One Sign and Confirm ID available on Microsoft Azure.
• A federal bankruptcy judge gave conditional approval Wednesday to a sweeping, potentially $10 billion plan submitted by OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to settle numerous lawsuits over its role in the opioid crisis. Under the settlement, the Sackler family will give up ownership of the company and contribute $4.5 billion but will be shielded from any future lawsuits over opioids.
• A New York attorney is suing hospitals that refuse to administer ivermectin to ventilated COVID-19 patients whose families insist.
• FDA officials are scrambling to collect and analyze data that clearly demonstrate the COVID vaccine boosters' benefits before the administration’s September deadline for rolling them out to most adults.
• Healthcare Triangle, a cloud, security, advisory, and implementation services company, files for a $50 million IPO at a presumed price of $5 per share.
• Medical Properties Trust announced that it has entered into an agreement with Macquarie Infrastructure Partners V to form a partnership where a MIP V controlled subsidiary will acquire a 50% interest in a portfolio of eight Massachusetts-based hospitals currently owned by MPT and operated by Steward Health Care System.
• Fertility startup kegg announced a $3 million seed funding round for its cervical fluid testing and pelvic floor exercise technology. Crescent Ridge Partners led the round with SOSV, Texas Halo Fund, Althea Capital Fund, Ad Astra Ventures, Viento Ventures and other angel investors.
• Apple is reportedly looking to expand its smartwatch health features to blood pressure and fertility tracking and could also be looking at sleep apnea and diabetes detection.
• Imprivata makes its digital identity solutions One Sign and Confirm ID available on Microsoft Azure.
• GE Healthcare introduced the AMX Navigate, a new portable, digital X-ray system designed with a first-of-its-kind power-assisted Free Motion telescoping column that aims to reduce lift force by up to 70 percent and decrease technologist injury. New workflow solutions, including Zero Click Exam, increases efficiency by automating workflow and reducing user interface interactions.
• In the first half of 2021, outpatient facilities and specialty clinics fell victim to healthcare data breaches nearly as often as hospitals, according to a new report published by Critical Insight. In addition, business associates accounted for 43 percent of all healthcare breaches, validating a three-year upward trend.
• SolarWinds failed to enable an anti-exploit mitigation available since the launch of Windows Vista 15 years ago, making it easy for attackers to launch targeted malware attacks earlier this year.
• Denton County, Texas alerted its residents of a cybersecurity incident that resulted in hundreds of thousands of vaccination records being leaked due to a third-party application vulnerability.
• Google has temporarily locked down an unspecified number of Afghan government email accounts, according to a person familiar with the matter, as fears grow over the digital paper trail left by former officials and their international partners.
• Moderna’s version of a COVID-19 vaccine is proven to demonstrate 93% efficacy against symptomatic disease in a 6-month window, according to the company.
• Scotland announced plans to trial a four-day work week, making it the latest nation to join the trend as others explore the possibility of a permanent switch.
• As the CDC and its partners gear up for the release of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots this fall, MEDITECH is sharing preparatory guidance to help healthcare organizations get ready for the rollout.