Learn About the Latest in Healthcare and Healthcare IT by Reading this Week's Industry News Update
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• A federal judge signed off on the $70 billion merger between CVS Corp. and Aetna after months of scrutinizing the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust settlement with the companies.
• BioCentury reported that HHS Secretary Alex Azar was considering nominating his assistant secretary of HHS for health, Brett Giroir, to the head the Food and Drug Administration.
• Montana Governor Steve Bullock will sign an executive order declaring Big Sky Care Connect the state’s official HIE. It was established last year and is managed by the Montana Medical Association.
• The ONC announced that The Sequoia Project has been awarded a cooperative agreement to serve as the Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE).
• The California legislature is considering a bill that would require companies to employ independent contractors who perform work directly related to the company's main product or service.
• San Francisco-based lab-testing company UBiome files for bankruptcy and will use an $8 million bankruptcy loan to stay afloat until it can find a buyer.
• Behavioral healthcare app company Ginger raises $35 million in a Series C round that brings its total funding to $63 million.
• Walmart will give patients access to comprehensive and low-cost primary care at a clinic slated to open next month in Dallas, Georgia, according to CNBC.
• Google has officially released the final version of Android 10 for Pixel owners and will expand to partner devices in the coming weeks.
• Mozilla released Firefox 69 this week with the browser's anti-tracking technology switched on by default for all users.
• The United States Patent and Trademark Office just granted a trio of patents to Apple for Apple Watch smart bands. One of the patents is for a biometric sensor integrated into a band that could give you a new way to unlock your Watch or paired iPhone instead of using a passcode or Face ID.
• Prominent medical organizations are warning that patient data-sharing with apps could facilitate invasions of privacy and they are fighting the change.
• The TrickBot botnet has added new functionality to their malware to request PIN codes from mobile users when they access the websites of major mobile carriers, Secureworks reports.
• American Airlines launched facial recognition to board passengers at DFW airport. For now, the facial recognition is only being used on international flights out of Terminal D, but it’s expected to expand.
• An electronic glove, or e-glove, developed by Purdue University researchers can be worn over a prosthetic hand to provide humanlike softness, warmth, appearance and sensory perception.
• Pinterest users searching for vaccine-related information will now be directed to results from public health organizations to tackle the spread of misinformation.
• The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is hosting a one-day symposium on Patient Matching for Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs on September 6, 2019.
• Forward thinking healthcare leaders in the United States see the proposed rules to drive interoperability across the healthcare ecosystem as a base level from which to improve operations, according to a new report from Deloitte.
• A virtual cardiac rehabilitation initiative developed by Kaiser Permanente's Health Innovation Studio in partnership with Samsung resulted in reduced readmissions and a higher-than-average program completion rate than traditional, site-based cardiac rehab programs, according to researchers.
• Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania explored text messaging for patient communication and found that harnessing the power of smartphones to text patients simple reminders and engaging them in text-based conversations can help to boost adherence rates for colonoscopies, reducing “no-shows.”