health and wellness

Consumers Embrace IoT And Wearables, Worry About Security Consequences

A new survey of consumer attitudes and expectations about technology finds that a strong majority of Americans expect wearable technology and biometric security to be common within the next decade. The survey, sponsored by the security company McAfee, asked 1,500 U.S. consumers about lifestyle and technology trends in the home and workplace. The results suggest that consumers are already adjusting their expectations about the future to include pervasive connectivity, a wealth of intelligent devices – and some of the problems that come with both. More than 60% of those surveyed by McAfee said they anticipate having connected appliances like refrigerators that will “automatically add food to a running grocery list if the product is running low.” A strong majority of those polled – 84% – said they were convinced their home security systems will be connected to their mobile device. “As technology, especially the Internet of Things, continues to rapidly advance and […]

Apple’s Platform for Wellness Arrives | Life as a Healthcare CIO

John Halamka, the CIO of Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston has an interesting post on his blog about Apple’s big unveiling yesterday and its implications for connected health applications. With the image of naked Jennifer Lawrence still fresh in our minds, Halamka points out that Apple is taking steps to make sure no such slip-ups happen in the context of protected health information – a promising new market for wearable technology. As Halamka sees it, we’re on the cusp of revolution that will see the consumerization of what he calls “healthcare middleware.” That refers to software and services, like Apple’s recently announced HealthKit, that aggregates data about your body from multiple sensors in your clothing, your body and environment. Unlike the nude selfies that recently made the rounds online, however, health data is protected by Federal legislation – HIPAA. For that reason, Apple keeps that data local to the mobile […]

Exploding Gas Tanks: Risk, Liability and Internet of Things

We like to construct Hollywood friendly plots around a lot of the seminal moments in our collective history. For Civil Rights, we like to picture the integration of Little Rock High School, Rosa Parks’ courageous protest on a Montgomery bus or the March on Washington. For environmentalism, we talk about Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring or, maybe, the burning Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. (This vintage news footage of the 1969 fire calls it the fire that “sparked the environmental movement” without any apparent irony.) For automobile safety, we imagine Ralph Nader and the image of a 1972 crash test that shows the gas tank of the Ford Pinto exploding in a rear impact collision, engulfing both cars in flames. But those memories are often way oversimplified. Little Rock and the Montgomery bus boycott were just two battles in a fight for civil rights that went back to the end of the Civil War. Likewise, the Cuyahoga […]

Community Health Systems

Report: Hospital network hacked, 4.5 million records stolen

News today that Community Health Systems, a national hospital network that  operates 206 hospitals across the United States, was the victim of a cyber attack that resulted in the theft of 4.5 million patients. According to CNN Money, hackers gained access to patient names, Social Security numbers, physical addresses, birthdays and telephone numbers. The breach affects anyone  who received treatment from a physician’s office tied to a Community Health Systems network-owned hospital in the last five years. The FBI is investigating the breach. Community Health Systems’ hospitals operate in 28 states but have their most significant presence in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. Help Net Security has a panel of experts comment. The consensus is that the healthcare sector is more in the cross hairs for sophisticated attacks that are intended to steal personal information that can be used for identity theft scams. Read more over at CNN Money: Hospital network hacked, 4.5 million […]

FDA: Regulators Can’t Scale To Police Mobile Health Apps

A senior advisor to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tossed cold water on speculation that the Agency might try to police mobile health and wellness applications, saying the FDA couldn’t possibly scale up to meet the challenge of policing the hundreds of new apps appearing every month. Correction: The article was changed to clarify Mr. Patel’s comments. He was not responding to a direct question about the FDA setting up an office to regulate mobile health applications. He was commenting on the possibility of creating a platform to evaluate and rate mobile health applications.  Also, he said “It’s not do-able,” not “it’s not possible.” We apologize for any confusion created by the article. – PFR July 10, 2014. The sheer pace of innovation in the mobile health application space and the numbers of such applications already available on mobile marketplaces like the iTunes App Store and Google Play mean that many mobile health applications will escape scrutiny by federal […]