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Convergence of Big Data and EHR Infographic

by System Administrator - Saturday, 2 August 2014, 12:10 AM
 

THE CONVERGENCE OF BIG DATA AND EHR INFOGRAPHIC

by  

“In the next 10 years, data science and software will do more for medicine than all of the biological sciences together,” said venture capitalist Vinod Khosla. Data science holds great promise for patient health, but patient data is only actionable in so far as it is digital. This is where Electronic Health Records (EHRs) come in. By 2019, the majority of physicians will have adopted a basic EHR system, and with good reason, too. EHRs may reduce outpatient care costs by 3 percent.

The convergence of big data and EHR infographic created by UC Berkeley School of Information explores the how the growing relationship between health data and EHR adoption is transforming healthcare. 

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Conversaciones sobre eSalud

by System Administrator - Wednesday, 10 September 2014, 8:38 PM
 

Diálogos virtuales sobre presente y el futuro de las TIC y la Salud en las Américas

por DANIELA CHUEKE

La Organización de la Salud / Organización Panamericana de la Mundial de la Salud (OPS / OMS) publicó la primera versión en castellano de una nueva publicación llamada “Conversaciones de eSalud”. La versión en Inglés de este eBook estará disponible muy pronto.

La obra consolida la visión de distintos profesionales que trabajan en el campo de la esalud quienes durante  varios encuentros intercambiaron intercambiar ideas, debatieron y reflexionaron sobre el presente y futuro de la utilización y aplicación de las tecnologías de información y comunicación en salud pública en las Américas.

La publicación de las “Conversaciones de eSalud”, desarrollada con el apoyo de la Agencia de Cooperación Española, representa una mejora importante para la estrategia de la OPS y el Plan de acción sobre eSalud, ya que explora las formas de aplicación de los mecanismos regionales con acceso libre y equitativo a la información y el conocimiento compartido.

Estas iniciativas están dirigidas a avanzar en el progreso hacia la meta de sociedades más informadas, equitativas, competitivas y democráticas, donde el acceso a la información de salud se considera un derecho básico. Una de las necesidades fundamentales para la mejora de la eSalud es la difusión de información, y la OPS está asumiendo un papel de liderazgo en este esfuerzo. El desarrollo de esta nueva publicación electrónica es un paso clave para difundir información estratégica, útil para los tomadores de decisiones, en el uso de estas tecnologías para la salud de las Américas.

A lo largo de sus 12 capítulos, Conversaciones eSalud presenta la opinión de especialistas, otras lecturas y experiencias exitosas de salud en línea. Este trabajo electrónica, presenta las conclusiones del proyecto en formato de diapositivas, e incluye entrevistas con los autores de las conversaciones y tweets difundidos a través de Twitter. Dado que el proyecto se basa en los componentes de la Estrategia eHealth y el Plan de Acción para las Américas, la obra aborda temas como la infraestructura, los sistemas de información, la telemedicina, el acceso a la información, las políticas, la educación, la seguridad del paciente, historia clínica electrónica, las normas para interoperabilidad, las cuestiones legales, la relación con los proyectos e iniciativas de administración electrónica y la gestión de la sanidad en línea. Cada tema fue discutido por un grupo de especialistas y la publicación cuenta con las conclusiones y recomendaciones sobre cada tema.

Debido a la variedad y actualidad de los temas abordados, este trabajo es útil para los profesionales de la salud, tomadores de decisiones, líderes políticos, los desarrolladores de programas relacionados con la salud y otros actores interesados ​​en el amplio campo de la salud en línea.
Estas recomendaciones pertinentes y otros aspectos analizados en Conversaciones eSalud ayudará a los países no sólo para desarrollar y mejorar sus tecnologías de la información y de la comunicación de planes estratégicos en materia de salud pública, sino también fortalecer los programas de salud electrónica en la Región de las Américas.

“Conversaciones sobre eSalud: Gestión de información, diálogos e intercambio de conocimientos para acercarnos al acceso universal a la salud”. Organización Panamericana de la Salud; 2014.

Los libros se pueden descargar en distintos formatos PDF ,  Epub (Para leer con iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader u otros lectores de libros electrónicos compatibles) y mobi desde la página de la OPS

Link: http://futurosalud.com

>>Please read the attached whitepaper<<

Diálogos virtuales abordan el presente y el futuro de eSalud en las Américas

La Organización Panamericana de la Salud/Organización Mundial de la Salud (OPS/OMS) convocó a profesionales involucrados en temas de eSaludpara aportar ideas, debatir y reflexionar sobre el presente y el futuro de estos temas en las Américas.

La publicación de "Conversaciones sobre eSalud", realizada con el apoyo de la Agencia de Cooperación Española, representa un gran avance para laEstrategia y Plan de acción de eSalud de la OPS, ya que explora formas de implementar los mecanismos regionales con acceso libre y equitativo a la información y el intercambio de conocimientos.

Estas iniciativas tienen como objetivo avanzar en el progreso hacia la meta de sociedades más informadas, equitativas, competitivas ydemocráticas, donde el acceso a la información de salud se considera un derecho básico. Una de las necesidades fundamentales para avanzar en laeSalud es la difusión de información, y la OPS está tomando un papel de liderazgo en este esfuerzo. El desarrollo de esta nueva publicaciónelectrónica es un paso importante para difundir información estratégica útil para los tomadores de decisiones sobre el uso de estas tecnologías parala salud en las Américas.

A través de sus 12 capítulos, Conversaciones sobre eSalud presenta la opinión de especialistas, lecturas recomendadas y experiencias exitosas eneSalud. La obra, en formato electrónico, presenta las conclusiones del proyecto e incluye entrevistas con los autores de las conversaciones y tweetsdiseminados a través de Twitter. Como el proyecto se basó en los componentes de la Estrategia y Plan de acción sobre eSalud para las Américas, laobra aborda temas como la infraestructura, los sistemas de información, la telemedicina, el acceso a la información, las políticas, la educación, laseguridad del paciente, la historia clínica electrónica, los estándares de interoperabilidad, asuntos legales, la relación con los proyectos e iniciativasde eGobierno y la gestión en eSalud. Cada uno de estos componentes fue discutido por grupos de especialistas, y en la publicación se exponen lasconclusiones y recomendaciones sobre los temas individuales.

Por la variedad de temas que aborda y la actualidad de estos, esta obra es útil para profesionales de la salud, tomadores de decisiones,responsables políticos, desarrolladores de programas relacionados con la salud, y otros actores interesados en el amplio campo de la eSalud.

Estas recomendaciones importantes y otros aspectos analizados en Conversaciones sobre eSalud no sólo ayudarán a los países a desarrollar y mejorar sus planes estratégicos de tecnologías de la información y las comunicaciones en materia de salud pública, sino también fortalecerán los programas de eSalud en la Región de las Américas.

“Conversaciones sobre eSalud: Gestión de información, diálogos e intercambio de conocimientos para acercarnos al acceso universal a la salud”. Organización Panamericana de la Salud; 2014.

Link: http://www.paho.org

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Cuando el alzhéimer llega a los 39 años…

by System Administrator - Monday, 16 March 2015, 10:13 AM
 

Cuando el alzhéimer llega a los 39 años…y tu mayor deseo es concienciar. Mira esto!

Redacción | Juan Carlos Romero / Cuidador Alzheimer | Alzheimer Universal

La historia de Chris no es la de un paciente con Alzheimer Precoz a pesar de tener 39 años. Nuestra idea, al igual que la de Chris, no es otra que concienciar de que esta enfermedad puede llegar de varias formas y a edades en la que no “se la espera”.

Chris Grahan, es un joven de 39 años con un prometedor futuro en el ejército británico, al que de la noche a la mañana la vida le da un vuelco. “Padece Alzheimer” su familia y amigos no pueden dar crédito a ello, no pueden entender como una persona de su edad, culto, en buenas condiciones físicas… pueda tener una enfermedad que por regla general es de “personas mayores”. ¿Cómo me puede ocurrir a mí esto? Es una pregunta que el mismo se hace continuamente, y para la cual hay respuesta.

Son muy pocos casos los que padecen este tipo de Alzheimer, concretamente unas 400 familias lo sufren con los mismos síntomas que cuando el enfermo es mayor. Se puede decir con certeza que la familia de Chis es una “Familia Alzheimer”: Son portadores de una rara mutación genética, la cual este hereda de su padre.

La cura podrá llegar tarde para mi, pero ayudará a mis hijos. Hemos llevado al hombre a la luna, por lo que conseguiremos respuestas si ponemos los recursos para ello. Espero que lo que estoy haciendo inspire a la gente para ayudar aAlzheimer’s Research UK.”

Chris tiene 4 hermanos y todos tienen un 50% de posibilidades de heredar el gen de su padre. Ya son varios miembros de esta misma familia los que han padecido la enfermedad a edad muy temprana su padre falleció a los 42 años, su tía Thelma a los 41… De sus hermanos hasta este momento el único que lo ha heredado ha sido Tony de 43 años, el cual se encuentra en una residencia, no se puede mover y tiene que ser alimentado por una sonda. No habla pero eso si de vez en cuando sonríe.

Yo se que en algún momento terminaré como él, pues día tras día voy perdiendo recuerdos, habilidades y necesitando más ayuda. Por eso se lo que le me depara el futuro, dice Chris y por ello quiero luchar, ponerme frente al Alzheimer y decirle “Aun me quedan fuerzas para no ponértelo fácil” es un reto que me he impuesto y quiero ayudar dentro de mis posibilidades con la investigación.

Voy a hacer una ruta de 16.000 millas en bicicleta por Norte América. Para recaudar fondos para la investigación. (si quieres colaborar, entra en www.alzheimersresearchuk.org) Me va a llevar un año hacerlo, pero espero tener un buen año para poder conseguir este reto y con esto ayude a ganar mejor calidad de vida para las personas con demencia.

Sigue este acontecimento en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelongcycleround

Os dejamos estos dos vídeos informativos, uno de la Fundación Diario de un Cuidador, que precisamente, para el mes que viene han organizado una gala benéfica que no te deberías perder.

Y este otro, también muy esclarecedor, de la Alzheimer’s Association (enlace en castellano)

Link: http://www.alzheimeruniversal.eu

Alzheimer de inicio precoz

¿Qué es la enfermedad de Alzheimer de inicio precoz?

La enfermedad de Alzheimer de inicio precoz es cuando el Alzheimer afecta a una persona menor de 65 años. Las personas que padecen de Alzheimer de inicio precoz pueden desarrollar síntomas ya en los 30 o 40 años de edad, pero la mayoría están entre los 50 o 60 años.

¿Es muy común el Alzheimer de inicio precoz?

El Alzheimer de inicio precoz no es muy común. Menos del 5 por ciento de las personas que padecen la enfermedad de Alzheimer tienen un inicio precoz.

¿Cómo se diferencia el Alzheimer de inicio precoz del Alzheimer de inicio tardío?

Cuando el Alzheimer comienza, la única diferencia no está entre el inicio precoz y “regular” o inicio tardío. Las otras diferencias incluyen lo siguiente:

  • Genética: Los médicos e investigadores han descubierto que, en algunas personas, ciertos genes extraños pueden hacer que los síntomas de Alzheimer comiencen a temprana edad. Cuando la genética es la causa, a menudo los genes se han transmitido a los familiares y pueden afectar a muchas generaciones.  Esta es la razón por la que el Alzheimer de inicio precoz algunas veces se conoce como Alzheimer “hereditario”.
  • Diagnóstico: Es probable que para un médico tome más tiempo diagnosticar el Alzheimer de inicio precoz. Aunque los síntomas del Alzheimer de inicio precoz son los mismos síntomas del Alzheimer de inicio tardío, la mayoría de médicos no busca ni sospecha que exista la enfermedad de Alzheimer en personas más jóvenes. Si está teniendo problemas de memoria, asegúrese de hablar con el médico sobre todos los síntomas.
  • Sobrellevarlo: Debido a que las personas que padecen Alzheimer de inicio precoz son más jóvenes, es probable que todavía estén criando hijos, que tengan trabajos y que sean activos en la comunidad cuando los síntomas comienzan. Esto puede hacer más difícil tratar con los cambios que la enfermedad de Alzheimer trae a la familia y vida personal. Las personas que padecen la enfermedad de inicio precoz son más propensas a sentirse enojadas, frustradas o deprimidas.

Consejos para vivir con Alzheimer de inicio precoz

Primero, es importante saber que no está solo. La enfermedad de Alzheimer afecta a cada persona de manera distinta, pero hay actividades que puede hacer para permanecer activo e involucrado en su propio cuidado de la salud, con la familia y los amigos y en el trabajo.

Cuídese

  • Siga los consejos de su médico sobre la dieta y el ejercicio. Si toma medicamentos, asegúrese de tomar la cantidad correcta en el momento apropiado. Visite o hable con el médico si tiene preguntas sobre su salud o tratamiento.
  • Piense en unirse a un grupo de apoyo. Para encontrar uno cerca de usted, comuníquese con el club local de la Asociación del Alzheimer.
  • Comparta sus pensamientos y sentimientos con los demás. No guarde todo eso adentro. Si no se siente cómodo hablando con su familia o amigos, siempre podrá hablar con su médico, miembros de la iglesia o con un terapeuta profesional.

Sea honesto con su familia y amigos

  • Hable con su cónyuge u otros familiares cercanos sobre sus pensamientos, temores y anhelos. Su familia puede ayudarle a planificar el futuro, incluso a tomar decisiones sobre el cuidado de la salud, así como acerca de asuntos legales y financieros.
  • Hable francamente con sus hijos sobre su enfermedad. Comprenda que es posible que estén preocupados, confundidos, molestos o asustados. Si es adecuado, deje que sus hijos participen en las discusiones y decisiones que afectan a toda la familia.
  • Es probable que sus amigos o vecinos no sepan cómo reaccionar a su diagnóstico. Posiblemente sientan que no saben qué decir o cómo ayudar y es probable que esperen a que usted tome la iniciativa. Invite a sus amigos a pasar tiempo con usted. No tenga miedo de pedir ayuda cuando la necesite.

Maneje su carrera profesional

  • Tenga en cuenta que, mientras los síntomas progresan, es posible que sea difícil realizar ciertas tareas laborales.
  • Planifique cuándo y cómo decirle a su jefe, supervisor o gerente.
  • Dígale al gerente que le gustaría continuar trabajando tanto como sea posible y pídale que sea flexible. Las posibilidades incluyen trabajar menos horas, reducir las responsabilidades o cambiar de puesto.
  • Trabaje con el departamento de recursos humanos para asegurarse de aprovechar todos sus beneficios como empleado. Investigue las opciones de jubilación temprana.

Fuentes

Alzheimer’s Association. Younger/Early Onset Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Alzheimer’s Association. Living with Younger/Early Onset Alzheimer’s

Un texto traducido por familydoctor.org.

 

 

 

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CVS Health Opens Digital Health Innovation Lab in Boston

by System Administrator - Thursday, 18 June 2015, 7:13 PM
 

CVS Health Opens Digital Health Innovation Lab in Boston

 

CVS Health today announced the official opening of its Digital Innovation Lab in Boston, a facility that is focused on developing cutting-edge digital services and personalized capabilities that offer an accessible and integrated personal pharmacy and health experience. The Lab will serve as a vital hub for the rapidly growing digital team at CVS Health, which will remain headquartered in Woonsocket, R.I.

“At CVS Health, everything we do is to help people on their path to better health, and digital technologies are an amazingly effective way to achieve this,” said Brian Tilzer, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer for CVS Health. “Digital technologies are ubiquitous and highly configurable – a powerful combination, because it allows us to empower our customers anytime and anywhere. That’s why we are doubling our digital investment, anticipating our customers’ increasing preference to manage their health digitally. The opening of this Innovation Lab is a significant step forward on this path.”

The launch of the new Digital Innovation Lab is the latest manifestation of CVS Health’s commitment to prioritizing digital health. The new lab is staffed with developers, product managers, digital strategists, and user- experience designers. CVS has increased its focus on healthcare this year by making significant investments in telehealth visits with doctors at some of its MinuteClinics, sending text messages to customers about their prescriptions and sharing EHR data with select providers.

The Digital Innovation Lab will embody the CVS Health digital team’s mission to run like a startup, accelerating speed-to-market and impact of digital innovation across the enterprise, by using the resources of the Lab to rapidly test, improve and implement new programs.

“Boston’s position as a hub for healthcare innovation, coupled with our belief in the transformational capabilities of digital technologies, makes it an ideal environment for CVS Health’s new Digital Innovation Lab,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “We’re proud to work alongside CVS Health to foster new advancements in the digital health space.”

 

Primary focuses of the Lab will include the exploration of breakthroughs for digital health through innovation in mobile, personalization, multi-channel e-commerce, connected health and digital therapeutics. CVS Health will further its pace and breadth of innovation through partnerships with promising startups and mature companies alike in the digital and health care space.

 

The Lab is also committed to developing future-looking health care solutions. For example, CVS Health plans to introduce a wide array of new digital services in the coming year and beyond, ranging from beacon capabilities that allow customers to receive in-store pharmacy reminders, to applications that turn mobile phones into remote diagnostic tools. CVS Health services reach 100 million customers annually, meaning these innovations are poised to make a significant impact in helping people manage their health.

 

The Digital Innovation Lab, located at 116 Huntington Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, will ultimately employ up to 100 team members, complementing the work of the more than 100 digital professionals currently at the company’s Digital Experience Center in Woonsocket. The company is actively recruiting talent with expertise in everything from application development and creative digital design, to engineering, coding, usability and customer experience.

Link: http://hitconsultant.net

 

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Cybersecurity in Healthcare: An Organizational Approach Focused on both Business and IT

by System Administrator - Tuesday, 26 January 2016, 10:00 PM
 

eBook: Cybersecurity in Healthcare: An Organizational Approach Focused on both Business and IT 

Your Cybersecurity Strategy Has Never Been More Important than Now.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, a staggering 1.6 million people had their medical information stolen from healthcare providers last year. Not only does this impact the healthcare organization, it has a heavy impact on the patient as well.  

Download this Healthcare Informatics e-book for an in-depth look at the impact data breaches have on healthcare organizations and how a cybersecurity strategy is more than just an IT initiative.

Some key focal points include:

  • The five-year outlook data breaches are predicted to have on healthcare organizations
  • How a cybersecurity strategy needs to be a focal point from the board of governors down to the employees in the trenches
  • The steps that need to be taken in the event of an attack
  • An in-depth interview with the CSIO of a 25-hospital integrated health system based in Arlington, Texas on their approach to protecting patient data

Please read the attached eBook.

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Data Analytics in Healthcare

by System Administrator - Wednesday, 11 March 2015, 9:35 PM
 

Data Analytics in Healthcare: Gain insights and take action

A new study commissioned by EMC asked federal agencies how big data can help them. Among the results published recently: The healthcare industry is chomping at the bit for data analytics. Because the innovative answers needed to improve patient experiences and the health of populations, while simultaneously reducing costs, comes from insights, trends, and clues hiding in big data.

“The underpinnings of EHRs need to be reconfigured to support the purposes of big data. ”

Dr. Karen DeSalvo

National Coordinator for HIT

Please read the attached whitepaper.

 

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Data Breach Reporting Requirements for Medical Practices

by System Administrator - Friday, 27 February 2015, 12:58 PM
 

Data Breach Reporting Requirements for Medical Practices

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Data Breaches Put Fear Into Patients

by System Administrator - Thursday, 12 March 2015, 9:23 PM
 

Survey: Data Breaches Put Fear Into Patients

by Rajiv Leventhal 

Nearly half (45 percent) of surveyed patients reported that they are at least moderately concerned about a security breach involving their personal health information, according to new research from the Austin, Tx.-based electronic health record (EHR) selection group Software Advice.

When asked to list the reasons behind their level of concern, the highest percentage of respondents (47 percent) said they are concerned about becoming the victim of fraud or identity theft. Coming in a close second was patient worries about maintaining the privacy of their medical history, followed by a lack of trust in technology’s ability to keep their data safe, according to the survey.

As such, 21 percent are withholding personal health information from their doctors. While the majority of the sample (79 percent) said this “rarely or never” happens, it is significant (and unfortunate) that 21 percent of patients withhold personal information from their physicians specifically because they are concerned about a security breach, according to the researchers.

What’s more, only 8 percent of patients “always” read doctors’ privacy and security policies before signing them, and just 10 percent are “very confident” they understand them. Notice of Privacy Practices (NPPs) are written explanations of how a provider may use and share health information, and how patients can exercise their privacy rights.

Additionally, a combined 54 percent of respondents said they would be “very” or “moderately likely” to change providers as a result of their personal health information being accessed without their permission. While 28 percent said there is nothing their provider could do that would convince them to stay, the greatest percentage of respondents (37 percent) would stick with their doctor if they provided specific examples of how the practice’s security policies and procedures had improved after the breach. Many of those same patients (13 percent) specifically said they would want the provider to purchase new software that protectspatient data. A breach caused by staff misconduct was reported as the most likely reason for patients to switch providers.

“The results of our survey on patient fears indicate that much work must be done to restore patients’ faith indata security, the researchers concluded. “Practices should strive to create an atmosphere where patients see promise instead of potential risk when it comes to the way healthcare data is handled,” they said.

Topics:

  • PRIVACY/SECURITY
  • TECHNOLOGY
  • HIPAA
  • TECHNOLOGY

Link: http://www.healthcare-informatics.com

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Data De-Identification: Getting It Right

by System Administrator - Saturday, 9 August 2014, 2:29 AM
 

Khaled El Emam and Scot Ganow

Data De-Identification: Getting It Right

Listen Now

When patient data is used for secondary purposes, such as research, it must be de-identified. But is this process consistently reliable in protecting patient privacy?

A privacy attorney and an experienced researcher explain in an interview with Information Security Media Group that de-identification is reliable if specific methods, as spelled out under HIPAA, are actually used. Too often, they say, those de-identifying data don't do the job effectively because they fail to follow best practices and standards.

Two Methods

Only two methods of de-identification can be used to satisfy the HIPAA Privacy Rule's de-identification standard, explains privacy and security attorney Scot Ganow of the law firm Faruki Ireland & Cox P.L.L.

The "safe harbor" method calls for removing 18 identifiers from patient information, including patient names, ZIP codes, Social Security numbers and birthdates.

The second method, "expert determination," is a more flexible standard that allows professionals to calibrate data de-identification based on the context for which data will be released for secondary purposes, explains Khaled El Emam, senior scientist at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute and Director of the multidisciplinary Electronic Health Information Laboratory.

The expert determination method involves using an expert "with appropriate knowledge of and experience with generally accepted statistical and scientific principles and methods for rendering information not individually identifiable," according to federal guidance material on the subject (see De-Identification Guidance Offered).

De-identified data is considered HIPAA-compliant "and defensible" if either of these two-approved methods are used in de-identifying patient data, Ganow says.

Some privacy advocates complain that even HIPAA-compliant methods of data de-identification fall short, creating a risk that patients can be re-identified, especially if mistakes are made in the processes (see Sizing Up De-Identification Guidance).

But El Emam contends that privacy protection problems mainly arise when HIPAA guidance is not followed or is applied improperly. "Another mistake is applying only part of the standards. In that case, data is not going to be protected," he says.

"If you do a poor job with de-identification not based on standards, then it's easy for someone to reverse that. But if you do a good job, it's really hard to re-identify the data," El Emam contends.

One of the top reasons why data de-identification is sometimes done improperly is that there's a shortage of skilled individuals who know how to de-identify data according to best practices and standards, El Emam says. "There's a need to increase the pool of individuals who can do this work, he says.

Not Foolproof

But no method of de-identification is guaranteed to be 100 percent perfect. "When applying data de-identification methods in accordance to HIPAA, the standard is to have a very low risk of re-identification as opposed to saying something is completely de-identified," Ganow says. De-identification "doesn't happen in a silo. You have to think about: Who am I giving the data to? What's the purpose? What agreements and security do I have in place? It's not a silver bullet."

In the interview, Ganow and El Emam discuss:

  • Why de-identification is important to managing risk and ensuring patient privacy;
  • How the identities of patients with unusual and rare diseases, such as Ebola, can be protected;
  • How a shortage of skilled individuals is contributing to poorly de-identified data and why training programs and professional certifications can help.

Ganow is an attorney in the Dayton office of Faruki Ireland & Cox P.L.L. He had more than 10 years of corporate and compliance experience in Fortune 500 companies prior to becoming an attorney, including serving as a chief privacy officer for healthcare and pharmaceutical informatics companies. Ganow also holds the Certified Information Privacy Professional certification; has presented and written extensively on the topics of data protection and de-identification.,In addition to his work at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, El Emam is founder and CEO of Privacy Analytics Inc., which offers enterprise software to safeguard data used for secondary purposes. Previously, Khaled formerly was a senior research officer at the National Research Council of Canada. He holds the Canada research chair in electronic health information at the University of Ottawa and is an associate professor on the faculty of medicine at the university. He has a PhD from the department of electrical and electronics engineering, King's College, at the University of London, England.

Link: http://www.healthcareinfosecurity.com/interviews/data-de-identification-getting-right-i-2412/p-2

RELATED CONTENT

RELATED WHITEPAPERS

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Data Deluge to Disrupt Healthcare This Decade

by System Administrator - Tuesday, 18 November 2014, 1:43 PM
 

Exponential Medicine: Data Deluge to Disrupt Healthcare This Decade

BY JASON DORRIER

You can’t really boil down four days, 59 speakers, and a few lovely musical interludes into a single word—but here goes. If there was an overriding theme to this year’s Exponential Medicine it was, in my humble opinion, information.

In his opening talk, Peter Diamandis said health and medicine are poised to undergo a greater transformation than any other industry or field in the next decade. Of course, he meant treatments and technology will meaningfully advance. But more than that, it is the liberation of data that will make care more targeted, proactive, and effective.

To understand the future, however, it’s critical to understand where we are now.

The Problem

 

Vinod Khosla; Exponential Medicine.

Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla wrote way back in 2012that modern healthcare is more about the “practice of medicine than the science of medicine.” Diagnosis and treatment are more art than most will admit, and this is problematic because, by definition, 50% of all doctors are below average practitioners—acceptable in art, frightening in medicine.

Tens of thousands of ICU patients die annually due to misdiagnosis. Go to three different doctors and you’ll get three different diagnoses and plans for treatment, Khosla wrote. This isn’t to slander doctors, but to say most are faced with an impossible task.

Further, just as today’s doctors make life or death decisions on extremely limited information, researchers and scientists similarly draw broad conclusions from small datasets, a tiny slice of the population over a short period of time. Indeed, in her keynote on clinical trials, Dr. Laura Esserman noted that 70% of clinical trials fail.

This is likely, in part, because the studies informing those trials are not backed by information over broad populations but are instead handcuffed by over-specificity and a dearth of data.

The Promise

Today, information isn’t free. But liberating forces are massing on the horizon.

 

Ariel Garten wearing Muse headband; Exponential Medicine.

Sensor technology, of course, is front and center. A profusion of body sensors are poised to be strung throughout the environment and in and on our bodies. These sensors are tiny, cheap, energy efficient, and most importantly, connected.

Sensors stand to collect information, not once every year or two, but every day, hour, or minute. They can open a window on disease before it becomes critical, before symptoms drive us to seek help, making diagnoses early and more accurate.

The best known health devices adapt smartphone motion sensors to detect movement (e.g., step trackers). But these are just the beginning. The next wave of sensors will measure a range of vital signs connected to the heart, blood, and brain.

Sensors on display at Exponential Medicine included two elegant EEG devices for recording brain activity, the Muse headband and iBrain. And the winner of the XPRIZE Nokia Sensing Challenge, awarded at the conference, is a compact system capable of running a wide range of diagnostic lab tests with a single drop of blood.

Just as sensors begin collecting new information, we may begin unlocking and leveraging already existing data within the system. Hospitals alone offer a wealth of information which is invisible to patients and doctors alike.

The system has all but scrambled this information, but data scientists are showing how software can piece it back together and make it useful.

Dr. Isaac Kohane told the story of a group of patients seeking recurrent treatments for various injuries. Using software to analyze the pattern of treatments, Kohane made a surprising diagnosis—domestic abuse. Indeed, it was later reported that these patients were victims of abuse, but not until well after they’d been released from the hospital.

Kohane believes a lot more such information exists within hospitals, if only anyone cared to look.

In addition to doctors, researchers may use information from sensors and the system itself to study populations of tens or hundreds of thousands of patients. And these studies will cover periods of time before, during, and after disease strikes.

The famous Framingham heart study collected information every few years from a few thousand patients over several decades. Framingham yielded profound insights into cardiac disease. Now, imagine doing the same study again—only collecting information every day and expanding the study’s population by an order of magnitude or more.

The Health eHeart study, spearheaded by UCSF’s Dr. Jeff Olgin aims to do just that. Health eHeart shows not just what’s possible in the future study of heart disease, but in the study of all disease. Broad, detailed data may soon be the rule.

Making It Meaningful

Doctors are already overwhelmed by the flow. Keeping up with a body of research that doubles every five years is a herculean task—perhaps an impossible one for mere mortals. How will we fare when information exponentially increases?

 

Craig Venter; Exponential Medicine.

As genomics and synthetic biology pioneer Craig Ventersaid in his keynote talk, data isn’t the goal. The bigger objective is taking the data and making knowledge of it. How will we do that? Artificial intelligence.

Vinod Khosla believes computers will replace up to 80% of the tasks doctors perform today. This will result in significantly fewer errors, lower cost, less work per doctor, faster interactions, and more opportunities for doctors to do research.

But, as Exponential Medicine executive director Daniel Kraft noted: We shouldn’t think of it as AI but IA—intelligence augmentation. In the future, doctors will pair up with intelligent software to more quickly and comprehensively research, diagnose, and prescribe treatment plans.

IBM’s Watson, for example, is able to scan a field’s entire body of up-to-date medical research in fractions of a second and turn up relevant studies, rare drug side effects, even potential diagnoses. And as Watson searches text, machine learning techniques are equipping software with the ability to scan images.

Jeremy Howard, Founder and CEO of Enlitic and previous Chief Scientist at Kaggle, said the accuracy of object classification—identifying discrete features in images—has undergone massive improvement in the last several years. Already these algorithms are proving themselves superior to humans in the analysis of some cancerous tissues.

The convergence of these techniques will help us better manage all this new information—whether it’s finding causative correlations in genomic research or making more accurate, timely diagnoses in the doctor’s office and hospital.

But perhaps the most powerful effect of intelligent software on medicine? As machines do what they do best, doctors can refocus on what humans do best. Less overwhelmed by data they can’t possibly digest, doctors will find time to build relationships with the patient—answering questions, keeping them informed, making them comfortable.

The Dark Side

 

Marc Goodman; Exponential Medicine.

As more patient data is collected and made available for study and diagnosis, and more devices connect to the internet, health information will present a target for exploitation—if it’s online, it’s hackable.

According to Marc Goodman, typical identity theft is worth $2,000 to the thief—medical identity theft is worth more like $20,000. So far in 2014, medical cybercrime is up 600% because, Goodman says, it’s an easy target.

The answer isn’t to halt innovation but to pay more attention to security and enforcement. Goodman suggests some simple solutions: switching passwords on every website, securing connections to public networks, data encryption—and most critically, perhaps, taking care what information is shared online.

Technology as a Tool

Technology is amoral, it’s what humans do with it that determines whether it is a force for good or evil. In the coming years, we’ll have ample opportunity to adapt to a world awash in health information. We may decide to place severe limits on what and how information is shared. But the likelier outcome? The benefits of information sharing will outweigh the risks.

“We’ve gone from a data-poor world, to a data-rich world,” Larry Smarr told participants. “I’ve been through a lot of fields in my life. This is about as excited as I’ve been for research and what it’s going to do to change our lives.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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