New data privacy law can enhance patient safety, data privacy and boost digital health in Qatar

Out-Law, 16 November 2016
Authors: Diane Mullenex and Tony Fielding
“Data protection laws recently finalised in Qatar could serve to further strengthen patient safety and improve public and private healthcare service delivery. The legal changes will enable the growth of digital health products and services in the country.”
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Medical Devices Pose Weak Link In Preventing Cyber Attacks

Information Management, 15 November 2016
Author: Fred Bazzoli
“For many users of Johnson & Johnson’s OneTouch Ping insulin pump, the benefit of ease of use has been outweighed by the fear of hacking. In early October, the company sent letters to patients using the devices, alerting them to the fact that the OneTouch contained a cybersecurity flaw that could allow a hacker to reprogram the device to administer additional doses of the diabetes drug, which could be life-threatening.”
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Medicare claims data sent to the wrong health records

IT News, 14 November 2016
Author: Paris Cowan
“The Department of Human Services has admitted it uploaded sensitive Medicare claims records to the wrong recipient’s electronic health records 86 times in the 12 months to 30 June 2016. The health department is in the midst of two trials of the opt-out process that will see more than one million residents in northern Queensland and the Blue Mountains region of NSW automatically signed up for a record unless they proactively refuse.”
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Brazil’s Health Minister Seeks to Stem Inefficiencies to Cut Costs

WST, 8 November 2016
Author: Paulo Trevisani
“Brazil’s government is renegotiating contracts and searching for inefficiencies in the country’s mammoth public-health system ahead of a likely tightening in public spending starting next year, Health Minister Ricardo Barros said. The government has already managed to reduce the price it pays for drugs provided to millions of patients by renegotiating contracts with labs. The savings will grow as the ministry speeds up a plan to automate paperwork in the public-health network so that information about each user will be more readily available.”
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How can doctors use technology to help them diagnose?

The Conversation, 24 October 2016
Author: David Tuffley
“In Japan’s first reported case of artificial intelligence (AI) saving someone’s life. A woman with a rare type of leukaemia was correctly diagnosed by the AI. Even more remarkable, it took just ten minutes to compare the woman’s genetic information with 20 million clinical oncology studies to arrive at the life-saving diagnosis. Does this mean robots are going to replace our doctors? Not quite, but increasing volumes of medical data, more powerful computers and smarter algorithms could see a future medical science in which human doctors are helped by AI.”
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Medical Technology Start-Ups In Free Fall As Industry ‘Grays’

Forbes, 18 October 2016
Author: Bruce Japsen
“The number of start-up companies in the U.S. medical technology industry has dropped nearly 70 percent over the last three decades amid regulatory challenges and competition for young talent. The number of new medical technology and device-making startups plummeted to about 600 in 2012 from nearly 1,500 annually three decades ago. The industry blames regulations such as a slow review process for devices and hurdles raised by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which has stricter rules on devices it will allow Medicare to pay for.”
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Cancer register bill passes Senate with privacy fixes

IT News, 13 October 2016
Author: Allie Coyne
“The Senate has passed a bill enabling the Australian federal government’s planned national cancer screening register after the government agreed to fix privacy holes pointed out by the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner pointed out the draft legislation authorised the use of personal information contained in the register for research purposes, bypassing a framework within the Privacy Act set up to grant exemptions for data access in the case of health research. The bill also allowed the register to collect comprehensive Medicare claims information, rather than just information related to bowel and cervical cancer screening.”
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Social media for tracking disease outbreaks – fad or way of the future?

The Conversation, 12 October 2016
Author: C Raina MacIntyre
“Infectious diseases kill more than 17 million people every year. Large outbreaks, known as epidemics, are becoming more frequent. And more serious infections have emerged in the past decade than any time previously. The social and economic impacts of epidemics can be severe. We need better surveillance systems to detect epidemics early. But while there is the potential to predict epidemics by mining data of rumours and news reports (rumour surveillance), or clusters of disease symptoms (syndromic surveillance) described by social media users, we’re not quite there yet.”
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Spine Care Practice Pays Ransom, Regains IT Systems

Health Data Management, 5 October 2016
Author: Joseph Goedert
“New Jersey Spine Center, with six sites, recently reported that it paid a ransom payment to hackers to regain control of its information systems after a ransomware attack. The attack, using the CryptoWall ransom virus, occurred on July 27, according to a notification letter to patients from the organization, which operates six locations serving northern and central New Jersey. Compromised patient information included medical and demographic data and, in some cases, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and account information.”
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What is the Medical Technology Association and how does it wield its power?

The Conversation, 27 September 2016
Author: Bruce Baer Arnold
“If your health practitioner has used a syringe, tongue depressor (to look at your throat), pacemaker, stethoscope, X-ray or MRI scan, blood test, dental filling or joint implant to treat you, you’ve encountered a product from the medical technology industry. Many of the businesses are represented by the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA). The MTAA is quietly influential because it persuaded the government to reject the recommendation to establish mandatory registries for use of high-risk implantable devices such as hip joints. Those registries would be overseen by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the industry-funded national drugs and devices regulator.”
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