Time to take healthcare security seriously.

We look at the rapid rise of Sasa  Software, and ask; has their time come?

The image of Oren Dvoskin, Commercial Manager at Sasa Software, sitting in his nondescript office, black t-shirt and headphones, looks Californian, as he spells out the pessimism of his profession.

“There are two types of hospital” – he says; “those that have been hacked and know it; and those that have been hacked, but don’t know it.”

Oren’s office is nowhere near Orange County. It is on the border of Israel and Lebanon. If anyone knows about pessimism, it is he. As Sasa Software prepare to face its growing and exponential market at HIMSS 2017 – it surely does not get any more black than this.

Cyber hacking and ransomware, is growing to the point where it cannot be ignored and assumed it is for someone else. But its growth is not the most alarming feature. It is that, for hospitals, any cyber attack would have to be pre-meditated and unique and specifically tailored to find the weak spot, the easiest point of entry, into that particular hospital.

What is worse is – because health records (which are the prime target) are deeply personal and full of personal ID info – any attack is inevitably immediately visible. Unlike say a Bank etc, a Hospital cannot pretend it has not happened and just pay the money.

This is no simple phishing attack.

What that means is, and why Sasa Software believe that this 2017 will be our most “challenging”, i.e. most concerted and worrying – is that Hospitals are still not waking up to this important threat, despite the evidence that 75% have suffered some sort of breach – and that is just those that are publicly noted.

The answer, according to Oren – is to have a mix of baseline protection, the sort that all of us have on our PCs and office servers and Cloud access. This stops the initial and simplest access. But to combat the precise and targeted attack mentioned above, Sasa take the view that every incoming email, data request, every file transfer – is a threat of some sort. Their range of solutions is designed to neutralise any incoming malware or suspicious entry, at source.

But it is also a realisation that files we take for granted – the DICOM image, the voice recording – that we regularly append to our EHR records, are the new source of threat. Viewing images online across the globe, that holy grail of Clinical Consultant interoperability – may be the one area that is the chiles heel for the modern Hospital.

If there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it is not in the fingers crossed hope that that things can get better,. It is the realisation that you can do something about it. Oren is a philosopher with a positive view of human nature, despite the nature of his profession and the market he develops.

The cost of your sorting out a cyber attack ranges from $230.00 – $400.00 per patient record. Sasa Software will be addressing both the Pharma and Clinical markets at HIMSS. Worth having a serious chat.

Virtual Rehabilitation (VR); is this the answer for better Elderly healthcare?

We look at a recent announcement from Nadia Haidar at Reflexion Health:

According to Pew Research Center, 76% of baby boomers and 92% of Generation X population are internet savvy, illustrating seniors’ willingness to adopt and learn new technology at a growing rate. This percentage also reflects the potential for technology to assist the elderly. It’s now more important than ever that the healthcare industry prepares for a tech savvy baby boomer generation and does so in an affordable and simple way.

Reflexion Health is taking patients to another dimension of virtual rehabilitation; one that fuses immersive technology with assisting senior citizens. Through an easy, convenient and non-constricting platform, Reflexion is healing the elderly after joint, knee or hip surgery and cutting the recovery time in half from the comfort of their home.

We believe there is an opportunity to discuss the growing need for the different types of technology to facilitate baby boomer healthcare, focusing on technological advancements, simplicity and cost-effectiveness particularly as we witness a new healthcare reform. Topics to be discussed could include:

The latest trends in adaptable technology for the elderly; Preparing for the baby boomer future in healthcare; How at-home virtual rehabilitation technologies can significantly cut recovery time and cost; Why physicians are increasingly choosing technology to assist with patient recover;How the MedTech industry is ramping up to combat a possible onslaught of healthcare reform policies.
Reflexion Health is a digital healthcare company dedicated to transforming traditional medicine. Through its partnerships with Yale New Haven Hospital and many others, Reflexion offers in-home virtual exercise rehabilitation assistant to patients for faster recovery and increased convenience.

Wearable Gadgets at Cebit 2017!

Xenia Wedel, the PR guru at Tapdo – writes to ask:  Can we get together for a quick demo at CeBITHere’s what she says:

Tapdo (www.tapdo.io) is a smart button that lets you control technology with single-touch, personalized biometric interactions.
If you missed the coolest gadget at the MWC or WTS, no worries, Tapdo is coming to CeBIT. Tapdo is  the ultimate wearable gadget that enables rapid, no-look control of music, smart home, and more. Ideal for driving, too. To see how easy this is, please check out the demo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4ZTDRGxoJM

Using a unique fingerprint sensor, Tapdo allows you to assign specific functions to different parts of your fingers, you can control music, dim smart lights, and more. Powered by Bluetooth LE and equipped with vibration feedback for a seamless, intuitive user experience, this ingenious button can be clipped on virtually anywhere for easy access, or worn on a slim wristband.

Today, fingerprint readers are commonly used for authentication purposes, and ignore other parts of the hand besides fingertips. No device has yet captured the full potential of fingerprint sensors for biometric interaction using the entire hand. While the smartphone has acted as the main controller for smart products, it’s not the ideal interface for every action; people want an easier, sleeker shortcut for controlling their many apps and devices.

Enter Tapdo, which not only includes authentication capabilities, but enables rapid, discreet interaction with no-look control. It’s perfect for smartphone power users and anyone looking for smart home convenience — plus it complies with the one-touch rule for phone usage while driving.
On Match 16, the device is launching its Kickstarter campaign to allow users to control their favorite apps and devices with just the tap of a button. Tapdo will be available on Kickstarter starting at $99. Backers can expect to receive their devices, including battery and rubber wristband, in September 2017.

How to Manage Diabetes.

We look at the plethora of Diabetes “solutions” and focus on our best of breed.

The apparent growth in the market, so to say, of people suffering from Diabetes – has not been unnoticed by software and clinical solutions vendors – and yet it seems such a surprise, nonetheless. It is redolent of overnight pop-star successes, who have been quietly carving their career for the past decade, but without public recognition. Until now.

The question tho – is that, from among the vendors of solutions that are now visible – which ones will fly and which are merely good eggs?

The answer is not about clinical excellence. You can safely say that all diabetes solutions have their merits. The answer is about understanding their market, and having the gotomarket strategy and planning, to execute that strategy.

This is the forte of the RIMIDI company, whose CEO, Lucie Idea, talked to me a few evenings ago.

The RIMIDI solutions sits in the hospital itself, but can be accessed online.

Let’s start with the key points – there are two. RIMIDI is a clinical solution borne out of accidental observation. Lucie is a Doctor in her own right, but with a background in VC Finance. Having spotted the opportunity, it was a logical next step to create an App that focuses on the essential problem – how to get patients to monitor their own situation in an easy to do, way; and how to access and then use that info, in ways that can make a clinical difference – and therefore, a commercial difference for the hospital concerned. RIMIDI crosses the bridge from being a “clinical” data transfer solution – to one that empowers the Community. There is a strong and unique focus on “wellness”, joining up of the dots, for the clinician to see the Big Community Picture.

But more than that – RIMIDI focusses commercially on strategic alliances with the big EHR vendors (they have a white label agreement with Cerner) – as their means of getting bandwidth. This is astute – but also worrying. Whilst it avoids the need for the sales process – it also loses control. in many ways this recognition explains the presence at HIMSS. The Cerner collaboration gives implicit credibility in front of the myriad of individual hospitals that will pass by.

Ultimately RIMIDI success will come down to Lucie’s view as a pragmatist; her final words put it well” “RIMIDI is about saving time. Any solution can get information together. At RIMIDI, we make it possible to save time doing what every clinician needs to do, and what every Community needs to deliver.”.

The question will be, with Lucie’s VC background – will there be a buy-out in the next year or two? Or will RMIDI as a brand become a market leader, and saw a range of similar Apps? We hope it will be the latter.

NEW SOLUTION TO COMBAT THREATS TO PATIENT PRIVACY AND EHR TRUST

We talk with Protenus CEO, Robert Lord, about the danger of complacency in an easy-access interoperable world.
Like all things in life, there are good days, and bad; rainy days and silver linings. With healthcare, the drivers that we have been pushing as we motor down the cloud based highway have lead many to believe that patient record accessibility and interoperability is healthcare’s lone nirvana, its Holy Grail. In the same way that we all focus on paperless hospitals, we assume that, well, total access is a Good Thing.
And we would be wrong. Not that “interoperability” itself is a bad thing – but in a modern and real world, we need to be equally aware of the value of our patient data, and how vulnerable it is to both external and internal threats to patient data.
How so?
Because – if we consider that we would never make our Credit Card PIN available to anybody or that we would stand naked to probably only five people on the world; then our Doctor would certainly be one of them. Our personal patient medical record is private, and Hospitals have a duty of care to keep it so. This is not easy, and Hospitals need to take action.
Protenus is rising as one of the stars of HIMSS 2017. Protenus’ founders, Nick Culbertson and Robert Lord, met in medical school, but previously had careers in intelligence and finance , respectively. They now apply their backgrounds in these fields to the protection of electronic health records.
Robert Lord, CEO of Protenus, told us, when we caught up with him – that this is a matter of trust between you and your hospital. You need to feel secure that your personal data will remain personal to you and not be stolen or hacked. Interestingly, Robert told us that the biggest threat to our data comes from inside, the internal hacking of patient data.

Protenus has developed a platform that monitors access to patient data from employees, affiliates and business associates and ensures that every access is appropriate. Through using machine learning and rich clinical context, their system is highly accurate, and vastly improves the efficiency of privacy teams.
Robert is due to speak on this issue, alongside the CMIO of Johns Hopkins, Dr. Peter Greene, at HIMSS itself. What he said to us is: “We see a continuing transformation in the market – we believe that 2017 will be the year of insider threat awareness. While the challenges of inappropriate access and privacy violations have consistently plagued health systems, awareness of this issue has hit an important inflection point, with leaders throughout healthcare technology ready to change the way that we ensure trust in healthcare.”
The Protenus solution is enterprise software-as-a-service that can protect EHRs, HIEs, payors, and any other institution that stores and accesses patient data.

Telehealth is Tumbling 30-Day Readmissions Penalties

In time for this year’s HIMSS – Lee Horner, President of Stratus’s Telehealth Division, explains how Telehealth can  reduce re-admisisons.
High readmission rates are a $17 billion problem across the U.S. for hospital administrators.
What’s even more alarming is that a portion of 30-day readmissions are preventable. According to a recent University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 27% of readmissions could be avoided. This study shows that hospitals must improve communications between patients, physicians, hospitals and primary care providers, while providing better post-discharge resources.
Upon discharge, if a patient is readmitted within 30 days, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires payment from the hospital due to the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which penalizes preventable readmissions. However, the burden of keeping abreast of each patient’s unique recovery isn’t an easy task for both providers and hospitals.
Imagine that, as a patient, you are sent home from the hospital with a stack of discharge papers. Are you more likely to read every sheet carefully or to stack it in a corner, never to be looked at again?
Solutions to the readmissions problem are emerging in today’s market and are designed to support the management and monitoring of every patient’s unique recovery during their most critical time post-discharge from the hospital: the first 30 days. By offering a workflow that aligns with the patient’s recovery period, such solutions automate follow-up reminders, connecting patients and providers over a secure video call, and allows for patient Q&A.
Now, imagine the patient with the stack of post-discharge instructions. Instead, these emerging solutions have the ability to send a text or email at discharge with a link to join a video conference. The patient simply clicks the link and the automatic video call distribution will identify the next available provider for a telehealth follow-up via computer, tablet or smartphone. New telehealth developments can even send reminders to the patient until they participate in a follow-up call and through this continuous follow-up, ensuring reduced readmission rates which help both the patient and provider alike.
According to a 2016 Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) survey, connected health tools (mobile and wireless devices) are changing patient care delivery.

The survey also found:
67% of healthcare organizations utilized multiple connected health technology solutions
58% used mobile optimized patient portals as an important patient engagement tool in their connected health strategy
47% stated that they expect to add additional connected health technologies to their platform.
It is great news for patients and providers that telehealth and connected health tools, are growing and will continue to do so while supporting hospitals in meeting CMS guidelines and preventing 30-day readmissions.