Here in the thick of the presidential debate season, we’re reminded there’s always plenty to talk about when it comes to healthcare technology. Our HIT List this week makes some excellent points about key issues ranging from visual hacking to telemedicine safety to blockchain potential.

  1. Tele-safety concerns. Telemedicine delivers a bounty of benefits, from improved continuity of care to fewer medical errors to lower costs. But these researchers suggest it’s time to take a closer look at telemedicine’s potential dangers, such as mHealth apps developed without medical input or formal testing. Check out their recommendations for a more thoughtful safety improvement process.
  2. Look at visual hacking. Spying on physical items like a desk, computer screen or mobile device is known as visual hacking. The Ponemon Institute found that 91% of visual hacking attempts succeed because they happen quickly, are difficult to detect and most CISOs tend to be more focused on technology. See what steps you can take to thwart these threats, including equipment placement, privacy filters and walk-around audits.
  3. Using blockchain for good. 1) Create smart health profiles for Medicaid patients using blockchain. 2) Put claims data on a private blockchain that updates in real-time. 3) Use blockchain to securely store and exchange EHR data. These are three of the most intriguing potential blockchain technology applications that emerged from the ONC’s blockchain research challenge, which attracted more than 70 submissions. No doubt we’ll be hearing lots more about positive uses of blockchain moving forward.
  4. Major progress. Five years ago, less than one-quarter of hospitals offered patients the ability to view their health information electronically. Today, 95% do. In other good news, approximately seven times as many hospitals offer the ability to view, download and transmit health data compared to 2012, and at least 40% of all hospitals in every state can offer patients this ability. Now, onto conquering the really stubborn challenge: improving interoperability.
  5. The IoT revolution. There’s lots of talk about IoT, but if you’ve been looking for some concrete examples of how greater connectivity will transform healthcare, consider these: Improved ability to assess and diagnose patients, patient compliance alerts that enable earlier intervention, custom-tailored short- and long-term treatment plans and cohesive findings that generate population health insights. Here’s hoping IoT truly is the key to better patient experiences and outcomes.
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