Sixty-two percent of individuals ages 18 to 34 said they would let insurance companies use their digital data from sources such as fitness apps, smart-home devices and Facebook if doing so would lower their premiums, compared with 45% of those ages 35 to 54 and 27% of people ages 55 and older, according to a MuleSoft survey. Researchers polled over 8,000 consumers around the world and also found that 56% of respondents indicated they would change to a different insurance provider if they experienced poor digital service.
Aetna polled 1,000 consumers ages 18 and older and found those ages 18 to 34 use digital health tools more often and more view virtual office visits as valuable, compared with consumers older than 65. When asked about patients' top concerns, 80% of respondents cited privacy, followed by data security at 76% and cost of care at 73%.
A total of 161 data breaches in the health care sector were added to the HHS Office for Civil Rights' reporting website, affecting more than 2.8 million people so far this year. The most common type of incidents were unauthorized access/disclosure breaches, which compromised the information of nearly 558,000 people, followed by hacking incidents, which affected more than 1.6 million individuals, and thefts or losses, which affected nearly 660,000 people.
Two cybersecurity vulnerabilities affecting Siemens Healthineers' RAPIDLab 12 and RAPIDPoint 400/405/500 blood-gas analyzer systems could affect the devices' integrity, confidentiality and availability if attacked, the company warned. Users are advised to disable the devices' remote viewing features, have backups and system restoration procedures ready, and modify hardcoded passwords, among other precautions.
MedStar Health received an 18-month contract from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to evaluate two standards-based apps that collect patient-reported outcome data and integrate it into EHRs. "Ensuring that patients have a way to report on outcomes that are meaningful to them is critical to the delivery of safe and effective care," said Dr. Neil Weissman of MedStar Health.
Providers, public health agencies, disaster relief agencies and other health care organizations that contribute medical records and connect to HealthlinkNY by Sept. 30 will be eligible for $76,000 in incentives, the health information exchange announced. "If we want to improve care and avoid repeating tests, it is vitality important that providers contribute medical records to the HIE," said HealthlinkNY Executive Director Staci Romeo.
Researchers recently used gene therapy to repair rats' damaged spinal cords, and the research could yield tremendous benefit to humankind, writes Wesley Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism. This research could not have been conducted using cell lines, computer simulations or human patients, Smith writes.
Four Nobel laureates are among nearly 600 signatories to an open letter calling for research institutions to embrace openness and to proudly explain the important role animal research plays in advancing the health and well-being of humans and animals. "From the development of insulin and transplant surgery to modern day advances, including gene therapies and cancer treatments; animals -- from mice to monkeys -- continue to play a crucial role in both basic and applied research," the letter reads.
Research on a cure for hepatitis B virus infection in people has been impeded by the lack of a suitable animal model, but scientists have discovered a species of HBV in capuchin monkeys in Brazil, potentially opening an avenue for research. In the laboratory, the virus produced HBV-like infection patterns and used the same receptor as HBV to infect human liver cells, suggesting zoonotic potential.
The University of Wisconsin's Madison campus is home to a primate research center and three swine labs, and researchers there will be studying the transplantation of pig organs into rhesus monkeys before conducting xenotransplantation clinical trials in people. The researchers will use CRISPR gene editing technology to knock out four to six characteristic genes in pigs and add genes associated with the recipient's immune system to create personalized organs for transplantation, starting with insulin-producing islet cells.
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