Health IT News
Top stories summarized by our editors
8/15/2018

The study of a retrovirus that infects koalas revealed that the replicated viral DNA adopted new functions or became noncoding DNA, and the finding, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may help scientists understand the function of noncoding DNA in humans. "This means that the koala, a species not usually associated with biomedical breakthroughs, is providing key insights into a process that has shaped 8% of the human genome, and will likely show us what happened millions of years ago when retroviruses first invaded the human genome," said study co-author Alex Greenwood.

8/15/2018

Immune system T-cells triggered by bacteria caused retinal damage associated with glaucoma in mice, and blocking autoimmune activity might be a way to treat the eye disease, according to a study published in Nature Communications. "What we learn from the eye can be applied to the brain diseases, and may eventually help develop new methods of treatment and diagnosis," senior co-author Dong Feng Chen said.

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HealthDay News
8/15/2018

Officials at MedSpring Urgent Care in Austin, Texas, notified 13,034 patients who used its centers in Illinois about a possible data breach after an employee got caught in an email phishing scam on May 8. The incident could have compromised patients' names, medical record numbers, dates of medical services and account numbers.

8/15/2018

A Coverys report showed that radiologists accounted for 15% of diagnosis-related malpractice claims, second to general medicine practitioners, with 80% of those claims pertaining to alleged clinical test misinterpretations that led to permanent injury or death. Radiologists should utilize decision support tools, standard treatment protocols and report templates with specific criteria; develop criteria to determine the need for a second image reading; use patient EHR notes; and implement EHR applications and order tracking within the EHR to reduce the risk of malpractice claims, according to the report.

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Health Imaging online
8/15/2018

Human and non-human primates have a functional larynx and vocal tract, but the parts of the brain that control and coordinate vocalizations are more developed in humans, and different species of primate have brain signatures that relate directly to vocal repertoire, according to a study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience. The findings might help scientists understand the evolution of complex vocal communication, researcher Jacob Dunn writes.

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BBC, The Conversation (US)
8/14/2018

Technology companies including Amazon, IBM and Oracle, along with the Information Technology Industry Council, pledged during the Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference to enhance data interoperability throughout the health care sector by making data more accessible for providers and business entities while boosting ease of access to curb costs. "Today's announcements represent a watershed moment toward fostering more innovation in America's health care systems," White House senior adviser Matt Lira said.

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The Hill
8/14/2018

A partnership between the nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing and software vendors Cerner and Statline aims to speed up the process of providing organs to transplant patients. Cerner will offer EHR data to organ procurement organizations, while Statline will provide services including donor registry and screening and a communication center.

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Cerner, United Network
8/14/2018

St. Augustine, Fla.-based Flagler Hospital is using AI tools from IT vendor Ayasdi to improve the treatment of high-cost diseases, such as pneumonia and sepsis, and reduce health care expenditures. The AI tools also helped the hospital reduce its readmission rate from 2.9% to 0.4%.

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Healthcare IT News
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Flagler Hospital, AI, AI, pneumonia
8/14/2018

Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and DeepMind entered into a research partnership involving DeepMind's artificial intelligence system, which automatically detects eye disease characteristics from optical coherence tomography scans to make diagnoses, according to a study published in Nature Medicine. "In the long term, we hope this will help doctors quickly [prioritize] patients who need urgent treatment -- which could ultimately save sight," DeepMind wrote in a blog post.

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ZDNet
8/14/2018

Blockchain "can provide the data integrity, security, accessibility and interoperability of the most demanding requirements of the health care community" and can be designed to meet the requirements of a master patient ID, says Brad Pedrow of Grant Thornton. Lynn Carroll of HSBlox suggests developing a platform that uses machine learning, which is then "combined with blockchain to disseminate the relevant patient data" in order to solve patient-matching challenges.

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Healthcare IT News
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Lynn Carroll, Grant Thornton