Phone Apps Eyed As Potential Contact Tracing Helper But Reliance On Bluetooth Magnifies Security Risks
The plans of governments and tech companies to use mobile devices to aid coronavirus tracking efforts depend on users always keeping Bluetooth on. But security and privacy researchers warn that Bluetooth can be vulnerable to hacking and is less accurate than other location services like GPS. Also in health IT news is the latest bumpiness on the road of electronic health records and the continued growth of telemedicine during the pandemic.
The Wall Street Journal:
Coronavirus Tracking Apps Raise Questions About Bluetooth Security
Governments and companies are planning to introduce mobile applications that use Bluetooth to track coronavirus infections. Researchers say the technology keeps users’ identifying data private, but the complexity of working with Bluetooth raises cybersecurity concerns. Bluetooth, a widely used technology for connecting devices, has emerged as the technology of choice for tracking the spread of the coronavirus, as the U.S. and European countries decide how to safely reopen businesses in the coming weeks and months. (Stupp, 4/30)
OIG: VA's March EHR Go-Live Was 'Likely Unrealistic'
After a review of the aging physical and information-technology infrastructure at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, the OIG determined that the "VA committed to an aggressive, but likely unrealistic, deployment date of March 2020 without having the necessary information on the state of the medical center's infrastructure," according to the report. That's on top of challenges posed by anticipated EHR capabilities—such as online prescription refill— not being ready by the March go-live date, according to a separate report the OIG released this week. (Cohen, 4/29)
Kaiser Health News:
As Coronavirus Strikes, Crucial Data In Electronic Health Records Hard To Harvest
When President Donald Trump started touting hydroxychloroquine as “one of the biggest game changers” for treating COVID-19, researchers hoped electronic health records could quickly tell them if he was on the right track. Yet pooling data from the digital records systems in thousands of hospitals has proved a technical nightmare thus far. That’s largely because software built by rival technology firms often cannot retrieve and share information to help doctors judge which coronavirus treatments are helping patients recover. (Schulte, 4/30)
Teladoc's Quarterly Revenue Climbs 41% On The Back Of 2 Million Telehealth Visits
Teladoc Health reported $180.8 million in revenue for this year's first quarter, up 41% from $128.6 million posted in the year-ago quarter. That meant Teladoc beat its own revenue guidance for the quarter by multiple millions of dollars, as telemedicine use has soared in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. In February, the Purchase, N.Y.-based telemedicine provider had said it expected its revenue for the quarter to be in the range of $169 million to $172 million. (Cohen, 4/29)