The Dark Side Of Artificial Intelligence: Increased Efficiency Comes With Ominous Threat Of Vulnerability To Hackers
A report warns that artificial intelligence can be easily duped with tiny pieces of data. The authors say bad actors could hack into records and make it seem like there's an illness there that isn't. But more likely is that doctors, hospitals and other organizations could manipulate the A.I. in billing or insurance software in an effort to maximize the money coming their way. In other health technology news: a day of reckoning is coming for digital health, the FDA calls for tighter security of electronic health records following a KHN report, and data breaches from the states.
The New York Times:
A.I. Can Improve Health Care. It Also Can Be Duped.
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a device that can capture an image of your retina and automatically detect signs of diabetic blindness. This new breed of artificial intelligence technology is rapidly spreading across the medical field, as scientists develop systems that can identify signs of illness and disease in a wide variety of images, from X-rays of the lungs to C.A.T. scans of the brain. These systems promise to help doctors evaluate patients more efficiently, and less expensively, than in the past. (Metz and Smith, 3/21)
Digital Health Just Had A Record Year. But Is A Day Of Reckoning Ahead?
On paper, they are health care’s most promising upstarts — companies using data and software to detect the onset of debilitating diseases, deliver medical advice and treatments online, and monitor patients’ steps, sleep, weight, blood sugar, and heart function. In 2018, digital health firms had a record year, raking in $8.1 billion from investors buying into the industry’s efforts to re-engineer the delivery of medical services, according to the venture capital firm Rock Health. That’s a 42 percent increase over the prior year. (Ross, 3/22)
FDA Says Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities Found In Some Medtronic Devices
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday said cybersecurity vulnerabilities were identified in Medtronic Plc's implantable cardiac devices, clinic programmers, and home monitors. But, the FDA recommended the usage of the devices and said the medical device maker was developing updates to further mitigate those vulnerabilities. The health regulator added it was not aware of any reports of patients being harmed. (3/21)
Kaiser Health News:
FDA Chief Calls For Stricter Scrutiny Of Electronic Health Records
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on Wednesday called for tighter scrutiny of electronic health records systems, which have prompted thousands of reports of patient injuries and other safety problems over the past decade. “What we really need is a much more tailored approach, so that we have appropriate oversight of EHRs when they’re doing things that could create risk for patients,” Gottlieb said in an interview with Kaiser Health News. Gottlieb was responding to “Botched Operation,” a report published this week by KHN and Fortune magazine. (Schulte and Fry, 3/21)
In case you missed it: Death By 1,000 Clicks: Where Electronic Health Records Went Wrong
Oregon Reveals Data Breach Affected Hundreds In Welfare, Children’s Programs
The Oregon agency that runs the state’s foster care and welfare programs announced on Thursday afternoon that the personal information of more than 350 people in those programs might have been comprised, after a Jan. 28 data breach. An unidentified attacker gained access to the state’s records after nine employees at the Department of Human Services opened so-called “phishing” emails and clicked on a link that allowed the outside party to gain access to their state email accounts, according to a state press release. (Borrud, 3/21)
Data Breach Exposes Millions Of DHS Emails, Patient Records
The Oregon Department of Human Services Thursday disclosed that millions of agency emails had been breached in January, potentially exposing the personal medical information of hundreds of thousands. The agency said it discovered the data breach involving 2 million emails on Jan. 8 and by Jan. 28 realized the emails included personal medical information protected under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, otherwise known as HIPAA. (Wieber, 3/21)
The Associated Press:
Vermont Hospital Email Hack Exposes Info Of More Than 72,000
Officials at a Vermont hospital say the information of more than 72,000 people may have been exposed during an email hack. Rutland Regional Medical Center says the email accounts had information such as patient names, medical records and contact information, as well as more than 3,500 Social Security numbers. The breach was first discovered in December after an employee noticed a large number of spam emails sent from their account. (3/21)