Army’s 1st Virtual Medical Center

Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) www.bamc.amedd.army has been selected to be the Army’s first virtual medical center as announced by Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West. Along with in-house virtual efforts, BAMC will also be able to tap into virtual efforts underway at other military medical facilities and then eventually expand the viral efforts military wide. (more…)

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Cybersecurity & Healthcare

Michael C McNeil, testifying on behalf of Philips www.usa.philips.com and the trade association AdvaMed www.advamed.org , gave an overview of the medical technology sector on the issue of cybersecurity. He appeared before the House Energy & Commerce Committee, https://energycommerce.house.gov Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on April 4, 2017.

He explained how important it is for medical device manufacturers to address cybersecurity throughout the product lifecycle and very importantly implement proactive measures to manage medical device cybersecurity.

AdvaMed in March 2017 published a White Paper “AdvaMed Medical Device Cyber Foundational Principles”, www.advanced_medical_device_cybersecurity_principles_final.pdf, discussing how to develop a robust medical technology cybersecurity effort.

McNeil summarized the principles in the White Paper for the Subcommittee. First an effective cybersecurity risk management program should incorporate both premarket and postmarket lifecycle phases and address cybersecurity from medical device conception to disposal.

In addition, medical device security risks should be addressed through a risk management process that is based on consensus-driven recognized standards and reference documents. This risk management process should include a process to monitor the ongoing security of devices in use.

Medical technology cybersecurity is a shared responsibility among all stakeholders within the healthcare community. Since systems are only as secure as their weakest point, all elements of the system must be appropriately managed and secured.

Medical device manufacturers should deploy a coordinated disclosure process that provides a pathway for researchers and others to submit information including potential vulnerabilities to the organization.

Manufacturers need to put information sharing concerning threats at the top of the list in order to manage cybersecurity effectively. It is necessary for the industry to always share threat and vulnerability information.

Finally, the development of cybersecurity-related consensus standards and regulations should be accomplished collaboratively among regulators, medical device manufacturers, independent security experts, academia, and healthcare delivery organizations.

McNeil told the Subcommittee that both Philips and AdvaMed commend the FDA for taking a proactive stand on medical device cybersecurity. The FDA has worked closely with the medical technology industry and the broader healthcare ecosystem to ensure medical device cybersecurity.

Most recently, last December, FDA released final guidance addressing the postmarket management of medical device cybersecurity. Also, FDA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (NH-ISAC) https://nhisac.org and the Medical Device Innovation, Safety and Security Consortium (MDISS) www.mdiss.org to promote cybersecurity information sharing for medical devices

These efforts led to the creation of a medical device specific information sharing and analysis organization which recently launched a program called the “Medical Device Vulnerability Intelligence Program for Evaluation and Response or MD-VIPER” https://mdviper.org .

MD-VIPER provides a streamlined mechanism for medical device manufacturers to submit and share information concerning cybersecurity related issues as well as to other members of the

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VA’s Patient Safety Progress

The Veterans Administration’s (VA) National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) www.patientsafety.va.gov, a part of the Veterans Health Administration www.va.gov/health, uses a systems approach to problem solving focusing on prevention. (more…)

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Fostering HIT Innovation

The team involving Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania www.sep.benfranklin.org, Independence Health Group (IHG) www.ibx.com, and Safeguard Scientifics www.safeguard.com are working together to foster healthcare IT innovation. (more…)

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Pfizer CEO Speaks at Press Club

CEO of Pfizer www.pfizer.com Ian Read D.C., speaking at the National Press Club on March 23, 2017 in Washington D.C, acknowledged that patients today face and deal with co-pays and high deductibles. However, consumers really need to understand the issues and problems involving payment for prescription drugs from insurance. (more…)

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Integrating Medical & Mental Health

A study commissioned by the American Psychiatric Association www.psychiatric.org found that between $26.3 billion and $48.3 billion could be cut from the total cost of healthcare in the U.S each year by effectively integrating medical and behavioral health treatments. (more…)

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Cutting Edge App in India

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) www.ifc.org a member of the World Bank Group, WellDoc www.WellDoc.com a U.S based digital health startup, and Max Healthcare https://www.maxhealthcare.in, an Indian healthcare provider have launched a cutting-edge mobile App in India to improve diabetes care. (more…)

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