April 20, 2024

Health system tests virtual reality to help train nurses

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How IQVIA could stop unchecked growth

health data giant IQVIA on unfettered growth may come to a halt as regulators begin to rein in their acquisitions, Casey Ross writes. A The Federal Trade Commission The lawsuit aims to block IQVIA’s plan to acquire digital advertising company DeepIntent, and argues that the scope and proliferation of the company’s data could lead to a large volume of ads targeting patients and doctors.

“How did all this information end up in private hands?” GAdriane Fugh-Berman from Georgetown he asked, explaining that the IQVIA’s data store allows him to use the information for his own benefit instead of the public good. “It’s all about the marketing,” Fugh-Berman said. “This is not about public health.”

The FTC lawsuit could determine IQVIA’s business prospects and the level of control it would have over data about patients’ medical conditions and treatments — data that could also answer critical questions about health outcomes, Casey said. Get the full story on the suit and IQVIA path to dominance.

Also on FTC…

A handful of Democratic lawmakers want the agency to ensure that digital health companies don’t misuse their data, and that consumers are notified of breaches.

In a letter this week to the FTC chairman Lina KhanRep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Greg Cassar (D-Tex.), andre carson (D-Ind.), Sarah Jacobs (D-Calif.), Journalist Seth (DR.I.), and Kim Schrier (D-Wash.) supported an FTC proposal that would require health data companies not governed by HIPAA to notify customers, the FTC, and in some cases, the media about disclosures of personal health data.

Legislators took note of the data sharing practices Good Rx and Better Help — both targets of a recent FTC crackdown — are examples of companies breaking promises to consumers and even their own privacy policies.

“Consumers who use these resources instill a level of trust in these apps – only the apps that claim to provide care are taken advantage of,” the letter reads.

The legislators’ mission comes a few days after the FTC and HHS Office of Civil Rights, which implements HIPAA, warn hospitals and telehealth companies to be wary of online tracking tools may share customer data with third parties, citing investigation with my colleague Katie Palmer and our partners at The Marking. Their reporting revealed that dozens of telehealth company websites had embedded tools that shared sensitive patient data with major tech companies, including Facebook.

“When consumers visit a hospital website or seek telehealth services, they should not have to worry that their most private and sensitive health information may be exposed to advertisers and other anonymous and hidden third parties,” Samuel Levinedirector of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said a press release.

Companies should be “extremely careful when using online tracking technologies,” he said. The two agencies sent their joint letter to approximately 130 hospital and telehealth system providers.

Q&A with AMA’s Jesse Ehrenfeld

American Medical Association President Jeat the field of honorSeveral records have already been set since his inception in June: In addition to being the first openly gay person in that role, he is the first board-certified clinical informant to top the AMA. It is a quality that gives him a unique opportunity to prepare for the rapid technological evolution of medicine. Katie spoke with Ehrenfeld about telehealth, EHRs, and AI. Here’s a sneak peek of their conversation – and read the full Q&A here.

What forms and applications of AI do you think will change the practice of medicine the most in the next few years?

Well, 20% of practices tell us in our latest survey data that they are using AI today. Most of them are being used for non-sexual back office operations. Supply chain, scheduling, billing, which are obvious functions. I think there are more interesting areas that haven’t come to light than things like helping to support a clinical decision being made, which is really exciting to think about. I don’t believe it’s too far-fetched when all radiology films, MRIs, CT scans are read primarily by a machine first and then over-read by a human — it seems pretty simple.

But even the most advanced AI-enabled algorithms and tools can’t diagnose and treat disease. And I think we are all waiting to see what the FDA does, but the upcoming regulatory framework for AI-enabled devices is proposing to be much stricter on AI tools that make diagnoses and recommendations, especially if it is an algorithm that adapts and learns over time, the so-called continuous learning systems. So I think from a technological and regulatory perspective where AI can excel and should be leveraged is unburdened physicians, distract us from our computersallowing me to spend more time with my patients and get rid of some of those administrative hassles.

What role could AMA play in setting guidelines for the appropriate use of LLMs?

So there are two things that are really important. First, we need to have a regulatory framework that works and will ensure that we only have safe and effective products on the market for FDA-regulated products. The second is that we need to make sure that patients and physicians understand what these technologies do. And there are limits. Large language models are designed to predict what you want them to tell you, but the challenge is that most of these publicly available approaches do not prioritize accuracy.

We’ve implemented a set of playbooks, and we’re working on one for AI in practice because we know there’s demand. We know that our members are trying to figure out how to apply these technologies in appropriate ways. So that’s something that the AMA will be putting out soon.

How Villanova tested VR for nursing training

I have reported on the prospects of virtual reality in healthcare – particularly in relation to behavioral therapy and physical therapy – as well as the adverse reimbursement challenges which could keep the technology from becoming a medical staple. But it may have closer success in medical training, including nursing education.

Villanovafor example, beta testing a VR system developed by a software firm Wolters Kluwer Health and a medical education body Medical Laerdal, for some of her own nursing students. The technology envisioned situations where students would have to manage demands from multiple patients at the same time.

While VR allows students to explore a variety of challenging clinical settings, and “improve assessment skills and provide care without compromising actual patient safety,” the future of nursing education requires a combination of direct patient care, real-world simulations, and computer simulations, he said. Patricia Prietoassistant director at the simulated learning resource center within Villanova’s College of Nursing.

A new graduate nurse may be “unprepared to prioritize care, delegate tasks,
communicate effectively, make clinical judgments, and organize time in the complex management of an entire patient assignment,” Prieto told STAT. And while clinical settings might only give students one or two patients at a time, the VR forced students to share the care of four patients. “This was the first software I’ve tested that allows learners to move smoothly from patient to patient
afterwards, tracking their actions for feedback,” she said.

Villanova’s goal is to eventually offer students a VR experience at home, but “the software isn’t there yet, because they need facilitation,” she said.

How medical device makers fared in Q2

  • Abbott Earnings season kicked off late last week, reporting a drop in sales and revenue as demand for Covid-19 testing continues to fall, Lizzy Lawrence tells us. Its core device business is booming, however, with continuous glucose monitors bringing in $1.3 billion in sales.Robert Ford he asked about Abbott’s acquisition Cardiovascular Systems International — a device company that treats artery blockages and also appears in a a recent New York Times story about taking advantage of unnecessary medical procedures. Ford said Abbott is still working on integrating the company’s devices with their own, but is excited about the way forward.
  • Intuitive surgery, maker of Da Vinci surgical robots, also reported second quarter earnings last week – its revenue is up 15% compared to last year’s second quarter. But the company saw less growth in bariatric surgery, its CFO Jamie Samath linked to growing patient interest in new weight loss drugs.
  • Philips he said that 99% of the replacement devices are produced for affected patients to recall millions of defective breathing machines. But the company is still being investigated by the DOJ for how it handled the recall, Lizzy writes.

What we are reading

  • The race to detect early Alzheimer’s is heating up, STATE
  • A former employee of a medical device company sold unapproved devices, Lehigh Valley Live
  • White House unveils plan to cover insurers with mental health care, STATE

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