The U.S. may have emerged relatively unscathed from the massive cyberattack that recently crippled systems across the globe, but the attack raises new questions about how the U.S. is protecting against cyber terrorism, and what, exactly, the government is protecting us from. In particular, how may an attack like this affect our hospitals?
In the U.K., hospitals were unable to pull patient records and urgent care centers were forced to turn away patients in need. Why were these systems at an increased risk?
“Many of the N.H.S. computers still run Windows XP, an out-of-date software that no longer gets security updates from Microsoft. A government contract with Microsoft to update the software for the N.H.S. expired two years ago,” explains Matteo Danieletto, Biomedical Software Engineer at Mount Sinai Health System.
“N.H.S. reliance on Windows XP is likely because it’s difficult to keep hospital computers up to date. There is often specific software for machines which was developed by vendors for older versions of windows and never updated for newer versions that runs mission critical devices in hospitals,” adds Kipp Johnson, MD/PhD Candidate, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
“To make matters worse, in hospitals it can be very common for employees to use work laptops like a personal computer, and, in the case of a cyberattack, an infection that starts in one laptop can bypass the firewall and start to infect other PCs inside the network,” adds Danieletto.
Noteworthy Outcomes: The Future of Wearables
As the sophistication of wearables reaches beyond step tracking and into medical device territory, is it feasible to imagine a world where our wrist straps can diagnose heart conditions and predict athletic performance? New research is paving the way for an increasingly functional future for wearable technology.
While new research from Stanford exposes the failure of most wearables at accurately tracking calories burned, new research from Cardiogram and the UCSF Health lab found that the Apple Watch, when paired with neural network algorithms, is 97% accurate in detecting paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) — one of the most common heart problems.
And in a first-of-its-kind partnership, the NFL now has an official wearable: the WHOOP Strap 2.0 from human performance company WHOOP. The partnership follows 2016 research from WHOOP and the MLB that revealed recovery patterns in athletes. WHOOP’s research explores the relationship between heart rate variability and optimal performance, which positions the company to usher in a new era of athletic performance optimization.
Ever wondered how long a pitcher really needs to recover after a game? According to the research, a full 3 days.
The Business of Healthcare: Can Healthcare Be Disrupted?
The wearable space offers an example of a movement happening at the intersection of technology and healthcare: the application of tech to address some of today’s biggest medical challenges. Is this movement an indication that healthcare is finally being disrupted?
According to Medha Agarwal, Partner at Redpoint Venture Capital and lead of the firm’s healthcare thesis, American healthcare is ripe for disruption, and the technology required to do so finally exists. By combining machine learning with novel approaches, we can improve outcomes and reduce costs across the healthcare industry.
According to Thomas Goetz, CEO and Founder of Iodine, the disruption of healthcare isn’t so simple. In a recent column in Inc., Goetz describes the challenges tech founders face when taking on the healthcare industry — despite growing interest from investors. Goetz cautions against assigning too much credit to “digital health” companies who have the ambition to improve healthcare, but are unlikely to succeed in the face of regulation and complex business models.
Redpoint Ventures’ investment in the space shows that there’s plenty of activity from ambitious startups looking to take on the healthcare industry, but unless the healthcare business model changes, these companies have a particularly difficult road ahead.