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Archive for December 2011

Doctors’ smartphones accused for increasing risk of health data breaches

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Health data breach is a real concern in the U.S.

Recent reports by Manhattan Research have found more than 81% of physicians use a smartphone, up from 72% in 2010. Also a study found that 96% of all health care organizations surveyed said they had experienced at least one data breach in the past two years.

Mobile devices create a security risk in two ways. Data can reside on the device and can be accessed. Also, the device can be a way of gaining access to data that reside on electronic medical record systems at the health care organizations. Plus, many note, smartphones’ size makes them easier to lose than a laptop.

Experts also recommend that physician practices set policies on mobile use, with attention paid to security measures, such as antivirus software and password protection

Lewis Dolan, Pamela. Smartphones blamed for increasing risk of health data breaches. Amednews, Posted on 19th of Dec. 2011.



Written by hbasset

December 21, 2011 at 10:53 am

OA is “cool” but has certainly been overstated

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Of course, we need to be honest about the true benefits of Open Access. Let’s face it, most of its promise has turned out to be overstated. It’s unlikely that OA will radically remake the world of scholarly communication, nor will it have much positive effect on libraries’ bottom lines. It may not confer a “citation advantage” that some claim it does. But we can be fairly confident that it does widen readership, and that in itself is a worthwhile goal.”

David Flaxbart. ISTL Was OA Before OA Was Cool. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship Fall 2011.

Written by hbasset

December 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Posted in Journals

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4 technologies that will transform eHealth in 2012 (by Microsoft)

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Bill Crounse, the Microsoft’s worldwide health senior director, gives his predictions for leading technologies that will impact the eHealth in 2012.

Among the leading trends for such transformation is the so-called “consumerization of IT”.  Powerful consumer technologies like social networking, smartphones, tablets, cloud computing, digital media, and gaming are opening new platforms and channels for delivering innovative health solutions.  Let me therefore offer 4 solution areas that I believe will deliver real impact for better health in 2012 and beyond.

  1. Tele-Health Services
    Regulatory and reimbursement reforms will stimulate the market to deliver more cost-effective modalities for both preventive services and care.  That will increasingly include the delivery of health information and medical services directly into the home whenever possible.  So much of what healthcare providers do is focused on the analysis of signs, symptoms and results, dissemination of information, and prescriptions for treatment .  Much of this can, and increasingly will be done, “virtually”.
  2. Remote Monitoring and Mobile Health
    Remote monitoring with advanced sensor technologies coupled with mobile devices and services as outlined above, will make it possible to care for more patients in less acute settings, including the home, and to do so at scale with fewer staff.  I am particularly impressed by companies that are working with regulators (such as the FDA) to develop approved medical devices and secure gateways that facilitate clinical information exchanges.
  3. The Kinect Effect and Health Gaming
    Never have I seen such excitement from partners and customers about the possibilities for this technology to transform the way we get health information, collaborate with experts,  and receive certain kinds of services.  One day we may even participate in virtual classes and group counseling using this technology.  It’s not only quite practical, but once again a way to scale services while lowering costs, not to mention increasing convenience for everyone.
  4. Big Data, Cloud and Analytics
    Some people might say our problem isn’t a paucity of information it is too much information.  What we lack are the tools to put all that information to good use.  Cloud computing and connected devices give us the means to access the information we need, whenever and wherever we need it.  Smart devices and powerful software give us tools to make sense of it.  Throw in a modicum of artificial intelligence and machine learning and you have a recipe that finally releases us from the jaws of too much data into a world of understanding and wisdom.


Crounse, Bill. 4 leading trends and technologies that will transform health and healthcare in 2012 and beyond. HealthBlog, Posted on 15th of December 2011.


Written by hbasset

December 15, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Posted in Web 3.0

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Drugs spam and medical disinformation

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Reported by Medical News Today:

Spam advertising of pharmaceutical products is leading patients to seek out information about prescription drugs online, according to a report to be published in the International Journal Business and Systems Research. If those drugs are not available to the internet user through their physician there is a risk that they may obtain such products via illicit meansThe direct advertising of pharmaceutical products to patients is outlawed in several countries, but spam marketing is all-pervasive and wholly ignores national and international laws (…)

Prescription drugs improve health and extend life for many millions of people and it is perhaps natural that patients will seek information about their medication from a variety of sources other than their medical practitioner despite the fact that it is only such a practitioner who can legally prescribe that medication. However, the relationship between patient and pharmaceutical company has changed significantly over the last few decades, and most recently with the advent of the commercial internet and the World Wide Web. (…)

The team’s study reveals that exposure to prescription drug spam motivates patients to seek further information over the internet. The reason for this could be the skepticism associated with advertising in general and especially for the case of unregulated spam-based advertising. However, the finding is a double-edged sword as the information seeking might also be associated with attempting to procure prescription medication from sources other than a medical practitioner.

Medical disinformation on the Internet. Medical News Today. Posted on 10th of December 2011.



Written by hbasset

December 15, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Health websites: a good usability leads to officine visits

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This study, in South-Korea, indicates that the most important quality for improving information acquisition is usability of the Website. In other words, making the Website easy to use by improving its speed, organization, and browsing capability will help customers acquire information, and this, in turn, will lead to improved Website satisfaction and health care expectation. Furthermore, customers will be able to acquire information through the Website with ease when responsiveness and online security are assured. In conclusion, in order to improve information acquisition and reinforce intention to visit, special attention must be paid to usability, responsiveness, and security, which are Website service quality factors.

Health information acquisition online and its influence on intention to visit a medical institution offline. Sang-Man Kim and Jae-Young Oh. Information Research, vol. 16 no. 4, November, 2011.

Written by hbasset

December 15, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Posted in scientific web

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Big Data mining at Pharma by IBM

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Technology firm IBM, US, recently launched a cloud analytics platform, called IBM Strategic IP Insight Platform (SIPP), to allow researchers to extract data from patents and scientific journals. The new application will reportedly allow researchers to speed up their searches of massive amounts of patents and scientific journals to find information on pharmaceutical chemicals.

Search algorithms in the SIPP are said to make extraction of drawings, figures and articles from scientific publications faster. The firm donated a large amount of data it curated using SIPP to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The data contains 12 million patents and 20 million Medline scientific abstracts. Researchers at the NIH are expected to use the information to discover new medication and research cures for cancer.

Scientists traditionally had to search for the chemical names in paper journals. IBM’s new cloud-based platform will now help them curate the data on molecules and chemicals within 24 hours of publication. In the database, the chemical names map out to synonyms for the chemicals.

For the NIH project, IBM took pharmaceutical data from AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, DuPont and Pfizer. It extracted the data from 2.4 million chemical compounds, 4.7 million patents and 11 million biomedical journals.

Written by hbasset

December 13, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Consequences of the Lack of FDA Guidance on Social Media (Reid & Senak)

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There was a year-end deadline, and much debate over how much (or how little) those new rules would change the approaches that drugmakers took. But we rang in 2011 with no guidance, and the revised deadline of March 30 also came and went with no action, and there is less and less evidence that the agency will ever act.

There are 5 major consequences of the FDA decision not to move ahead:

  1. Branded promotion has been stunted. Branded promotion online exists, but it has yet to flower, for the simple reason that the risk of being accused of improper marketing far outstrips the benefit of educating doctors and patients. The lack of guidance only inflates this perception of risk and stems the flow of creative ideas.
  2. Unbranded promotion has been delayed. There are some excellent examples of pharmaceutical companies doing great, creative work online that is providing clear and obvious benefit to the health care system (including some great work by our clients), but these pilot efforts could have been blooming two (or more!) years ago. Instead, fear and uncertainly slowed their trajectory. Now that industry has figured it out on their own, guidance might not have a huge impact.
  3. The public health has (probably) been harmed. While pharma companies — which arguable have more expertise in certain arenas of health care than any other organization — have been shackled on social media, there continues a rising tide of pseudo-science and fearmongering online. The best way to fight lousy information is with good information. Restricting the ability of industry to join this conversation has been a net benefit to those who with an anti-science agenda.
  4. Basic questions remain unanswered. No one expected comprehensive guidance, but there has always been hope that the FDA would weigh in on some specific questions, such as whether — in a character-limited environment (Twitter, AdWords, etc.) — pharma companies were required to include or link to an entire package insert. Companies have made their best guesses, but, after years of study, only the FDA knows for sure what the rules are.
  5. The agency has opened itself to charges of hypocrisy. The FDA has itself become increasingly skilled with its use of social media tools, even as they refused to push out guidance. It creates an unusual and ironic playing field: the FDA has great latitude to use modern communication tools to inform the public through a variety of channels, but it has stymied the industry’s ability to follow suit.

Reid, Brian. The 5 consequences of the lack of FDA Social Media Guidance. WCG, Posted on December 8, 2011.

MarkSenakbelieves as well that the lack of guidance has meant that social media is not being used in an area where it could do a tremendous lot of good – clinical trial support. One example for the use of social media creatively in clinical trial recruitment is with YouTube.  PharmaYouTubechannels are notoriously under-utilized and the content has largely been lackluster.  Some of the most successful channels in the past, however, have featured patients talking about living with their particular condition.  (…)Using patients to talk about their experience taking a specific treatment is risky from a regulatory perspective – they can easily broaden the indication or make a superiority claim if not heavily scripted.  A patient talking about what its like to go through a clinical trial – not so much.

Clinical Trials and Social Media – Part 1 in an Intermittent Series. Eye on Fda, Posted on December 12th, 2011.

Written by hbasset

December 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Posted in Pharmaceutical Industry

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