The thing to remember about strategy documents is that they’re merely aspirational. They set out a proposed pathway to achieving a set of defined goals, but they’re no guarantee that those goals will even be achieved.
Australia’s digital health strategy, released on Monday, is no exception.
Randomized controlled trials have long been held up as the “gold standard” of clinical research. There’s no doubt that well-designed trials are effective tools for testing a new drug, device, or other intervention. Yet much of modern medical care — perhaps most of it — is not based on randomized controlled trials and likely never will be. In this “dark matter” of clinical medicine, past practices and anecdotes all too often rule. We need to look beyond trials to improve medical care in these areas.
More than 16m patient records were stolen from healthcare organizations in the US and related parties in 2016. That year, healthcare was the fifth most targeted industry when it came to cyber-attacks. And earlier this year, Britain’s National Health Service was crippled by a ransomware attack that locked up the computers holding many of its records and booking systems.
But it’s not just health data and services that are at risk from cyber-attacks – it’s also human lives.
For most people having a good memory means being able to remember more information clearly for long periods of time. For neuroscientists too, the inability to remember was long believed to represent a failure of the brain’s mechanisms for storing and retrieving information.
Imagine turning to your iPhone for all your health and medical information — every doctor’s visit, lab test result, prescription and other health information, all available in a snapshot on your phone and shared with your doctor on command.
No more logging into hospital websites or having to call your previous doctor to get them to forward all that information to your new one.
Apple is working on making that scenario a reality.
Researchers have developed a new colour-changing tattoo ink that responds to changes in the body, such as blood sugar and sodium levels.
Using a liquid with biosensors instead of traditional ink, scientists want to turn the surface of the human skin into an “interactive display” – an idea that makes this proof-of-concept an exciting one to watch. Technology like this could become a revolutionary new way to monitor health.
No industry or sector is immune to hacking. That reality was made painfully clear in mid-May, when a cyberattacker using WannaCry ransomware crippled health care institutions and many other kinds of organizations around the world. In 2015 over 113 million Americans health records were exposed, and in 2016 the number was over 16 million, according to reports submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office for Civil Rights.
In 2000, about 10% of the world’s population were age 60 or over. By 2015 that had risen to 12%. United Nations projections indicate that will have increased to 16% by 2030, and jumped to 22% by 2050. The percentages may not seem alarming, but to put this into perspective, let’s look at the following: by 2025, the world’s population is set to be 8 billion, of which approximately 15%, or 1.2 billion, will be elderly. Essentially, that is almost equivalent to the population of the second most populous country in the world–India. Another alarming statistic is the projected decline in the working-age population (25-59) between 2030 and 2050, meaning that there will be fewer people to support the growing elderly population–financially and otherwise.
Is it possible that North Korea used a stolen National Security Agency hacking tool to infect medical devices at U.S. hospitals? Turns out, in today’s topsy-turvy world, it is.
When the NSA cyber weapon-powered WannaCry ransomware spread across the world this past weekend, it infected as many as 200,000 Windows systems, including those at 48 hospital trusts in the U.K. and so-far unnamed medical facilities in the U.S. too. It wasn’t just administrative PCs that were hacked, though. Medical devices themselves were affected too, Forbes has learned.
When it comes to alleviating some of the world’s most pressing problems, perhaps we should look to the skies.
The word “drone” might inspire images of counterterrorism strikes and the future of package delivery. But quadcopters and other autonomous flying vehicles are revolutionizing the ways we tackle the biggest social and environmental issues of our time.