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Monday Morning Update 7/29/19

July 28, 2019 News 4 Comments

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The American Telemedicine Association elects Joe Kvedar, MD as its next president. Kvedar — who has previously served as ATA president and board member — is vice president of connected health at Partners HealthCare.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Last week’s poll results should encourage companies that offer virtual visits. The main reasons that respondents didn’t use their services for recent minor conditions can be overcome via education and marketing – habit, uncertainty about how to obtain a virtual visit, and not being sure whether their issue required an in-person visit. Only around 20% of respondents have an ingrained preference for in-person visits or just don’t trust virtual visits and thus will probably never be convinced.

New poll to your right or here: which should be required before health IT vendors sell the de-identified data of patients who were treated by their provider clients? I’m fascinated that a key element of Cerner’s Wall Street-pandering “new operating model” involves selling patient data stored in its systems to drug companies or other potential buyers, announcement of which was nearly concurrent with publication of a study that found that nearly all de-identified data can be re-identified. The patient, as usual, is the pawn in having their information profitably change hands without their knowledge, much less their permission or benefit, even as they struggle to pay high doctor’s office, hospital, prescription, and insurance premium bills. The “whose data is it, anyway?” question remains unanswered even as the deals get signed. 


HIStalk has been drawing 4,000-5,000 page views each weekday even in this slow summer new period, which I mention only to encourage potential sponsors to ask Lorre if she has any “Summer Doldrums” sponsorship and webinar deals left. Companies need to work to get and/or keep their names out there, and if your competitor is already doing that via their HIStalk sponsorship, maybe that’s their not-so-secret weapon for smiting you like a picnic mosquito.


July 31 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Modern Imaging Technology for the Enterprise: Mercy’s Approach That Improved Imaging Cost, Speed, Capacity, and Care Quality.” Sponsor: Mercy Technology Services. Presenter: Jim Best, executive health IT consultant, Mercy Technology Services. Enterprise imaging has become as critical as EHRs for transforming patient care, but many health systems are struggling with the limitations and costs of dated, disconnected PACS even as imaging volumes grow and radiologists report increasing levels of burnout. Radiologists at Mercy were frustrated by its nine disparate PACS, which required them to toggle between workstations, deal with slowdowns and poor reliability, and work around the inability to see the complete set of a patient’s prior images, even as demands for quick turnaround increased. In this webinar, MTS — the technical backbone of Mercy — will describe the lessons they learned in moving to a new best-of-breed PACS platform that increased radiology efficiency by 30%, with the next phase being to take advantage of new capabilities by eliminating third-party reading services and distributing workload across radiology departments to improve efficiency, capacity, and timely patient care.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Vocera announces Q2 results: revenue up 5%, adjusted EPS $0.07 vs. $0.09, beating analyst expectations for both. Share price slid 8% on the news, however, and are down 14% in the past year vs. the Dow’s 7% gain.

ResMed announces Q4 results: revenue up 15%, adjusted EPS $0.95 vs. $0.95, beating consensus estimates for both.


  • Raleigh Neurology Associates joins the TriNetX global health research network.


Dann Lemerand joins Welltok as senior director of product management. He started the 3,700-member LinkedIn HIStalk Fan Club forever ago.



NBC News runs a breezy article whose headline promises to describe how “hospitals are using AI to save their sickest patients.” It falls short, however, with just these questionable examples that beg the question, exactly how do these systems learn on their own?:

  • Mayo’s ICU work turning EHR information into a simplified clinician display of only the most important information, which has since been commercialized as a rules-based rather than AI-powered system.
  • Sepsis detectors, journal articles about which do not make it clear how machine language is used even though the term is referenced several times.
  • Use of machine learning-powered algorithms that decrease the number of unhelpful patient alarms, which in the original research publication suggests that the system is actually a rules package that was created after analyzing real-life data.

In Australia, the Sydney newspaper notes that Queensland’s public health system lost $25 million last year, with the health minister naming as a key factor the cost of its over-budget Cerner EHR implementation and the associated planned temporary reduction in capacity.


Industry long-timer Ross Martin, MD, MHA creates “Miss Isabella Rainsong and Her Traveling Companion: A One-Guitar Show,” with a release party and live performance scheduled for August 2-3 in Baltimore.


Baylor MD-PhD candidate Julia Wang notes that a lack of consistency in lab test names can cause ordering errors.

The New Yorker looks at the dangers of using AI/ML without understanding what it’s doing under the covers, likening it to the many new drugs that earn FDA’s approval because they seem to work even though nobody knows why. The author warns that the “intellectual debt” this creates opens those systems to bias, mistakes, or misuse:

As machines make discovery faster, people may come to see theoreticians as extraneous, superfluous, and hopelessly behind the times. Knowledge about a particular area will be less treasured than expertise in the creation of machine-learning models that produce answers on that subject. Financial debt shifts control—from borrower to lender, and from future to past. Mounting intellectual debt may shift control, too. A world of knowledge without understanding becomes a world without discernible cause and effect, in which we grow dependent on our digital concierges to tell us what to do and when.

Sponsor Updates


  • Lightbeam Health Solutions staff pack 10,000 meals for Feeding Children Everywhere.
  • Meditech releases a new video, “The future of care delivery.”
  • Netsmart will exhibit at HomeCareCon July 29-August 1 in Orlando.
  • Relatient publishes a new case study, “How US Dermatology Partners Solved the Patient Intake Bottleneck with Mobile Registration.”
  • Vocera will exhibit at the DHITS Conference July 31-August 1 in Orlando.
  • Zen Healthcare IT welcomes Redcom Dispatch to its Interoperability Community.
  • NextGate will exhibit at the DFWHC 12th Annual Patient Safety Summit August 1 in Hurst, TX.
  • First DataBank will present “Medical Device Data Your Clinicians Need at the Point of Care” covering Unique Device Identifiers at AHRMM19 in San Diego this week.

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. I think OneMedical’s bet is that in the future only upper class people will get primary care. Sort of like how dollar general has bet that certain rural areas where they concentrate their stores will always be poor.

  2. Even the most “tech awarded” CHIME & HIMSS hospital systems are relying on their “INSURANCE” to protect the corporation (not patients’ privacy) from hackers, Shamefully, most hospital CIOs have maintained very small budgets for cyber protection solutions and put basic security on auto pilot.

    “Truman Medical Center said it worked with a third party negotiator, its cyber insurance carrier and an outside cyber counsel and paid what they called a small amount of money. The hospital did not disclose how much money it paid but did say it’s insured for that amount.”

    This can and may happen to every hospital and medical group if TMC was vulnerable. TMC boasts on their website:

    Truman Medical Center honored by CHIME as one of America’s “Most Wired” Hospital Systems since 2010

    Truman Medical Center honored by HIMSS Analytics as Stage 7 since 2013

    Truman Medial Center honored by HIMSS with the 2015 Davies Enterprise Award

    …AND a Cerner model show site in hometown KC.

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