Author Archives: Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health, science and medicine for AFP, the Bay Area News Group, Modern Healthcare, Wired, Scientific American online and many other news outlets.

Navigating the brave new world of artificial intelligence

You might be receiving a lot more PR pitches about artificial intelligence (AI) in your inbox these days. Gideon Gil, managing editor of Stat, has. Gil moderated a panel at Health Journalism 2018 on AI that aimed to help reporters and editors distinguish between hype and reality.

Briefly, AI is an artificial system that can perceive its environment and takes independent action to produce a result. AI products typically demonstrate behaviors associated with human intelligence such as learning, planning, movement and problem solving. Continue reading

What to ask hospitals about medical device hacking preparedness

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJMay Wang, chief technology officer at cybersecurity firm Zingbox, said that connected medical devices often are not used efficiently.

It’s only a matter of time before a patient is harmed through medical device hacking, and journalists have many resources to probe whether their local health providers are able to prevent or respond to such an event, said a panel of experts at Health Journalism 2018 in Phoenix.

To date, there are no documented cases of patients harmed by medical device hacking, said panel moderator and independent journalist Mark Taylor. But reporters should be asking their local hospitals about this specific cybersecurity threat. Continue reading

#AHCJ18 panel explores new ways to cover the health effects of climate change

Photo: john curley via Flickr

At the Health Journalism 2018 panel session, “Is climate change a threat to public health?” the answer was a resounding yes – but in ways that reporters and editors might not yet realize.

Extreme weather events are making headlines all over the world with increasing frequency and journalists should be aware of the cascade of health issues that happen beyond the immediate calamities of these events, panelists said. Scientific research on these effects is just getting started. Continue reading

Is the ‘medical virtualist’ specialty coming to a health system near you?

Photo: Roy Blumenthal via Flickr

The Journal of the American Medical Association not long ago published an online editorial by two physicians at NewYork-Presbyterian that called for the creation of a new medical specialty focused on virtual care.

Others expanded on this idea in a blog post last month on the Health Affairs website, calling for a “virtualist movement“ that involves not just physician specialists but whole care teams devoted to virtual care. This virtual team would include nurses, pharmacists, medical social workers, psychologists, nutritionists and physical therapists. Continue reading

Takeaways for journalists from health IT’s biggest event of the year

Photo: Courtesy of HIMSS

The largest health IT event of the year dropped into Las Vegas last week and brought along more than 43,000 attendees. The HIMSS conference is where chief information officers, chief medical information officers and other health care techies who usually toil in relative anonymity get to be rock stars for a week.

HIMSS – the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society – is a leading voice in advancing and educating about technology in the health sector. Its annual conference is the must-attend event for those working in health IT and digital health.

There are a lot of great health care stories that come out of the HIMSS conference. Continue reading