In recent years, as medical devices have become more connected, cybersecurity experts have sounded the alarm on their vulnerabilities.
Expect to see a slew of new software programs and tools aimed to support clinicians and patients to make informed treatment decisions, after the Food and Drug Administration released its long-awaited draft rule last week on clinical decision support (CDS) systems. Continue reading
The global ransomware attack involving WannaCry earlier this month exposed the vulnerabilities of computer systems worldwide.
But there’s one area even more at risk: medical devices. And that risk is growing, experts warn.
Most medical devices marketed in the United States do not need formal approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Members of a panel at Health Journalism 2015 on medical device coverage provided a variety of advice for reporters covering and of the implants, instruments and diagnostic tools common to the modern medical machine.
Moderator of the session was Chad Terhune, a Los Angeles Times reporter who recently found himself chasing an outbreak of carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) linked to dirty duodenoscopes. Contributing to the discussion were panelists USA Today investigative reporter Peter Eisler and Scott Lucas, associate director of accident and forensic investigation at the ECRI Institute. Continue reading
When writing about medical studies, reporters should always ask researchers about any financial relationships with drug companies or device manufacturers. That was one of the main lessons from a panel on conflicts of interest on Saturday at Health Journalism 2014.
Starting in September, sunshine provisions in the Affordable Care Act will require drug companies to disclose most payments to doctors. Some companies have already started to publicize their financial relationships with doctors. But most medical journal articles do not give accurate information on researchers’ potential conflicts of interest, said panelist Susan Chimonas of the Institute of Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University.
“You shouldn’t be uncomfortable asking these questions,” Chimonas said. “They owe you this information. They owe everyone this information.” Continue reading
The piece that aired recently on WSYX-Columbus, Ohio, struck an ominous tone. It featured images of a shadowy basement workshop, cluttered with cooking pans and trays of artificial teeth.
The reporter, Tom Sussi, explained the place was a dental lab. The small operation certainly did not fit the spic-and-span image that might first come to mind when one hears the word “laboratory.” But under Ohio law, it was a perfectly legal place to manufacture dentures, Sussi learned as he did his interviews.
While Ohio beauticians, manicurists and masseuses are all “required to be licensed and properly trained,” the story concluded, the people who “who make things that go into your mouth, like crowns and dentures, are not.”
The situation is similar in a number of other states, as Kiera Butler of Mother Jones pointed out, in her own take on the issue, inspired by Sussi’s story. Continue reading