Tag Archives: privacy

Can a HIPAA-enabled Amazon Alexa help patients at home?

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.

Amazon’s recent announcement that its cloud-based voice service Alexa can support health care entities that are subject to the HIPAA federal patient privacy law offers some interesting story ideas for reporters.

The Alexa Healthcare Skills Kit program is invite-only. So far Amazon announced the launch of six Alexa skills built by health care entities, including Boston Children’s Hospital, Livongo, Providence Health and Services and Cigna. (You can see the full list of players and their projects at this Amazon blog post.) Continue reading

Pediatricians raise ethical concerns about who can see teen clinical notes online

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.

Today, more than 21 million patients in 47 states have online access to their physician’s notes documenting their medical visits.

While this online access is broadly seen as a positive step towards better communication between patients and doctors, some pediatricians are raising ethical concerns around teen privacy. Continue reading

Reporter shares tips on how to get good data despite privacy laws

Felice J. Freyer

About Felice J. Freyer

Felice J. Freyer is AHCJ's vice president and chair of the organization's Right to Know Committee. She is a health care reporter for The Boston Globe.

Annie Waldman

Privacy laws, such as HIPAA, are the bane of health journalism. No matter how fervently you wish to preserve patient privacy, the legal protections often stand between you and a great story.

Unless you know the ways around them.

ProPublica’s Annie Waldman is an expert in overcoming or sidestepping privacy barriers. Continue reading

New tip sheet outlines what reporters should ask about security risks of medical devices

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.

Photo: Dennis Skley via Flickr

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.

In a new AHCJ tip sheet, I describe how medical device security has become a growing concern and why journalists should pay attention. Continue reading

Journalists to learn about security, privacy tools and practices

Felice J. Freyer

About Felice J. Freyer

Felice J. Freyer is AHCJ's vice president and chair of the organization's Right to Know Committee. She is a health care reporter for The Boston Globe.

Imagine you’re researching a story about a new medical device undergoing federal review. You send an email to a source seeking details. But unbeknownst to you, your email has been infected with malware. When your message is opened, the software secretly scours your source’s computer for insider information.

It’s a hypothetical situation – but not far-fetched, says Geoffrey King, a lawyer and lecturer who previously ran the Internet and technology policy program at the Committee to Protect Journalists. Continue reading

Congress’ internet privacy pullback has implications for health journalists, consumers

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.

William Iven via Unsplash

The U.S. House of Representatives on March 28 voted 215-205 to eliminate Obama-era consumer protections that bar internet service providers (ISPs) from using and selling information about customers’ online habits, including health and financial data.

The resolution passed the Senate 50-48 the week before, with the White House issuing a statement in full support. Continue reading