How I did it

Learn from these journalists how they have covered various aspects of health information technology. They provide valuable tips and sources and explain how they got past the challenges to explain the complex world of HIT to their audiences.

How journalists found that some telehealth startups share patient information with social media trackers

Katie Palmer, Todd Feathers, & Simon Fondrie-Teitler

April 2023

Following up on a story that found many hospitals were sharing patients' medical informaiton with Facebook, an investigative team of journalists from The Markup and STAT revealed websites run by dozens of telehealth startup companies also contained tracking tools that shared users’ potentially sensitive health information with big tech organizations.

How a news investigation shed light on potential patient privacy violations

Simon Fondrie-Teitler & Todd Feathers

September 2022

There were continuing repercussions from an investigative story published in June 2022 by nonprofit news organization The Markup, in partnership with STAT, describing how Facebook receives sensitive medical information from hospital websites. In this “How I Did It,” Simon Fondrie-Teitler and Todd Feathers, two of the team members that worked on the investigation, spoke with AHCJ about how the story came about and what journalists can learn from the process. 

How Boston Public Radio reporters tackled artificial intelligence in health care

Meghna Chakrabarti & Dorey Scheimer

August 2022

WBUR radio host Meghna Chakrabarti was visiting her brother on the West Coast in summer 2021, enjoying a glass of wine when he said he thought artificial intelligence was going to change civilization. While the two went on to discuss other topics, the idea stuck in Chakrabarti’s mind, and she and senior editor and colleague Dorey Scheimer started researching the topic. Their original four-part series, “Smarter health: Artificial intelligence and the future of American health care,” aired in May and June 2022 on the Boston-based program “On Point.” It’s well worth a listen (or a read, the transcripts are posted online, too).

How an investigation gave voice to people whose bionic eye implants went obsolete

Eliza Strickland & Mark Harris

June 2022

What happens to users of cutting-edge implants when the only company that makes the technology runs out of money? That’s the question journalists Eliza Strickland and Mark Harris set out to answer during a year-long investigation of the Argus II retinal implant, manufactured by a California company called Second Sight Medical Products. The investigation was published by IEEE Spectrum in February 2022 and covered in a Science Friday broadcast.   

How to report on emergency medics being locked out of electronic health records

Marion Renault

March 2022

Emergency medics are regularly the first people to provide care to someone on the worst day of their life. But all too often, they are barred from accessing the electronic records of the health care systems where they drop their patients off, as journalist Marion Renault wrote for STAT in a story published in January: “A ‘black box’: Emergency medics remain locked out of electronic health records.”



Journalist explores health inequities in medical photography

Shayla Love

February 2022

Shayla Love, a senior staff writer at Motherboard (the tech arm of, has written several articles about psychedelic drugs used as mental health therapy. One story, "Psychedelic Telemedicine Has Arrived. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" took a public health turn. In this investigative story, Love explored problems arising from a company offering ketamine — an anesthetic drug that produces hallucinogenic effects — as a teletherapy, sending the medications to people’s homes and offering some guided therapy online. 


Journalist explores health inequities in medical photography

Georgina Gonzalez

January 2022

Medical photographs are crucial to documenting disease in textbooks, journals and training medical students. But if inaccurate, physicians won’t get a clear enough picture of what disease looks like in people with different skin tones, which could impact health outcomes, wrote Georgina Gonzalez in an article published in The Verge.




Apps for substance use disorders, other conditions, may not be as private as we think

Sara Morrison

September 2021

In an article for Vox’s Recode, tech reporter Sara Morrison took a deep dive into data privacy — or a potential lack thereof — among mobile apps for substance use disorders, with implications for all health apps. She also covered the outdated laws that allow developers to share users’ information, often without full disclosure.



STAT health tech reporter says speed in the sector is a double-edged sword

Erin Brodwin

July 2021
Erin Brodwin is a San Francisco-based health tech reporter at STAT. Since 2019, she’s covered artificial intelligence in health care, written breaking news about health tech companies and covered wearable technologies and their impact on digital health. She advises us to think about whom tech innovation benefits or harms, its significance more broadly and whether something billed as innovative truly is.

Writing about wearable technology turns out to be a winning experience

Andrea King Collier

June 2021
In the fall of 2018, an editor at AARP approached me about doing a health and technology feature for them. The timing was perfect because I am a tech toy geek and was thinking about how I could use all the gear I have to make some lifestyle changes in the coming year.

I jumped at the chance. The story was due in November to run in January.

On AHCJ fellowship to Denmark, a Politico reporter finds parallels to U.S. implementation of EHRs

Arthur Allen

September 2019
Arthur Allen, a health care editor at Politico Pro, was one of four veteran journalists selected for the inaugural 2019 AHCJ International Health Study Fellowship. Supported by the Commonwealth Fund, the six-month fellowship allows veteran U.S.-based health care journalists to pursue a story or project comparing an aspect of the U.S. health system to another country.  Participants were allowed to study a developed European country.

Allen's first article to come out of the fellowship is “Lost in Translation: Epic goes to Denmark." The story is a comprehensive and often critical look at what happened when some Danish hospitals adopted Epic, the leading U.S. electronic health record system, which is headquartered in Wisconsin.

Science background helped student journalist’s reporting on predicting infectious disease outbreaks

Prajalta Dhapte

May 2019
Big data
offers the promise that researchers can develop effective predictive models of infectious disease outbreaks, enabling public health leaders to better allocate resources to prevent and respond to outbreaks.

Scientist and journalism student Prajakta Dhapte became fascinated with this predictive process and decided to delve into the modeling arena for a story published in Georgia Health News. See what she learned in this Q&A with Bara Vaida.

Uncovering the safety flaws in IBM's Watson supercomputer

Casey Ross

Ike Swetlitz

September 2018
IBM enjoyed positive PR on its cancer treatment adviser, Watson for Oncology, until two reporters for Stat looked into whether the results matched the buzz.

Casey Ross and Ike Swetlitz describe that they initially got interested in IBM Watson because there were “a few chinks in the narrative“ the computing giant had been telling. Notably, one big cancer center had scrapped its project with IBM.

Ross and Swetlitz describe their reporting process, and how initial stories on Watson for Oncology generated more leads and additional sources coming forward.

'Don't believe the hype:' Carreyrou talks about reporting the Theranos story 

John Carreyrou
(Photo: Len Bruzzese/AHCJ)

May 2018
John Carreyrou is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist at the Wall Street Journal and author of "Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup" (release date May 21, 2018), which chronicles the spectacular fall of blood testing technology company Theranos.

In October 2015, Carreyrou began breaking stories on the Palo Alto, Calif.-based start up, which raised questions on its claim to have revolutionized the blood testing industry. Carreyrou was a keynote speaker at Health Journalism 2018. In his talk to fellow journalists, he explained how he got the Theranos story. His remarks have been condensed here.

Turning an insider beat into a feature on ‘frequent fliers’  

Arthur Allen

March 2018
Congress, federal agencies, lobbyists and others are all very interested in where federal dollars are going and how policy is being shaped. As the editor for Politico’s eHealth, Arthur Allen found that his accumulated knowledge allows him to churn out a larger tale for the wider public that goes beyond the beat into other drivers of health care.

Recently, that resulted in "The ‘Frequent Flier’ Program That Grounded a Hospital’s Soaring Costs," a 5,000-word feature that ran in Politico’s magazine about how technology-related health programs were impacting the lives of patients and providers.

Get beyond the hype to cover health IT at conferences 

April 2017
So your editor wants you to cover health information technology at a conference. Whether it’s a product launch, upgrade or the policy implications of health IT, the prospect can be daunting. Veteran health IT journalist Neil Versel explains how he has covered health IT conferences in the past, including the gigantic HIMSS conference that takes place in Orlando every winter. His tips can help health reporters with little tech background break stories and gain confidence, leading to better coverage when they are back at home.