Riddles in Health Data Privacy: The Case of the Tell Tale Pacemaker

Monica Horvath Our Thots

  The internet of ‘healthy’ things is the healthcare industry’s contribution to a high-velocity sea of Big Data.  Medical devices have become shockingly sophisticated.  They record and store incredible amounts of data, even those devices embedded inside of you. The privacy implications of using that data, when extrapolated to extreme scenarios, create quite a legal quagmire as well as fodder …

This February, Take Care of Yourself with Doses of Data and Heart Literacy

Monica Horvath Our Thots

Word association time–what does this month mean to you? I’m going to guess most people say ‘Valentine’s Day.’ But February is also notable as American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in this country (>1M lives annually!), but it is also one of the most preventable illnesses with proper use of exercise, diet, and medications, as …

breast cancer gene

Big Data Pushes Breast Cancer Research Forward

Jennifer Smolka Our Thots

On the same day last week, two very special women in my life told me the outcomes of their biopsies for breast cancer.  One was able to breathe that sigh of relief while the other had to readjust mindsets for the tackling the beast.  It’s not the first time (and won’t be the last) that someone in our inner circle …

When You Die, Will You Be a Health Data Donor?

Monica Horvath Our Thots

Culturally we are accustomed to promising our organs away when we die without much emotion.  People usually identify themselves as organ donors on drivers licenses or similar IDs depending on where they live.  But what happens to your medical data when you die?  While even Facebook has taken steps to help you proactively manage your posthumous profile, there are few …

Ask Yourself ‘What Else’– Think About Life Outside of the Health System When Analyzing Data

Michelle Buchecker Our Thots

When performing data mining or data analysis, we often look internally to see why there may be a spike or anomaly in the results. Did we have a marketing promotion? Is this a historical seasonal trend in our industry? But sometimes we have to look outside the proverbial data box and look at external factors. This article describes how one …

The Future of Healthcare is Artificial

Monica Horvath Our Thots

Artificial Intelligence, that is.   The Medical Futurist has a great article summarizing the companies that seek to disrupt healthcare using artificial intelligence and related technologies.  While you may have heard of Watson Health, there are quite a few others worth keeping your eye on.  Check it out.    

bioelectric medicine

Bioelectric Medicine: Brain-Based Big Data

Jennifer Smolka Our Thots

When my dad first told us about deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a treatment for his Parkinson’s disease, I must admit that I had mixed emotions. My first thought was a concern as his daughter: “You are going to do WHAT?” But then very quickly behind it the techie-geek in me quietly whispered, “Oh, how cool is that? How does …

Kaiser Permanente Takes Steps to Remove a Long-Standing Data Silo: Dentistry

Monica Horvath Our Thots

I never quite understood why dentistry isn’t typically considered part of health care in this country.  My mouth is and hopefully always will be connected to the rest of my body. As I’m sure you have noticed, dental services are paid through an entirely different insurance mechanism where much of the costs are put on the patient, and many don’t …

telemedicine

Telemedicine: A Quest for Remote Access to Service & Data

Jennifer Smolka Our Thots

Last week, my husband received information from his company and insurance about the availability of telemedicine (or a virtual doctor) for some typical health conditions: Acne Allergies Constipation Cough Diarrhea Ear Problems Fever Flu Headache Insect Bites Nausea Pink Eye Rash Respiratory Problems Sore Throats Urinary problems/UTI Vaginitis Vomiting For these more routine medical appointments, we could visit with a doctor …