Catch up on this week’s digital health news.
Researchers Develop “Revolutionary” Laser Microscope
Researchers from the University of British Columbia have developed a specialized microscope which may be able to diagnose skin cancer as well as perform acutely precise surgery without cutting through the skin. The device is a specialized type of “multiphoton excitation microscope” which allows the imaging of living tissues up to one millimeter in depth by using an ultrafast infrared laser beam. One of the study’s co-authors, Harvey Lui, explained: “We can (now) alter the pathway of blood vessels without impacting any of the surrounding vessels or tissues.”
Cleveland Clinic Launches Artificial Intelligence Center
As a further demonstration of the growing trend towards artificial intelligence in health care, Cleveland Clinic recently launched the Center for Clinical Artificial Intelligence. Developed by the Cleveland Clinic Enterprise Analytics, the center will focus on developing critical clinical application of AI and machine learning such as diagnostics, treatment planning, and disease prediction. In a prepared statement, Dr. Aziz Nazha, the Director of the new center explained that center had been formed to “translate AI-based concepts into clinical tools that will improve patient care and advance medical research.”
Nearly 90% of Healthcare Organizations Are Experimenting With New Tech
Recent findings from Accenture’s latest Digital Health Tech Vision, demonstrate that health care organizations across the U.S. and Canada are strongly interested in utilizing emerging advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and blockchain. Of the 221 healthcare executive surveyed, 89 percent claimed to have experimented with one or more of the advanced technologies. A further, 94 percent reported an accelerated pace of innovation towards these technologies. The report marks the trend towards a new standard of health care tools and applications.
New Hospital Applications for Machine Learning
As technological developments accelerate in pace, many innovative products get lost in the crowd. A recent breakdown <> of new hospital applications from Beckers Hospital Review outlined 8 recent studies and product launches in digital health. These included an Amazon Web Services’ Textract which uses machine learning to extract information from any document, including patient forms, hospital claims and more. Another notable inclusion is a predictive model trained by researchers from the University of Michigan to identify how patients with Crohn’s Disease would respond to long-term usage of the popular tretment ustekinumab.
Healthcare Industry Remains Vulnerable to Ransomware Worm WannaCry
First attacking hospitals and other industries in 2017, WannaCry–a rampant ransomware virus–remains active throughout the internet. While once believed to have been mostly shut down, a recent finding from Armis Security demonstrated that the worm is resiliently healthy. In a statement, Armis’ Vice President of Research, Bern Seri explained: “Part of the reason the healthcare industry is so affected is because it has so many unmanaged devices in its networks. In many cases, it’s just too much of an effort for hospitals to be able to upgrade these systems.” Seri explained that in order for health systems to protect their devices they must first identify which devices are most at risk from an attack, but further explained, “You need to be able to monitor incoming connections and the front doors of the network. You need to be understanding the risks on a daily basis.”