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“‘Murder by pacemaker’” isn’t a real thing, is it?” my friend asked. She’d been binging on Netflix and caught a TV drama in which the victim’s pacemaker was hacked. From a remote location, the hacker—a murderer for hire—was able to access the device, accelerate the victim’s heart rate, and cause cardiac arrest.

“I don’t think it’s happened in real life—yet,” I told my friend, “but it is possible.”

Amazing IoT
The Internet of Things is enabling previously unimaginable change in our everyday lives. We inhabit smart cities where we can use IoT to get data about available parking spaces or to pay our taxes. We work in smart buildings where IoT sensors adjust lighting and thermostats to conserve energy in empty conference rooms. We live in homes where IoT-connected devices monitor our security, simplify the way we watch TV or listen to music, and track our every step.

Similarly, connected medical devices—like pacemakers, medical infusion pumps, CT scanners, and insulin pumps—are even helping many of us enjoy a better quality of life.

Made-for-TV crime has real-life implications
The advances made possible with IoT and other innovations are not without risk, and cyber threats against organizations of all types are on the rise—but healthcare is particularly vulnerable. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force found that “healthcare cybersecurity was in ‘critical condition,’” noting other industries were outpacing healthcare when it came to preparing for, and responding to, cyber threats. And in healthcare, the task force noted, a failure to put safeguards in place could truly mean life or death.

Healthcare organizations face a range of cyber threats, and those against connected medical devices and IoT devices are among the most common security challenges. In fact, healthcare organizations face billions of attacks each year, and many attacks go undetected for months. The potential for threats against medical devices (and the subject of my friend’s inquiry) was highlighted in the FDA’s first-ever recall of a medical device—a pacemaker—due to cyber risk.

Securing life-critical devices
Across all industries, device security is a complex problem, and in healthcare, addressing the challenge is especially difficult, in part because older medical devices use software that’s vulnerable to viruses and worms or rely on out-of-date operating systems that are impossible to patch or update.

Technology is an obvious solution to device security challenges, but surprisingly, not the critical first step.

Begin with the basics: your teams are your foundation
Ensuring a holistic, effective device security strategy should be a priority organization-wide. Your employees—from IT staff to clinicians to administrative teams—are your most important guardians. Make sure that organizational structure isn’t impeding success: do teams work together with a shared goal in mind? Breaking down silos can often improve security awareness. So too can developing a process for responding to a cybersecurity event. You’ve documented response plans for other emergencies, like natural disasters or mass casualties, and a cybersecurity response plan is essential too.

Ingrain security into your organization’s culture. Just as your employees serve as your front line of defense, they may also be your greatest potential risk. To be more efficient, clinicians and others may try to take advantage of security workarounds. When the potential for risk is clearly understood—and security tools are easy to use—everyone is more likely to play their part.

Understanding your capabilities and adding a technology layer
Strengthening your cybersecurity posture can begin with something as basic as conducting a security audit using the HIMSS Analytics Infrastructure Adoption Model (INFRAM). With this assessment, you can determine your current security capabilities and identify gaps in your strategy to create a roadmap.

Would you like to learn more?
Join us for a health IT webinar to learn how Mercy—one of healthcare’s “most wired” organizations—is prioritizing security and driving innovation. And read this analyst paper, Security priorities for IoT and connected healthcare.

Connected devices of all types are changing our lives in myriad ways, including improvements to patient health and the way we deliver healthcare. Yet, the specter of cyber threats is a real obstacle. Fortunately, there are services and tools available to meet the challenge.

The post Healthcare IT: When TV drama meets real-life medical device security appeared first on Cisco Blog.

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More than 250 million patients indirectly interact with Epic through their electronic medical record (EMR). So, if you live in the U.S. like me, there’s a high probability that when interacting with medical professionals, Epic is part of that experience as the software helping physicians and clinicians to be more efficient when spending time with you.

Cisco, Intel, and Citrix bring simplicity and flexibility to Epic EMR deployments

Physician’s time with patients is precious. So, any productivity gains achieved by streamlining common tasks can improve the quality of care and the patient experience. Therefore, IT departments within healthcare organizations must deliver finely-tuned infrastructure to support the elaborate requirements of deploying Epic software.

Our long relationship with Epic

Cisco has developed a strong business relationship with Epic. Because of this, we understand the rigors and complexities of supporting its application suite. Over the years, Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) platform has been successfully deployed at many Epic customers.

A couple of years ago, we extended our support for Epic’s front-end application, Hyperspace, to Cisco’s Hyperconverged platform, HyperFlex. We did this to further simplify and accelerate deployment. Hyperspace is often delivered as a virtual environment and when combining Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops with HyperFlex, you end up with a powerful virtualized solution for delivering state-of-the-art user experience while providing IT with flexible scaling and simplified infrastructure.

Bringing Hyperconvergence to EMR

Now we are extending our solution to support end-to-end Epic deployments on Cisco HyperFlex for small community hospitals and medical practices.  The Cisco HyperFlex All NVMe configuration with Intel® Optane technology was recently tested and exceeds Epic’s operational database performance requirements for small community hospitals or medical practices. In this solution the InterSystems Caché database resides on Intel 3D NAND NVMe SSDs with acceleration of the caching provided by Intel® Optane SSD, taking advantage of this innovative new storage and memory technology.

HyperFlex advantage

This solution enables organizations to scale their Epic deployment easily. It is a non-disruptive way to accommodate growth by leveraging the flexibility of scaling compute and storage resources independently. Our native snapshot and replication capabilities integrate with leading data center backup and recovery tools to protect your Epic deployment.

End-to-end lifecycle management with Cisco Intersight lets you install, configure, manage, and monitor your Epic infrastructure. We integrate the entire hardware stack for lights-out, zero-touch deployment. No other vendor offers this capability.

If you are currently running your Epic EMR deployment on legacy RISC architecture, consider moving to a hyperconverged infrastructure, as it offers a high-performance platform that costs less to acquire and maintain.

In summary

Our end-to-end Epic deployment solution with Citrix Virtual apps and desktops and Intel Optane technology brings the flexibility and simplicity of hyperconvergence to small community hospitals and medical practices allowing them to deliver exceptional user experience to clinicians and administrators at a lower cost.

For more information Follow us on Twitter

@barbarawcasey

@FrancoiseBRees

The post Cisco Hyperconverged Infrastructure now supports end-to-end Epic EMR appeared first on Cisco Blog.

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Think about all the ways you keep yourself healthy. Whether that’s making a healthy choice for dinner, going for a walk around the block, or taking your medications every day – most of that activity happens outside of a healthcare setting. In fact, factors outside of the medical practice determine 80% of a person’s health. That’s why it’s so critical that providers and patients find ways to connect beyond the four walls of a hospital. By doing this, we can improve the patient journey and produce better health outcomes.

But there are gaps in the patient-provider relationship.

The patient journey is more complicated than ever because of fragmented systems, deluges of data, and countless new technologies. As providers work to improve their patients’ health, it’s increasingly important that they look outside the traditional visit to deliver patient care.

Let’s envision a better journey.

Short notice appointment cancellations can be a particular pain point along this journey. They are difficult to manage and result in under-utilized capacity for the clinic or a last-minute scramble for the front desk to fill it from a waitlist. In either case, they disrupt clinical workflows. Additionally, it can mean patients lose their access to care, because patients who cancel often don’t follow up to reschedule.

Patients have lots of reasons to cancel. However, we can help mitigate some challenges, such as lack of access to transportation or time constraints. To minimize the impact of cancellations, Luma Health has built a telehealth bot that’s integrated directly with Webex Teams. When a patient cancels an appointment, Luma Health determines if the patient is eligible for a telehealth visit. That decision is based on their appointment type, characteristics (diagnosis and procedure), and provider preference. If a patient qualifies and agrees to a telehealth visit, Luma Health creates a private room for the patient and provider within Webex over a secure channel. Then, the provider conducts the visit using Webex Teams. Finally, when the visit is complete, the room is deleted to ensure privacy.

And the business impact can be huge.
    • Maximize revenue, optimize capacity utilization – Minimize the impact of patient cancellations on your revenue stream.
    • Ease of use for provider – With Webex Teams embedded inside the doctor’s webpage, you don’t have to jump between Luma Health and the Webex app.
    • Modernized experience for patients – Increasing expectations and consumerism mean that the patient experience needs to evolve. With Luma Health for Webex Teams, patients can start a video session from their browser without having to download anything – meaning quick and easy setup and access.
    Learn more

    Read about Luma Health’s integration with Webex Teams, and explore all the ways Cisco Healthcare is personalizing the patient experience across the continuum of care.

    The post Closing communication gaps between patients and providers appeared first on Cisco Blog.

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    What does “health” mean?

    Is health just being free of illness? According to the World Health Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Mental well-being is foundational. And good mental health helps people “realize their potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and contribute to their communities.”

    Access to mental health services

    One of the fundamental challenges in healthcare is access – access to quality, affordable care. How care was delivered used to be constrained by time and place. But the old models of care delivery are evolving. Today, high-quality, reliable, and secure video communication technology is opening up a world of opportunities. It’s increasing access to quality care and closing gaps in patient engagement and care management.

    It all boils down to the simple question – can you get the services you need when and where you need them to live a healthier life?

    But for mental health, the answer is often no. One in five people have a mental health issue.  In Canada, one of the world’s most developed countries, only one in three people access the mental health services they need. The quality of life and financial impact is huge. In fact, in the workplace, psychological problems make up 70% of disability costs.

    That’s why Cisco has partnered with Deloitte and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to use video collaboration technology, and eventually facial recognition and data analytics, to help connect mental health patients with physicians faster and help provide treatment more effectively.

    Also, Cisco recently received an award being a champion of workplace mental health from the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. We received this award because of our efforts with CAMH and for making it a priority to create space for discussions around mental health in the workplace. In fact, employees now have up to $25,000 or 150 visits per calendar year to access mental health services.

    Potential of telehealth across the continuum of care

    Telehealth opportunities are, of course, not just limited to the specialty of mental health. Across the continuum of care, telehealth can break the boundaries that separate remote healthcare teams and enable clinicians to communicate and work collaboratively with patients and colleagues across the clinic, down the street, and around the world.

    (Source: Sg2)

    Telespecialty

    In Vietnam, patients were traveling hours away from their home to seek superior care. But, through collaboration technology, the experts at Viet Duc Hospital are now able to give guidance to regional doctors, consult on cases, and provide additional training by conducting live surgeries. With this technology, patients can receive the quality of care they need without traveling great distances.

    Virtual specialty care

    When it comes to breast cancer, early diagnosis is one of the most important strategies for survival. But if you live hours away from specialists and diagnosticians, the time, travel, and costs add up. This is a problem the Medical Hospital Center of Odessa, Texas, set out to solve. The hospital now works with more than 400 physicians across the U.S. to read images remotely for patients who would otherwise have no access to sub-specialists. By enabling immediate follow-up, patients and doctors can make decisions about next steps in care. Whether a patient is cleared or needs to start a treatment plan, speed matters. With Cisco networking and collaboration technology, providers now have the power to make life-changing diagnoses in real time.

    Virtual primary care

    Stellar Healthcare has developed a simple and cost-effective way of improving access to GP services for many patients living in the North and East London Commissioning Support Unit (NEL CSU) area. Together, they have developed a cloud-based service that enables patients to book secure video appointments with clinicians. Once the video call has been booked, the patient receives an automatically generated email containing a unique link for their appointment. The receptionist then verifies each patient’s identity before transferring them to the virtual waiting room. With shorter waiting times for appointments and the ability to speak with their GP from at home, or even from their workplace, it’s not surprising that the service is so popular with patients.

    Learn more

    Visit our website to learn more about what Cisco is doing to help providers deliver differentiated services where patients, clinicians, administrators, and IT work together to increase access to quality care and reduce costs.

    And check out this new analyst report on how advanced collaboration technologies are helping to deliver better care.

    The post Collaboration driving breakthroughs in mental health appeared first on Cisco Blog.

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    In a few short weeks (June 9th through 13th), Cisco Live attendees will be taking the San Diego Convention Center by storm. Here’s what you need to know before you go.

    Cisco Live was established almost three decades ago and is our world-renowned annual customer and partner conference that is designed to build the foundation for your digital future by providing attendees with education, connections, and inspiration. We’ll build the bridge to get you where you want to go so you can make anything possible. At Cisco Live, you’ll learn new things, be inspired, and create the path to endless opportunities.

    Whether this is your first Cisco Live or you go every year, we have a number of great healthcare-related sessions and demos planned this year that will bring the healthcare experience to life.


    Healthcare Anywhere

    Explore healthcare solutions powered by the strong foundation of a modern network. Personalize patient care. Streamline clinical experiences. Optimize clinical, business, and IT operations. Enhance security and compliance. All so you can focus on what you do best: care for your patients.

    Learn more about Cisco Healthcare.

    Patient and Clinical Experience

    Follow a patient through the continuum of care and explore the journey clinicians take to deliver secure, quality healthcare. Additionally, this space will feature partner presentations:

    • Monday, June 10th: Luma Health (10AM-12PM) & Patient Safe Solutions (2-4PM)
    • Tuesday, June 11th: Patient Safe Solutions (10AM-12PM) & SpinSci (2-4PM)
    • Wednesday, June 12th: SpinSci (10AM-12PM) & Luma Health (2-4PM)

    Explore the patient experience and clinical experience.

    Re-Imagining Health IT

    The HIMSS Analytics Infrastructure Adoption Model (INFRAM) helps healthcare leaders assess and map the technology infrastructure capabilities required to reach their strategic and clinical business goals — and meet International benchmarks and standards. Visit this demo to more about the INFRAM process and how it can help you re-imagine health IT.

    Read more about INFRAM.

    There are a several healthcare-related sessions this year at Cisco Live. Here are a couple highlights:

    Re-Imagining Health IT – A New Standard for Measuring Hospital Infrastructure Adoption [PSOGEN-1022]

    Tuesday, June 11th, 9:30-10:30AM

    When innovative experiences are driven by data, healthcare becomes more accessible, affordable, and quality improves. This cutting-edge care starts with the network, but you need to know where your capabilities are today, so you can provide better care tomorrow.

    Over the past year, Cisco has been working with HIMSS Analytics to inform the HIMSS Analytics Infrastructure Adoption Model (INFRAM), the first ever infrastructure maturity model offered through HIMSS Analytics. The new model gives healthcare organizations a clear view of where they stand in terms of infrastructure architecture, provides a roadmap for increasing maturity, and ensures successful EMR adoption and other technical implementations. Like the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM), the INFRAM can be used globally to improve patient safety, reduce operational costs, and ensure better health for populations.

    Join this session to learn more about HIMSS Analytics INFRAM, why it’s important, and the impact on real-life healthcare organizations, including Temple University Health System.

    Additional sessions:
    • SDA in a Hospital Environment – Design Challenges Best Practices with Critical Medical Devices [CCSRST-1450] Monday, June 10th, 1-2PM
    • Securing Medical Devices Doesn’t Have to be a Nightmare [VILSEC-1018] Tuesday, June 11th, 2:05-2:20PM
    • Ensure Your Cisco Unified Communications Investment Has ROI in a Healthcare Environment [VILGEN-1020] Wednesday, June 12th, 10:45-11AM
    • Cisco Medical Device Segmentation [BRKSEC-2039] Thursday, June 13th, 1-2:30PM

    Can’t make it to Cisco Live this year? Join us online for a front row seat by tuning in June 10-13 for the live broadcast. Learn how Cisco is combining technology + people to fuel the future of possible and usher in the latest innovations in 5G and AI/ML to multicloud and IoT.

    The post You make possible – Cisco Healthcare at Cisco Live US appeared first on Cisco Blog.

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    These are truly extraordinary times. Technology holds the potential to change the world even more than it already has. The pace of change in our daily lives is accelerating exponentially – every minute, every day. Many are calling this the fourth industrial revolution centered on mobility, where the lines between physical, digital, and biological are blurring. These innovations have led to groundbreaking advancements in artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, the internet of things (IoT). So much more is on the horizon.

    We now stand at an inflection point where the technology is no longer the limiting factor in the quest to transform healthcare. Networks are dependable and secure. Mobiles phones put supercomputers in our hands. High speed wireless is everywhere, and there are seemingly endless cloud capabilities. There’s an app for everything, and data is literally flying all around us constantly.

    I haven’t always been in healthcare, but many years ago I dedicated my career to it because healthcare is meaningful for everyone. What we do matters. Through healthcare, we can change lives for the better when we solve problems for both patients and caregivers.

    Here’s just one example of how technology is having an impact.

    Children born with a single-ventricle heart defect typically spend months in the hospital. With parents having to make frequent trips for check-ups and monitoring, too many family moments are lost. Until now. University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, together with Locus Health and Cisco, is the first pediatric heart program in northern Ohio to provide a home monitoring system for families with babies affected by a single-ventricle defect.

    Called Hearts at Home, this application allows infants to be closely monitored remotely with 24/7 access to our pediatric cardiology team. This provides more confidence for parents, and significantly more time together, as a family, at home.

    Connecting patients at home with doctors isn’t transformational technology. In fact, it can be relatively simple. When technology fades into the background, that’s when the magic happens. That simplicity enables a new mother to be with her baby in her home with the knowledge that she could reach out anytime to the experts to help her, if and when, she needs it.

    My first daughter was in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for several weeks with a congenital heart defect. We spent that time at a Ronald McDonald House, just so we could be near. That was 20 years ago, before everyone had cell phones. We only had dial up internet. What Hearts at Home provides wasn’t technically possible, but it is today. I know what it feels like for families to are separated. We can bring people back together through technology.

    For babies who aren’t ready to go home yet, new parents can now stay connected with their babies and the NICU team via secure video calls – anytime from any device. Families that are given this capability often check in with their infants hundreds of times over the course of several days.

    What we do doesn’t have to be complicated to be meaningful to families.

    We are all working to change the way healthcare is delivered – to expand access to healthcare to everyone. It’s not just for families with NICU babies. It’s for giving elderly parents the gift of aging gracefully in the comfort of their own home, for chronic care patients to lead more normal lives, for lifesaving telestroke services, for behavioral health, and eICU. It can be for any time when even just a few seconds matter.

    The possibilities are endless. For the first time in recent history, technology isn’t the reason why we can’t do something. I know that because that’s my job and also what everyone at Cisco is working toward every day. Removing technology barriers one by one until only your imagination of what is possible and the willingness to act is what stands in the way. This is why I love technology. It connects people, young and old, and enables the possibility of a healthier tomorrow for everyone.

    Learn more

    Discover some of the other ways we’re helping to take care coordination and telehealth to new heights with Cisco Webex and other collaboration technologies.

    The post The inflection point of healthcare technology appeared first on Cisco Blog.

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    The pace of change is accelerating exponentially. Especially in healthcare, it’s being driven by technologies that are transforming the experience for both patients and clinicians. Clinicians need to be connected and mobile to deliver better patient care at the bedside, which really means making critical data available and secure, at their fingertips. For patients, it’s becoming all about accessing care where they are, anywhere.

    We’ve entered an era where the lines between physical, digital, and even biological are blurring. This era is characterized by the rise of robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, the Internet of Things (IoT), and more. They aren’t the stuff of the far-distant future. These emerging technologies are already in the market and having an impact in healthcare.

    While innovations in clinical applications are great, they may have a less-than-desired impact without the network connectivity that feeds them information and the people who use these applications to provide care. It’s time to take a step back from the possibilities of information technology integration and make sure your hospital’s entire information infrastructure can actually scale and meet your business objectives.

    The recently launched the HIMSS Analytics Infrastructure Adoption Model (INFRAM) can help your healthcare organization measure the relative levels of adoption of technical infrastructure. By identifying specific benchmarks to reach before going live with more advanced business and clinical applications, such as Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems, IoT, telemedicine, etc., the INFRAM ensures that a health system’s infrastructure is stable, manageable, and extensible.

    The INFRAM provides an assessment of not just the current state of your transport, mobility, collaboration, security, and data center capabilities, but also a roadmap for the capabilities you plan to provide in the future to enhance patient care and the clinical experience. With this information, healthcare organizations can improve care delivery and create a pathway for infrastructure development tied to business and clinical outcomes.

    Join us to learn more about the HIMSS Analytics INFRAM assessment process, Cisco and VertitechIT’s role as a Certified Consultants, and the measurable impact the INFRAM has had on Markham Stouffville Hospital and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

    Re-imagining Health IT – A New Model for Hospital
    IT Infrastructure Adoption Measurement

    May 13th, 2019
    11:00AM-12:00PM CT

     

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    At Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, Colo., nurses spend less time on documentation—one hour less per nurse—and more time with their patients. CIO Steve Shirley shares how.
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    At Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, Colo., nurses spend less time on documentation—one hour less per nurse—and more time with their patients. CIO Steve Shirley shares how.
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    The way that healthcare is delivered and experienced is very different today than just three years ago. Experience the reimagined patient and clinician journey at HIMSS19.
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