Tag: Shannon Flynn

HIPAA-Compliant Uses of SMS Messaging

Shannon Flynn

Shannon Flynn is a freelance blogger who covers education technologies, cybersecurity and IoT topics. You can follow Shannon on Muck Rack or Medium to read more of her articles.

HIPAA-compliant uses of SMS messaging may not be as common as people think. HIPAA regulations include strict guidelines on how health care providers can use text and messaging. Some uses are perfectly fine, while others require precautions to protect patient data on all fronts.

Here’s a look at HIPAA-compliant SMS messaging and an overview of the guidelines messaging and health care providers should know about.

HIPAA-Compliant SMS Messaging

SMS messaging is a highly useful form of communication, but it can be a bit complicated in health care. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, is a set of laws and regulations designed to protect patients’ data and personal information, including via text messaging.

HIPAA regulations do not prohibit the use of SMS messaging. However, health care providers must follow the rules to ensure compliance.

These regulations rule out standard text messaging for communication about patient health information (PHI). There are some HIPAA-compliant uses of SMS messaging that any health care provider can use, though.

1. Announcements and Resources

General announcements and health resources are OK to send patients over text, just as long as they don’t contain any PHI. For example, a hospital could text patients an announcement about an upcoming flu shot clinic. Similarly, providers could use SMS messaging to send resources on current health concerns, such as symptoms of a new COVID-19 variant.

2. Promotions for New Services

Health care providers can also use standard SMS messaging to send patients announcements and promotions about new services they offer. For example, a local hospital could notify patients about cancer screening services or a mental health support group.

There are many benefits to using SMS messaging for health care marketing, such as improved communication and greater convenience for patients and providers alike. As long as these messages don’t contain PHI, they’re a great way to keep people in the loop about all the services they can access.

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Medical Device Manufacturers Sue Library of Congress Under DMCA Exemption

Shannon Flynn

Shannon Flynn is a freelance blogger who covers education technologies, cybersecurity and IoT topics. You can follow Shannon on Muck Rack or Medium to read more of her articles.

The right to repair is a contentious topic that has spent a lot of time in the news over the last couple of years. Consumers believe they should have the right to repair devices they own, while many manufacturers contest this. When discussing repairing an automobile or a smartphone, the law should side with the consumer – but where does the right to repair fall when dealing with medical devices?

A new lawsuit brought against the Library of Congress by a trade association of medical device manufacturers could change how DMCA gets applied moving forward.

DMCA Section 1201 and the Triennial Review

Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in 1998. It has evolved into a seemingly comprehensive tool for copyright protection in the intervening decades. Unfortunately, people have found ways to exploit it. Many of its sections and processes operate contrarily to one another, making it difficult for even those versed in DMCA law to keep track of all the potential loopholes and exploits.

On paper, Section 1201 of the DMCA seems like a straightforward process to prevent the law from being circumvented. Section 1201 explains that attempting to “circumvent a technical measure” would also be considered copyright infringement in very broad terms. It also creates a tool for people to obtain exemptions to this section of the DMCA. Every three years, people are allowed to apply for exemptions.

2021 provided the latest opportunity for exemption applications. Some of the approved exemptions included an expansion on an exemption from six years ago which allowed for the circumvention of technological protection measures (TPMs) on medical devices. The initial exemption limited this sort of circumvention to partially or wholly implanted devices, but petitioners in 2021 sought to expand the exemption to include any medical devices.

For medical professionals, this exemption makes a lot of sense. It allows medical professionals to access data on their patients’ devices, regardless of any TPMs in place. The medical device industry doesn’t see it that way.

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What AI Changes Will We See In Big Pharma This Year?

four people inside mart

Shannon Flynn is a freelance blogger who covers education technologies, cybersecurity and IoT topics. You can follow Shannon on Muck Rack or Medium to read more of her articles.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has had major impacts in the health care industry, affecting providers and patients alike. However, it also aids the pharmaceutical sector in finding and creating the drugs that support health care through the treatment and management of diseases. Here’s a closer look at some positive changes AI could bring this year.

1. More Applications of AI for Drug Discovery

Uncovering effective drugs can be a time-consuming process. However, AI could make it faster and more fruitful.

A recent partnership between Roche, its U.S. subsidiary Genentech and clinical-stage biotech company Recursion will involve using AI to find new drug targets and accelerate this phase of development. The arrangement could lead to up to 40 programs for neurology and cancer drugs over the next decade.

However, experts warn that applying AI to drug discovery could also have a dark side. One pharmaceutical company previously used AI to find beneficial therapeutics. However, it also relied on the technology to uncover new toxic nerve agents to use as bioweapons.

In less than six hours, the algorithms had found 40,000 molecules that fit the researchers’ desired parameters. They warned that their experiment should be a wake-up call. Depending on AI to find new drugs is promising, but some people could misuse the method’s potential.

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