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Data privacy in the spotlight

February 03, 2020

This past week, we saw a continued standoff between Epic and practically everyone else over opposition to implementing the proposed HHS rules around allowing access to patient data. Epic threatened to sue to block the rules, citing patient privacy concerns, prompting HHS Secretary Alex Azar to denounce “scare tactics.” Two Harvard professors involved in developing the FHIR standard for promoting interoperability weighed in as well.

In separate incidents, big tech firms appeared to be buckling under the ongoing public backlash over their flagrant disregard of data privacy. Google backtracked on its new search results look that purportedly misled viewers, and Facebook agreed to pay $550 million to settle a landmark facial recognition lawsuit in Illinois. In a strange twist, Google and others are inviting regulation, something the firms have fought tooth and nail for years. California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that went into effect on January 1, and the prospect of further regulations coming down the pike may be weighing on their minds.

The tech world saw a shakeup at the top of two major companies last week. IBM named Arvind Krishna CEO, replacing Ginni Rometty who will stay on as the Chairman for now. Krishna’s appointment signaled that IBM is doubling down on cloud, where it has struggled to break into the big leagues with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google well ahead. Indian IT major Wipro’s CEO also announced he is stepping down, and the company announced a search for a successor while providing no details about the sudden departure. Last month, we noted that Cognizant’s newly appointed head of healthcare had departed the company after barely six months on the job due to “compliance” issues.

In a bizarre and shocking announcement, EHR company Practice Fusion (now owned by Allscripts) admitted that it had engaged in a practice of accepting kickbacks from opioid manufacturers to manipulate its system notifications to doctors to prescribe more opioids, and agreed to a $145 million settlement.

Digital transformation in healthcare: our picks for the week

IBM’s Ginni Rometty Steps Down as CEO

Congratulations to Arvind Krishna, new CEO of IBM, and fellow alum of the Indian Institute of Technology. IBM goes for broke on the cloud.

Facebook to Pay $550 Million to Settle Facial Recognition Suit

This could be one of the most important milestones in the battle over privacy protections.

Why Google Backtracked on Its New Search Results Look

Google’s insidious insertion of advertising into the listing of search results enrages consumers even as regulators step up their investigations into the company’s business practices.

Tech Giants’ New Appeal to Governments: Please Regulate Us

Facing probes and a growing public backlash over privacy and other issues, top Silicon Valley leaders are now calling publicly for new laws.

Epic’s call to block a proposed data rule is wrong for many reasons

The authors of the FHIR data standard take on Epic’s vehement opposition to the proposed data sharing rules.

ONC’s Rucker: Privacy risks shouldn’t hinder interoperability rule

The War of Words over the proposed data sharing rules heats up as Epic’s Judy Faulkner continues to push back on the proposed rules.

Allscripts’ Practice Fusion admits to illegal kickbacks from opioid maker, agrees to $145M settlement

Disturbing story. Allscripts’ Practice Fusion admits to illegal kickbacks from opioid maker, agrees to $145 million settlement.

Cloud migration: Beth Israel Deaconess CIO has some useful perspective

Cloud migration considerations from a CIO who is ahead of many of his peers. You can catch Manu Tandon on my podcast as well.

For-profit companies competing for primary-care patients with new models

Great break down of the emerging players reshaping the primary care market.

The latest from Damo Consulting

Podcast – Episode #35: With Dr. Peter Tippett, Founder and CEO, careMESH

“We give hospitals the ability to quickly and securely send patient records to outside clinicians.”

The WITCH Monthly Monitor (January)

Our monthly update on major global IT consulting and services firms in healthcare. It provides latest financial and market performance updates on WITCH companies along with other global IT consulting firms.

Damo Consulting announces inaugural Board of Advisors 

Damo Consulting is very pleased to welcome Ed Marx and John Glaser to our inaugural board of advisors.

White paper: What health systems must do to accelerate digital transformation

Our latest white paper explores how health systems can accelerate digital transformation.

The WITCH Report: 2019 Mid-Year Review

A review of the financial and market performance of global technology consulting firms in healthcare.

Research Report: The current state of healthcare digital transformation

Our latest research report explores the current state of digital transformation in healthcare.


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