Your weekly newsletter on health IT and digital health

Paddy Padmanabhan

Cyberattacks, telehealth, and AI

Tuesday, June 7, 2021

Issue 117

This past week, I spoke at an event where the discussion focused on the evolving threat landscape for cyberattacks in healthcare. As recent incidents with Scripps Health and others have shown, a business can literally grind to a halt when hit with a ransomware attack. These incidents have even prompted ratings agency Moody’s to issue a warning about the potential revenue risks for healthcare organizations if the attacks continue. Tellingly, they point to the expanding adoption of remote care models such as telehealth as a source of additional vulnerabilities due to potentially unsecured devices used to access health system networks.

With every crisis, an opportunity arises for someone. From the wave of cyberattacks we have also seen the emergence of “ransomware negotiators.” This fascinating piece in the New Yorker profiles this new breed of specialists who use FBI-inspired playbooks to talk down cybercriminals while also helping victim organizations with arranging for crypto payments to secure the release of decryption of keys to regain access to their systems.

Despite the rise of telehealth, there is still some anxiety about the continued support from the federal government to maintain reimbursements and safeguard telehealth access beyond the pandemic. At the annual conference of the ATA, Board Chair Joe Kvedar also cautioned against the “magnetic force” pulling providers back towards brick-and-mortar in-person care.

There isn’t a week that goes by without some new announcement involving AI-based care. While a majority of senior healthcare executives gush over AI as the most promising healthcare tech in 2021, machine learning also faces a credibility crisis, according to this piece in STAT News. I am also pleased to share an article by my colleague Dr. Joyoti Goswami on how physicians can rethink care delivery with AI-enabled technology tools.

In my latest podcast episode, I interview Ian Shakil, Co-founder of Augmedix, a company that pioneered the use of Google Glass in ambient clinical computing. Take a listen.

Have a great week.

Podcast of the Week

In this episode, Ian Shakil discusses how Augmedix became the first company to launch a clinical application using Google Glass and a phone to convert the natural clinician-patient conversation into medical documentation.

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This Week in Digital Health Markets

We are selectively featuring guest posts in our newsletter from senior leaders in healthcare and technology. Reach out to us if you would like to contribute a blog to one of our upcoming newsletters.

Moody’s warns of revenue risks as healthcare cyberattacks increase

A report this week from Moody’s Investors Service found that cyber risk will likely remain high for the healthcare sector, leading to the potential for lost revenue, increased expenses and elevated scrutiny. Healthcare IT News

Before attacking IT systems, hackers stole information from 147K patients, Scripps Health says

Before deploying ransomware on Scripps Health’s computer network, cybercriminals stole data on close to 150,000 patients. Healthcare Finance News

How to Negotiate with Ransomware Hackers

A new breed of ransomware negotiators has emerged to help us deal with the unfolding crisis of cyberattacks. The New Yorker

Sponsored Content

As the healthcare industry turns to new innovations to streamline care delivery and improve stakeholder experience, it’s essential to understand how to build a foundation for a stable healthcare data platform. Sponsored content by Innovaccer

Most promising healthcare tech in 2021: 13 execs from UPMC, Mount Sinai, Kaiser Permanente & more

Technology took on an elevated role over the past year as health systems rapidly expanded telehealth, data analytics, artificial intelligence and remote monitoring capabilities to provide care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Becker’s Hospital Review

Machine learning is booming in medicine. It’s also facing a credibility crisis

Machine learning, a subset of AI driving billions of dollars of investment in the field of medicine, is facing a credibility crisis. An ever-growing list of papers rely on limited or low-quality data, fail to specify their training approach and statistical methods, and don’t test whether they will work for people of different races, genders, ages, and geographies. STAT News

How we can avoid the ‘telehealth cliff’

It’s become common knowledge, at this point, that the flexibilities enabled by the federal government at the start of the COVID-19 public health emergency prompted an atmospheric jump in telehealth use. What will the future of those flexibilities– and, by extension, telehealth – look like? Healthcare IT News

Providers face a magnetic pull toward in-person care, says ATA board chair

American Telemedicine Association Board Chair Dr. Joseph Kvedar called on clinicians, suppliers, payers, and patients to play their part in fighting for long-term telehealth access. Healthcare IT News

AI-enabled physicians: rethinking care delivery

While traditionally deeply skeptical of artificial intelligence in clinical settings, in today’s fast-changing care delivery landscape many physicians are thinking more proactively about how AI can improve quality and patient experience. Healthcare IT News

Note: Some of the articles linked in this newsletter may be behind paywalls that need a subscription.


Digital Transformation of Healthcare: Setting and Assessing Your Digital Strategy

In this conference, Paddy Padmanabhan will review the digital transformation of healthcare and what it means for your competitive, operations and technology strategies on June 17, 2021 | 9:30 – 10:30 AM ET. Register here. Conference

The Cyber Threat Landscape Evolution

In this webinar, our CEO Paddy Padmanabhan moderated a session on ‘The Cyber Threat Landscape Evolution: How the Pandemic Changed the Attack Surface in Healthcare’ on June 02, 2021. Webinar Recording

Damo Consulting Thought Leadership and Research

AI in healthcare: The tech is here, the users are not

The biggest challenges for AI-enabled care are delivering real-time insights into the clinical workflow and gaining acceptance from caregivers as well as patients. Innovative solutions continue to emerge. Blog  

A Look Back At The Last Quarter

A compilation of our thought leadership over the last quarter that provides insights on digital transformation trends in healthcare and help tools to embark on a successful transformation journey. Blog  

NEW WHITE PAPER: Selecting Technology Partners to Execute Digital Strategy – The Damo Consulting ICEA™ Framework

Damo Consulting’s ICEA™ framework guides health systems and technology firms on competitive assessment and partner selection strategies. This paper will help you find out how you can use the framework to categorize the technology vendors and evaluate each vendor within the categories. White Paper  

How to optimize health IT systems for immunization drives

The right technology applications can turn the COVID-19 vaccination program into a game-changer for the healthcare industry. Blog   

Corporate Announcements

Damo Consulting launches DigiM™, a digital maturity model and an online self-assessment tool for health systems. With this first-of-its-kind maturity assessment tool, health systems can benchmark their digital transformation programs against peer health systems at an enterprise level. Press Release 

Damo Consulting offers branding solutions for technology firms looking to gain visibility and access to healthcare executives and CXOs. 

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Join the digital healthcare revolution. Stay on top of the latest news, trends, and insights with Damo Consulting.