Privacy laws in the U.S. need to be updated, especially after Google struck a deal with a major hospital chain, medical ethics expert Arthur Kaplan said Wednesday. On Wednesday, Google’s cloud unit and hospital chain HCA Healthcare announced a deal that — according to The Wall Street Journal — gives Google access to patient records. The tech giant said it will use that to make algorithms to monitor patients and help doctors make better decisions.
Vaping—one word, but not one behavior. Vaping is a method of substance inhalation that delivers anything from blueberry-flavored vitamin D to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) into the body. While health professionals often refer to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and vaping synonymously, e-cigarettes represent only a small fraction of the growing market for vaping products available to consumers of all ages. So, why all the fuss?
For decades, scientists have been prohibited from keeping human embryos alive in their labs for more than 14 days. The prohibition was aimed at avoiding a thicket of ethical issues that would be raised by doing experiments on living human embryos as they continue to develop. But on Wednesday, an influential scientific society recommended scrapping that blanket taboo, known as the “14-day rule.”
Private insurance companies are also expected to dole out $2.1 billion in rebates to more than 10.7 million policyholders this fall, according to analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. That sum will be the second-highest amount ever issued under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) after last year’s record-breaking $2.5 billion in refunds.
In its back-and-forth battle with Merck for supremacy of the next-gen pneumococcal vaccine market, Pfizer is looking for any edge it can get. Monday’s news that the drugmaker has begun testing its COVID-19 vaccine and 20-valent pneumococcal vaccine candidate together could provide exactly that advantage.
Healthcare remains a key target for ransomware hacking groups, as seen in recent research data and multiple hospital system outages. Scripps Health is continuing recovery efforts two weeks after an attack, while Ireland’s health system and multiple New Zealand hospitals are currently operating under EHR downtime procedures.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a law early Thursday prohibiting local governments and schools from imposing their own mask mandates—less than two days after Texas did the same—as more Republican-led states go a step beyond lifting their mask orders by ensuring local officials cannot put their own rules in place.
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