CGHS beneficiaries to avail health benefits of traditional medicine systems also

All CGHS beneficiaries—serving as well as pensioners— will now be able to avail the health benefits of alternate traditional systems  with the Union Health Ministry approving a proposal to empanel such Centres of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy under the Government health scheme.

“Private Day Care Therapy centers of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy will be empanelled under the CGHS shortly, in a manner similar to empanelment of similar day care centres of conventional (Allopathy) medicine already provided under the CGHS,” said an official from the Ministry.

Initial empanelment of  day care therapy centres will be undertaken on pilot basis for Delhi and NCR for a period of one year and subsequently would be considered for other places.

The official said that the step has been taken keeping in view of the growing popularity of AYUSH system of medicines amongst the public at large and all CGHS beneficiaries. The aim of the scheme is to improve the health and wellbeing, reduce health care expenditure and provide excellence in service delivery, efficiency, and comfort to the patients.

The treatment procedure requiring a short duration of stay in the Day Care Therapy Centre, ranging from a few hours to less than a Day will be made available to CGHS beneficiaries under this scheme.

“As the treatment procedure does not require overnight stay in the unfamiliar environment, it is extremely convenient for children and elderly patients,” said the official.

At present treatment of approved procedures like Panchkarma and Abhyanga etc. is given only after hospitalization in CGHS empanelment hospital.

Source Article

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FBI warns of “imminent” ransomware attacks on hospital systems

Federal agencies warned that cybercriminals are unleashing a wave of data-scrambling extortion attempts against the U.S. healthcare system designed to lock up hospital information systems, which could hurt patient care just as nationwide cases of COVID-19 are spiking.

In a joint alert Wednesday, the FBI and two federal agencies warned that they had “credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers.” The alert said malicious groups are targeting the sector with attacks that produce “data theft and disruption of healthcare services.”

The cyberattacks involve ransomware, which scrambles data into gibberish that can only be unlocked with software keys provided once targets pay up. Independent security experts say it has already hobbled at least five U.S. hospitals this week and could impact hundreds more.

The offensive by a Russian-speaking criminal gang coincides with the U.S. presidential election, although there is no immediate indication they were motivated by anything but profit.

“We are experiencing the most significant cyber security threat we’ve ever seen in the United States,” Charles Carmakal, chief technical officer of the cybersecurity firm Mandiant, said in a statement.

Alex Holden, CEO of Hold Security, which has been closely tracking the ransomware in question for more than a year, agreed that the unfolding offensive is unprecedented in magnitude for the U.S. given its timing in the heat of a contentions presidential election and the worst global pandemic in a century.

The federal alert was co-authored by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Agence France-Presse notes that the agencies urged U.S. healthcare providers to take “timely and reasonable precautions” such as patching their operating systems, software and firmware as soon as possible and running antivirus and anti-malware scans regularly.

The cybercriminals launching the attacks use a strain of ransomware known as Ryuk, which is seeded through a network of zombie computers called Trickbot that Microsoft began trying to counter earlier this month.U.S. Cyber Command has also reportedly taken action against Trickbot.

While Microsoft has had considerable success knocking its command-and-control servers offline through legal action, analysts say criminals have still been finding ways to spread Ryuk.

Recent attacks

The U.S. has seen a plague of ransomware over the past 18 months or so, with major cities from Baltimore to Atlanta hit and local governments and schools hit especially hard.

In September, a ransomware attack hobbled all 250 U.S. facilities of the hospital chain Universal Health Services, forcing doctors and nurses to rely on paper and pencil for record-keeping and slowing lab work. Employees described chaotic conditions impeding patient care, including mounting emergency room waits and the failure of wireless vital-signs monitoring equipment.

Also in September, the first known fatality related to ransomware occurred in Duesseldorf, Germany, when an IT system failure forced a critically ill patient to be routed to a hospital in another city.

Holden said he alerted federal law enforcement Friday after monitoring infection attempts at a number of hospitals, some of which may have

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Health systems are seeking long-term health tech tie-ups

  • Hospital CIOs are currently eyeing health tech partners for the long haul.
  • And health systems that demonstrate clear ROI, like Amwell and Health Catalyst, are in a solid position to win deals.
  • Insider Intelligence publishes hundreds of insights, charts, and forecasts on the Digital Health industry with the Digital Health Briefing. For a limited time, you can try the Briefing for a full week for just $1!

Health system leaders think health tech companies have long-term potential, and they’re starting to see value in these companies beyond a COVID-19-colored lens: A survey of 20 health system CIOs and innovation leaders shows over 60% are interested in investing in platforms that target patient experience, telehealth, and operational efficiency.

US health systems most coveted digital health solutions

Health systems are eyeing health tech partners.

Business Insider Intelligence


The coronavirus pandemic severely impacted health systems’ budgets, which fast-tracked health system-health tech partnerships: 

  • Health systems faced steep financial losses, leaving them scrambling for ways to restore revenue. From March 1 to June 30 of this year, US hospitals and health systems lost nearly $203 billion, per the AHA. These losses can be largely attributed to lower patient volumes, cancellations of elective procedures, and the costs of additional logistics, support, and PPE supplies. Despite a $175 billion relief package from Congress, health systems still had to invest in care solutions and resort to furloughing or laying off employees for some financial padding.  
  • To contend with newfound healthcare delivery and operational woes, health systems quickly turned to digital solutions to stay afloat. Virtual care became a go-to healthcare delivery option almost overnight—telehealth vendors secured millions in funding from health systems’ VC arms as they looked to implement digital health solutions to recoup revenue. For instance, Genesis Health System invested in Bright.md to virtualize and streamline its healthcare delivery operations—which allowed it to reach patients amid widespread stay-at-home orders and optimize its provider workforce. 

Health tech startups that prove they have ROI potential will usher in a wave of tie-ups with eager health systems. With health systems already struggling to hold onto their shrinking budgets, startups will have to prove clear value to reel in health system customers: 50% of health systems think their budgets will not normalize for at least one year, per Dreamit Ventures-MedCityNews.

A 2020 Center for Connected Medicine survey of 130 health system executives shows telehealth tools and virtualization of administrative tasks produced the highest ROIs—which will likely capture the interest of health systems.

For example, Northwell Health, one of the largest health systems in the US, reported a $1.2 billion financial loss due to the pandemic—yet in August, the health system partnered with health data company, Health Catalyst, to leverage its analytics capabilities to boost precision medicine efforts and reduce spending on extraneous tests and procedures. 

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Northwestern Medicine Partners with Caption Health to Introduce New Artificially Intelligent Ultrasound Systems into Clinical Practice

Northwestern Medicine Partners with Caption Health to Introduce New Artificially Intelligent Ultrasound Systems into Clinical Practice

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Oct. 28, 2020

Northwestern Memorial Hospital First in Country to Adopt Caption AI in Multiple Clinical Settings

CHICAGO, Oct. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Northwestern Memorial Hospital is the first hospital in the United States to purchase Caption Health’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology for ultrasound, Caption AI. The FDA cleared, AI-guided ultrasound system enables healthcare providers to acquire and interpret quality ultrasound images of the human heart, increasing access to timely and accurate cardiac assessments at the point of care.

Performing an ultrasound exam is a complex skill that takes years to master. Caption AI enables clinicians—including those without prior ultrasound experience—to quickly and accurately perform diagnostic-quality ultrasound exams by providing expert turn-by-turn guidance, automated quality assessment and intelligent interpretation capabilities. The systems are currently in the hospital’s emergency department, medical intensive care unit, cardio-oncology clinic and in use by the hospital medicine group.

“Through our partnership with Caption Health, we are looking to democratize the echocardiogram, a stalwart tool in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease,” said Patrick McCarthy, MD, chief of cardiac surgery and executive director of the Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, a group involved in the early development of the technology. “Our ultimate goal is to improve cardiovascular health wherever we need to, and Caption AI is increasing access throughout the hospital to quality diagnostic images.”

Caption AI emulates the expertise of a sonographer by providing real-time guidance on how to position and manipulate the transducer, or ultrasound wand, on a patient’s body. The software shows clinicians in real time how close they are to acquiring a quality ultrasound image, and automatically records the image when it reaches the diagnostic-quality threshold. Caption AI also automatically calculates ejection fraction, or the percentage of blood leaving the heart when it contracts, which is the most widely used measurement to assess cardiac function.

“Northwestern Medicine has been a tremendous partner in helping us develop and validate Caption AI. We are thrilled that they are bringing Caption AI into key clinical settings as our first customer,” said Charles Cadieu, chief executive officer and co-founder of Caption Health. “The clinical, economic and operational advantages of using AI-guided ultrasound are clear. Most important, this solution increases access to a safe and effective diagnostic tool that can be life-saving for patients.”

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has a number of benefits. Increased usage of POCUS contributes to more timely and accurate diagnoses, more accurate monitoring and has been shown to lead to changes in patient management in 47% of cases for critically ill patients. POCUS also allows patients to avoid additional visits to receive imaging, as well as providing real-time results that can be recorded into a patient’s electronic medical record.

“I think the most exciting part is that Caption AI allows our intensive care unit (ICU) providers to do a point-of-care, real-time ultrasound for a sick patient,” said James “Mac”

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