TTA’s Week: Hungary presents health tech in NYC, spring/summer UK/US events, WannaCry one year on can bring you to tears

 

Despite the chill of a damp May, there was warmth and intriguing health tech at the Hungarian Consulate in NYC. Plenty of spring/summer UK/US events to look forward to. And what not to look forward to in a malware attack like WannaCry.

Hungary’s burgeoning med and health tech scene comes to NYC (A rarely seen view in the US of the Other Side of Europe)
Events roundup: The King’s Fund, SEHTA, RSM, VR4REHAB, Parks Associates, HealthIMPACT, Telemedicine SPS (A lot of dates for your calendar)
WannaCry’s anniversary: have we learned our malware and cybersecurity lessons? (Hard lessons, but hardly a shake out of complacency.)

Gartner confirms that blockchain has hit the Peak of Inflated Expectations. A seemingly thoughtful piece on disease app adoption turns out to be less than advertised. Meanwhile, the acquisitions, consolidations, awards, and company news keep on coming.

Blockchain deployment not matching the hype–so far. 34% of CIOs have ‘no interest’. (Not a fit yet for healthcare)
Can chronic disease apps get adopted? Is it as simple as four steps? HBR states the obvious. (An article outside the real world)
News roundup: First Stop, GlobalMed, American Well, Avizia, Medicity, Health Catalyst, Allscripts, Welbeing, BenevolentAI (A bumper crop of repositioning and acquisition news)
Health 2.0 NYC Empowered Patients event rescheduled to 16 May; apply now to the Digital Health Breakthrough Network (NYC) (Two NY-centric events/startup funding)

What’s next? A Silicon Valley company’s fit of good governance? The second coming of Withings? Health tech and IT avanti in Italia? Orangeworm initiating massive HIT upgrades?

Health tech founder ousted over alleged ‘acts of intimidation, abuse, and mistrust’: some reflections (Soapbox) (He taps out)

Nokia throws in towel on digital health, negotiates Withings sale to co-founder Eric Carreel (What’s next for Nokia?)

Confronto Nazionale sul Software in Sanità (National Comparison on Healthcare Software), 4-5 July, Rome (Italy tries to figure out what’s next)

Alerts moving to Thursdays; TTA seeks contributors (Help out the Editors!)

Orangeworm malware running wild in hospitals for three years: multiple reports (It was inevitable)

A study that points the way forward in markets, tech, and investment for virtual care. The non-blood glucose monitoring race. Updates on The King’s Fund and Parks Associates’ summer conferences.

‘Deconstructing the Telehealth Industry’ positively, focusing on ‘virtual care’ of older adults (Major investor study looks forward and deeply)
The race to develop a blood glucose skin patch monitor speeds up with UCSD pilot (Another approach in measuring sweat vs. blood glucose)
The health tech events of summer: The King’s Fund (London) and Parks Associates (San Diego) (Updated)
UK-developed non-invasive skin patch monitors blood glucose; a ‘slow-mo’ injection to regulate it (Measuring interstitial fluid, adding gel to GLP1 treatment) 

Two private health tech solutions in the UK can’t wait for the NHS. DARPA developing a passive monitor out of your smartphone for warfighter readiness and health.

UK health grassroots programs not waiting for the NHS: VR for COPD patient exercise, Now Patient app for chronic care management (Health tech not waiting for NHS Digital)
DARPA’s $5.1M contract with Kryptowire to develop passive smartphone health monitoring, predictive analytics (A breakthrough in monitoring–just carry around your phone)

JPM’s Jamie Dimon delivers a windy healthcare lecture to his shareholders. Theranos winds down to startup size and its last few million. But you can wind up in London and San Diego at two events this summer.

The health tech events of summer: The King’s Fund (London) and Parks Associates (San Diego) (Here sooner than you realize! Speaking proposals still open with Parks)
The Theranos Story, ch. 48: down to 24 employees in a last ditch before bankruptcy (The Incredible Shrinking Theranos, only $900 million later)
Soapbox: JPM’s Dimon takes the 50,000 foot view on the JP Morgan Chase-Berkshire Hathaway-Amazon health joint venture (Trailing a fog of generalities, but don’t worry–the experts will fix it all)

Of continued interest….

2017’s transition in digital health funding: is it maturity or a reconsideration? (Investors taking a breath–or the Theranos Effect creating a damper?)
Breached healthcare records down 72% but incident numbers steady. Then there’s MyFitnessPal’s 150 million… (No one should be relaxing)
PARO: The robotic therapy seal that benefits so few (Founding Editor Steve laments PARO’s pricing as limiting its use)

Is the Amazon Effect good or bad for consumers–and health tech? (Unintended–or intended–consequences)

Butterfly IQ handheld ultrasound offers clinical-quality body imaging for under $2,000 (Changing how imaging is used)
PARO therapy robot tested, cleared by NHS for — hygiene (The long road for this robot’s acceptance with geriatric dementia patients)

The Theranos Story, ch. 47: the post-mortem, blaming–and ghost chasing–begin (Digging into what happened–Mr. Balwani as Casper?)
Contact lenses as a drug delivery system take home MIT Sloan Healthcare prize (Commercialization nearing?)

Blockchains, EHRs, roadblocks and baby steps (Founding Editor Steve cuts through the fog and hype to a realistic picture of blockchain in healthcare)
Is Uber fit to deliver healthcare transport? Healthcare organizations may want to check. (Uber’s recent business practices against organizations’ codes of conduct)


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Telehealth & Telecare Aware: covering the news on latest developments in telecare, telehealth, telemedicine and health tech, worldwide–thoughtfully and from the view of fellow professionals

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Donna Cusano, Editor In Chief, donna.cusano@telecareaware.com, @deetelecare

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Hungary’s burgeoning med and health tech scene comes to NYC

The NYC MedTech Medical Technology Forum has, for some years, presented programs which bring together the life science, biotech, device and pharma industries. Attendees are always an eclectic mix of executives, reporters, scientists, academics, attorneys, and developers as well as representatives of trade organizations and international partners.

click to enlargeLast week’s presentation at the Consulate General of Hungary provided a view of global health tech rarely seen in the US–the view from Central Europe. It focused on Central European and in particular Hungarian health tech companies, ranging from Big Pharma (Janssen Pharmaceutical/J&J) and law firm Goodwin to six early-stage companies participating in the V4 Connects Global Tour business showcase. The Visegrad Group (the V4) are four Central European countries–Hungary (this year’s president), Poland, the Czech Republic, and the Slovak Republic–within the EU that have worked together since 1991 to promote their regional interests. 

The evening led off with a discussion panel led by Goodwin’s Frederick Rein, a partner in their IP Litigation Group, with Scott Lassman from their Technology & Life Sciences Group and Peter Takacs, Director Real World Evidence Partnership in the Global Market Access Organization of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Most of the discussion was on the differences in drug regulation between the EU and the US, and the swing back in the latter to getting more innovative medical products to US consumers quickly. A hot area is biosimilars, branded drugs that are highly similar but not identical to other drugs, which are gaining FDA approval through the 351(k) pathway. Other topics: the US increasing pressure on pricing and the UK’s Brexit, which will present challenges to drug and device developers from staffing to markets.

Over Hungarian food, drink (excellent Hungarian red and white wines), and networking in adjacent rooms, the five tech-based early stage-companies had café table displays of their products. :

  • Insimu – Interactive medical case study education app with simulated patients for students to test their diagnostic and clinical skills on virtual patients. The founder, Gabor Toth MD, is targeting medical schools: currently in use in Hungary and 39 other countries. 
  • Vitrolink – Imaged-based tumor detection tool for pathology decision support. While the number of diagnostic tests are increasing, the number of pathologists worldwide is actually decreasing. Vitrolink is a free connecting platform for pathologists to share information which will eventually move to researchers and patients.
  • Now Tech – The Gyroset is a smart wheelchair controller and proportional head controller, an unobtrusive band that contains an eye level camera.
  • click to enlargeNotch – Movements reconstructed in 3D for smartphones. The main use is in physical therapy. It captures position, motion, and acceleration through multiple sensors, calculating and graphically representing degrees of motion.
  • click to enlargeME3D – 3D CFD-based analysis system for vascular anastomosis (suturing). The co-founder, Balazs Gasz MD, is a vascular surgeon and the kit plus model offers a realistic recreation of the surgical vascular environment (left) for medical training.

(The sixth, Promobox, is a gift box for maternity/baby products available in Hungary’s hospitals.)

Many thanks to founder/organizer John Lieberman CPA/PFS, the Managing Director of Perelson Weiner LLP and Gábor Takács, Hungarian 1st Secretary for Science and Technology, who will shortly be moving to London.

Events roundup: The King’s Fund, SEHTA, RSM, VR4REHAB, Parks Associates, HealthIMPACT, Telemedicine SPS

click to enlargeIt’s spring into summer, prime time for healthcare and related conferences.

If you are in the UK, prime territory on your calendar will be marked for 10-11 July in London at The King’s Fund 2018 Digital Health and Care Congress. Content and case studies include creating the right culture for large-scale digital change, using digital technology to improve quality of care, prevention and changing behaviors, population health informatics, tools for self-management, and much more. Find out more here. It includes a drinks reception on Tuesday 11th. Follow The King’s Fund on Twitter here: #KFdigital18. TTA is a media partner of the Digital Health Congress.

Hacking for Solutions is the prior week (4-5 July). It’s part of the three-year VR4REHAB project, with partners including The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and Teesside University, with the objective of developing new VR applications that promote better function and outcomes for patients and children with disabilities. Find out more on the UK Hackathon here and the international program here. At Brunel University London, Department of Clinical Sciences, Mary Seacole Building, Kingston Lane. 

SEHTA’s 2018 AGM & Annual Conference is 13 June at the Mary Sumner House, 24 Tufton Street, London. More information here.

The RSM has two upcoming events presented by the Telemedicine and eHealth Section: The 4th Annual Future of Medicine: The Role of Doctors in 2028 on 13 June and the timely Health Data: Who Owns It and How to Keep It Safe on 24 September.

And last, the Digital Healthcare Show will be 27-28 June at ExCeL London as part of Health+Care, positioned as Europe’s largest integrated health and social care event. More information on their very flashy website here. The TSA will host their Summer Forum at the Technology Enabled Care Theatre including updates on key areas for TEC and why regulation and standards are so vitally important for TECS. TSA members can receive discounted passes. UK Telehealthcare will also have members’ activities during the show.

For more upcoming UK Telehealthcare events starting 7-8 June, click the advert at the upper right. 

In the US, Parks Associates’ 2018 Connected Health Summit: Engaging Consumers will be held 28-30 August at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California. This year will analyze the role of innovative connected health solutions in driving changes in consumer behaviors as well as how healthcare systems, insurers, and hospital networks interact with consumers.  Speaker submissions are open until 1 June–more information is hereEarly registration is open. TTA is a media partner of the Connected Health Summit and there will be more on this as we move closer to the event.

HealthIMPACT East moves to Washington, DC’s National Union Building 18-20 July with deep dives, re-think tanks, and re-boot camps. Their goal is to improve healthcare through technologies making a meaningful impact on patient outcomes and experience through honest and candid best practice sharing. The new format provides a TED-like experience to senior health system leadership. Register before 1 June with promo code HIEEB2018 to save 30%. The Digital Medicine Conference will return to NYC on 5-7 December. TTA is a past media partner of HealthIMPACT.

The Telemedicine & Telehealth Service Provider Summit (SPS) is annually organized by the Arizona Telemedicine Program, one of the pioneering organizations of practitioners in the US. This year the meeting is 8-9 October in Glendale, AZ, but abstracts for poster presentations are still open till 30 June. 

WannaCry’s anniversary: have we learned our malware and cybersecurity lessons?

Hard to believe that WannaCry, and the damage this malware wreaked worldwide, was but a year ago. Two months later, there was Petya/NotPetya. We’ve had hacking and ransomware eruptions regularly, the latest being the slo-mo malware devised by the Orangeworm hackers. What WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya had in common, besides cyberdamage, was they were developed by state actors or hackers with state support (North Korea and–suspected–Russia and/or Ukraine).

The NHS managed to evade Petya, which was fortunate as they were still repairing damage from WannaCry, which initially was reported to affect 20 percent of NHS England trusts. The final count was 34 percent of trusts–at least 80 out of 236 hospital trusts in England, as well as 603 primary care practices and affiliates. 

Has the NHS learned its lesson, or is it still vulnerable? A National Audit Office report concluded in late October that the Department of Health and the NHS were warned at least a year in advance of the risk.  “It was a relatively unsophisticated attack and could have been prevented by the NHS following basic IT security best practice.” There was no mechanism in place for ensuring migration of Windows XP systems and old software, requested by April 2015, actually happened. Another basic–firewalls facing the internet–weren’t actively managed. Worse, there was no test or rehearsal for a cyberdisruption. “As the NHS had not rehearsed for a national cyber attack it was not immediately clear who should lead the response and there were problems with communications.” NHS Digital was especially sluggish in response, receiving first reports around noon but not issuing an alert till 5pm. It was fortunate that WannaCry had a kill switch, and it was found as quickly as it was by a British security specialist with the handle Malware Tech. 

Tests run since WannaCry have proven uneven at best. While there has been reported improvement, even head of IT audit and security services at West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust and a penetration tester for NHS trusts, said that they were “still finding some real shockers out there still.” NHS Digital deputy CEO Rob Shaw told a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in February that 200 NHS trusts tested against cyber security standards had failed. MPs criticized the NHS and the Department of Health for not implementing 22 recommendations laid out by NHS England’s CIO, Will Smart. Digital Health News

Think ‘cyber-resilience’. It’s not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’. Healthcare organizations are never going to fix all the legacy systems that run their world. Medical devices and IoT add-ons will continue to run on outdated or never-updated platforms. Passwords are shared, initial passwords not changed in EHRs. Add to firewalls, prevention measures, emphasizing compliance and best practices, security cyber-resilience–more than a recovery plan, planning to keep operations running with warm backups ready to go, contingency plans, a way to make quick decisions on the main functions that keep the business going. Are healthcare organizations–and the NHS–capable of thinking and acting this way? WannaBet? CSO, Healthcare IT News. Hat tip to Joseph Tomaino of Grassi Healthcare Advisors via LinkedIn.

Blockchain deployment not matching the hype–so far. 34% of CIOs have ‘no interest’.

A Gartner study confirms blockchain’s Peak of Inflated Expectations position on the Hype Curve. Despite all the chatter, blockchain isn’t being deployed in a commensurate way. Among over 3,100 CIOs surveyed, only 1 percent reported “any kind of blockchain adoption” in their organization. On the other hand, 34 percent have ‘no interest.’ 8 percent said they were conducting short-term testing with blockchain, 14 percent had graduated to medium or long-term planning, and 43 percent said it was on the radar, but they had no plans to test or develop or deploy it. A major reason is a dearth of skills; 23 percent said the effort requires the “most new skills to implement” of any IT tool.

But spending on blockchain technology is geometrically increasing: estimates for 2018 are $2.1 bn, a 122 percent increase over 2017’s $945 million. More information in Gartner’s press release and blockchain page. Also Angus Loten in The Wall Street Journal.

As our Editor in Chief Emeritus Steve Hards explained in his recent must-read article on blockchain, especially in healthcare, “distributed ledger technologies are not just in their infancy, they are still at a baby stage. Many are still gestating. It may be worth waiting to see which ones thrive.” In healthcare, we have a far greater problem with interoperability and secure data exchange which blockchain can only partially address. 

Can chronic disease apps get adopted? Is it as simple as four steps? HBR states the obvious.

“Why Apps for Managing Chronic Disease Haven’t Been Widely Used, and How to Fix It” is an enticing title, and in the Harvard Business Review no less.

Here’s the advice that two Harvard Business School professors have for app developers. First, find an organization–an employer, an integrated health system that includes a payer–that’s willing to pay for your app. Then work the “adopt-diffuse-use-improve” cycle. Get them to adopt it, diffuse it through potential users (as in getting them to try the app), get them to continue using it, and improve the product.

You have to sled through about 500 words of exposition to get to this conclusion, obvious to anyone who’s worked in the field more than a couple of months. And oh, as if these steps were so easy to achieve! There’s the given example of Fitbit buying the Twine Health tracking/coaching app in a bid for a more integrated chronic disease management (CDM) approach–for those who’ve tracked Fitbit, and even the professors, its success remains to be seen. 

There are some nuggets of confirmation useful for presentations, such as you can’t generally sell monitoring apps direct to consumer because managing chronic disease is largely something to be avoided, except for the few with a different attitude, and most believe that insurers should pay for them at least in part. For clinicians, reimbursement and the differential between remote patient monitoring and in-person visits is a big factor.

What’s not mentioned: sustainable pricing that’s low enough for a health system, high enough to support a business; clinicians fitting All That Data into a clinical workflow, much less a patient record in an EHR. 

News roundup: First Stop, GlobalMed, American Well, Avizia, Medicity, Health Catalyst, Allscripts, Welbeing, BenevolentAI

click to enlargeAnnouncements and acquisitions have been multiplying–here’s what’s most interesting.

In companies we’ve recently written about:

Our recent Contributor Bruce Judson, now with corporate telemedicine provider First Stop Health, wrote us enroute to the Government Finance Officials Association conference in St. Louis that FSH achieved triple-digit top-line revenue growth and also achieved an average utilization rate of 52 percent. The formal announcement was made earlier this week at the HLTH conference in Las Vegas (release), where another one of our Contributors, Sarianne Gruber, is attending for Answers Media Company.

GlobalMed, a prior contributor to Perspectives, is offering a lower cost telemedicine alternative to practices with a flat fee starting at $799 per month for three years. Startup costs remain at about $5,000. The starting kit includes a cart, a total exam camera, stethoscope and vitals linked to the organization’s network, and a nurse license. Additional compatible equipment is available at extra cost. We know that a number of comparable telemedicine cart-based kits run upwards of $8,000. It is one of the first public acknowledgments this Editor has seen (but has known for years) that high cost is a major impediment for implementing both telehealth and telemedicine in practices. Health Data Management.

In other news:

Telemedicine and telehealth consolidation continues with American Well’s acquisition of hospital-based telemed/workflow systems provider Avizia. Avizia has a product line of telemedicine carts and workflow software for 40 different specialties, including telestroke and telebehavioral health. The acquisition price was not disclosed. Prior investors in this 2013 Cisco spinoff include Northwell Health, NY-Presbyterian, HealthQuest, and other providers in seven rounds totaling over $23 million. Healthcare IT News

A further sign of consolidation, this time in the crowded health information business, is the Medicity acquisition by Health Catalyst. Health Catalyst is primarily a data analytics and warehousing company while Medicity focuses more on data interoperability and patient engagement for practices, health systems, and HIEs. Medicity was purchased by Aetna in 2011 with much fanfare for $500 million as one of its ‘Emerging Businesses’, rebranded as Healthagen in 2013 [TTA 28 Feb 14] which never quite took off. Out of that unit, what remains are Active Health Solutions and Aetna Accountable Care Solutions, a payer-driven value-based care management company. The amount of the sale was not disclosed but is expected to close in 90 days. Health Catalyst’s CEO Brent Dover served as president of Medicity up to 2013, and both companies are located in Salt Lake City. What is interesting about this sale is that CVS, which is buying Aetna, has no comparable in-house technology. It’s a probable shedding of peripheral or money-losing businesses prior to sale.  HISTalk, MedCityNews

Allscripts continues on its acquisition binge with patient communication and engagement platform HealthGrid. HealthGrid is a mobile app platform that delivers care and education materials traditionally distributed from practices to patients via paper. In January, Allscripts bought practice EHR Practice Fusion for $100 million (a loss to investors) and earlier McKesson’s HIT business for $185 million. It’s a noticeable shift to value-added care tools for this formerly EHR-centric company. Mobihealthnews. 

In UK news:

Welbeing has won Norwich City Council’s Norwich Community Alarm Service (NCAS). It provides a 24-hour, year-round monitoring and response service for over 6,500 adults who are vulnerable or at risk in this part of East Anglia. The press release is on UK Telehealthcare‘s news page. 

BenevolentAI, a UK company using artificial intelligence for drug development, raised $115 million in new funding, mostly from undisclosed investors in the United States, according to Mobihealthnews, for a total funding of over $200 million. The company uses AI to reduce drug discovery time and risk. It does not do its own drug discovery but sells the intellectual property discovered by their AI algorithms, claiming to cut drug development timelines by four years and improve efficiencies by 60 percent compared to pharma industry averages.

Health 2.0 NYC Empowered Patients event rescheduled to 16 May; apply now to the Digital Health Breakthrough Network (NYC)

Empowered Patient 2018: Using Big Data & Technology to Empower Patients & Providers to Make Healthier Decisions
Verywell, 1500 Broadway (at 43rd), 6th Floor (Verywell)–now 16 May

Overview: Big Data is rapidly transforming the healthcare industry – from personalizing content to the patients’ individual needs to making medical diagnoses and outcomes more predictive. The panel of industry experts from various companies ranging from healthcare publishing, research, and technology will discuss how Big Data is enabling this evolution with content, product, and services to democratize health information and provide insights that improve medical care, research, and the overall patient experience. Technology is already making a difference, but raises privacy and ethical issues.

Agenda:
6:00 – Meet, Greet, and tweet with healthy snacks provided by event sponsor: Verywell
6:30–  Panel Discussion
7:15 – Get to know other healthcare innovators in the community

Moderator: Dr. Deepna Devkar, Senior Director, Data Science, Dotdash
Panel:
Marlene Guraieb, PhD – Senior Data Scientist, Oscar Health
Dmitriy (Dima) Gorenshteyn, PhD, Senior Data Scientist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Rob Parisi, SVP/GM Verywell – This evening’s sponsor and site host is a leading health and wellness site that provides trusted advice for a healthier life to its 20 million monthly unique visitors.
Joy Fennel, Empowered Patient – pilot patient on mymee, a digital therapeutic solution for autoimmune disorders – see www.mymee.com
Libbe Englander, PhD., CEO, Pharm3r, a healthcare analytics company helping improve outcomes with big data

Tickets $15, the snacks and drinks (and crowd) are great. Register and pay here. TTA and Editor Donna are longtime supporters of Health 2.0 NYC and Medstartr, the organizing groups behind this event.

A startup looking for funding? Look no further than the Digital Health Breakthrough Network. Sponsored by NYCEDC and HITLAB, they are in the process of recruiting their fourth class of startups. Eligible companies are early-stage startups (pre-revenue/pre-Series A), based in NYC (50 percent+ of employees), with an innovative digital health technology that presents a novel solution to a significant need in the health marketplace. Applications are open until 15 June. More information here and here.

Health tech founder ousted over alleged ‘acts of intimidation, abuse, and mistrust’: some reflections (Soapbox)

And we thought they were par for the course. Those of us who have worked for company founders, CEOs, and senior execs have learned that some interesting personalities come with the territory, especially in entrepreneurial companies. This Editor has worked for at least one diagnosed ADHD, a bipolar ADHD, another with anger management/impulse control issues, and a gentleman who is now spending a few years in a Federal penitentiary for securities fraud. One of her most memorable CEOs made the cover of Fortune with the caption, “Is this America’s Toughest Boss?” and no, his name was not Donald Trump. (Clue: he was chairman of what was for a time the world’s largest airline conglomerate.)

Of late, there’s been the behavioral quirks of their founders leading to disastrous problems at Uber, Theranos, and Zenefits. It often seems that the more hype, the more sunshine, daisies, puppy dogs, mission, and ‘fab culture’ are on the website, the worse the dysfunctional reality and mistreatment of the troops.

Perhaps no longer. Monday’s very public firing by his board of Ron Gutman, CEO of HealthTap, a digital health all-over-the-map company that now has settled into a members-only patient-doctor mobile health platform, over non-financial behavior may be a first. Mr. Gutman was given the heave-ho by his board after, notably, months of effort. Recode cited a termination letter to him that he “committed acts of intimidation, abuse, and mistrust, and that [he] repeatedly mistreated, threatened, harassed and verbally abused employees.” The coup de grâce: “The toxicity you introduced into the workplace ends now.”

An all-hands memo to employees was more restrained:

After receiving concerning reports by employees about Ron’s conduct as CEO, the Board of Directors hired an outside law firm to conduct an investigation into these allegations. What we learned left us with no choice but to make this change, and we did so after taking the necessary steps from a corporate governance perspective.

The replacing CEO is Bill Gossman, a serial founder and a partner in one of the investors, Mohr Davidow Ventures.

Mr. Gutman has denied it all, stating that he did not abuse employees and that the VCs are in violation of their duties. (FYI, not a whiff here of #MeToo antics.)

Funded to the tune of $38 million by Khosla Ventures, Mayfield Fund, and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, but without fresh funding in five years, the public face of both Mr. Gutman and HealthTap (of which he is the very public face, appearing all over their website still) is one with a very large smile. Mr. Gutman gained some fame from his TED talk and book on the power of smiling. One wonders how the smile is doing today. A frown turned upside down. TechCrunch, Mobihealthnews

Nokia throws in towel on digital health, negotiates Withings sale to co-founder Eric Carreel

Nokia finally gave up on consumer health tech, confirming February reports that they were reviewing strategic options for its Digital Health business. Digital Health was a tiny part of Nokia Technologies and an even tinier part of overall revenue (under .2 percent at €52 million of revenues). The prospective buyer in the exclusive talks is Withings co-founder and former chairman Éric Carreel. “Nokia and Éric Carreel recognize that as an original Co-Founder of Withings, he is best positioned to carry the company forward into its next phase,” a Nokia spokesperson wrote to Mobihealthnews.

Withings sold itself to diversifying Nokia in 2016 for a hefty €170 million, becoming Nokia Digital Health in February 2017. The Withings purchase was positioned as a reverse takeover, with Withings staff taking over Nokia’s fledgling efforts in digital health. But the promised results and impact never took place and Withings faded from view, at least in the Americas.

According to their statement, “The planned sale is part of Nokia’s honed focus on becoming a business-to-business and licensing company.” Other interested buyers include Google’s Nest division and Samsung. The company may also head back to France.  TechCrunch, Mobihealthnews

Confronto Nazionale sul Software in Sanità (National Comparison on Healthcare Software), 4-5 July, Rome

Policlinico Gemelli, Rome, 4-5 July

If you are one of our Readers in Italy or curious about the state of Italian healthcare technology as part of EU developments, 14 healthcare and IT system groups have come together for a meeting on technology innovation. The meeting will examine how health system stakeholders are developing and deploying software that supports the strategic, organizational, operational and clinical processes of service provision. The main discussion will center on sustainability, usability, performance, and interoperability with a focus on the EU’s Horizon 2020 and Italy’s particular situation in (translation) “extreme institutional, managerial and technical confusion. The result of this confusion is the continuous hemorrhaging of economic, logistical and human resources for the functioning of very restricted areas of health that are not interoperable with each other.” There is considerably more information on their website or you may contact the organizer, Koncept Ltd., t. 055 357223, m. 334 7365693, email segreteria@koncept.it

Alerts moving to Thursdays; TTA seeks contributors

Starting this Thursday, TTA updates will be sent to subscribers on Thursdays. This is due to Editor Donna’s new full-time position which has sadly cut down on her writing time. (Oh, for a robot to send to work!).

That being said, we are seeking contributors on an occasional to regular basis to send us articles. If you are an observer of the health care and health tech scene in the US, UK, Europe, Ireland, or in fact anywhere in the world, we’d like to hear from you. Articles can be about conferences, events, R&D, M&A, news, policy, or thoughtful views on developments. The one thing that they cannot do is promote a product or service–in other words, commercial. Email Editor Donna in confidence.

Orangeworm malware running wild in hospitals for three years: multiple reports

Orangeworm hacker group finds easy pickings in hospitals and healthcare. Reports have multiplied in recent weeks of the Orangeworm hacker (or hackers) threatening healthcare organizations, frequently hospitals. Major info security groups have issued warnings: Symantec, Cynerio, BlackBerry, and Rubicon Labs. Symantec’s report states that 39 percent of the victims come from healthcare, with the remainder coming from manufacturing (15 percent), IT (15 percent), and logistics (8 percent), most with ties to the healthcare sector, and suspected vectors for a supply-chain attack.

‘Easy pickings’ include invading the old computer systems and controls prevalent worldwide in healthcare organizations: devices designed to control X-ray machines, MRIs, and even systems that help patients fill out consent forms. Orangeworm accesses IT systems using the Kwampirs trojan, taking advantage of the fact that most hospital IT systems are old, and as we know from the Petya and WannaCry attacks a year ago, their old, unprotected, and unpatched systems are uniquely vulnerable.

The semi-shocking fact is that this has been spreading quietly in healthcare organizations for over three years. The attackers used, according to both Symantec and Bleeping Computer,  malware that infected systems by copying itself across network shares, methods that are considered antiquated and “noisy”. Orangeworm also didn’t change its command and control (C&C) communication protocol over the three years, seemingly unconcerned about discovery.

The attacks appear targeted and coordinated. Speculation is that Orangeworm is a hacker or a small group of hackers targeting the rich information in healthcare records to sell on black markets. 17 percent of the attacks have been in the US, with UK, Germany, the Philippines, and Hungary at 5 percent each.

Symantec’s advice is extensive and detailed here, but can be summed up as: quit using Windows XP based systems, patch and update software and systems, use anti-virus, protect file sharing. Also Digital Health, Information Security Buzz News, Security Intelligence.