Novartis goes digital with FocalView for ophthalmology clinical trials

(Image: Getty/demaerre)May you live in interesting times… A colleague flagged this for me. I’ll be very interested in the particulars of how this all works going forward. #ItsAllAboutApps

 

~TJK

Source: Novartis goes digital with FocalView for ophthalmology clinical trials

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Safety Communications > Battery Performance Alert and Cybersecurity Firmware Updates for Certain Abbott (formerly St. Jude Medical) Implantable Cardiac Devices: FDA Safety Communication

As a heart patient myself, I’m intrigued by the cyber-security aspects of these implantable devices. I think we’re going to see a lot in this area in the short-term.

~TJK

“Cybersecurity

Many medical devices—including Abbott’s ICD and CRT-D devices—contain configurable embedded computer systems that can be vulnerable to cybersecurity intrusions and exploits. As medical devices become increasingly interconnected via the Internet, hospital networks, other medical devices, and smartphones, there is an increased risk of exploitation of cybersecurity vulnerabilities, some of which could affect how a medical device operates.”

Source: Safety Communications > Battery Performance Alert and Cybersecurity Firmware Updates for Certain Abbott (formerly St. Jude Medical) Implantable Cardiac Devices: FDA Safety Communication

Vaccines, Real Medicine

I’m so tired of #Homeopathabullshit….

~TJK

LA Hospital Pays Hackers Nearly $17,000 To Restore Computer Network : The Two-Way : NPR

On security…

LA Hospital Pays Hackers Nearly $17,000 To Restore Computer Network

Updated February 18, 201610:36 AM ET
Published February 17, 20169:08 PM ET
LAURA WAGNER
The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center was hacked for ransom earlier this month.
The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center was hacked for ransom earlier this month.

A Los Angeles hospital paid a nearly $17,000 ransom to hackers who breached and disabled its computer network, the hospital said in a statement LA Hospital Pays Hackers Nearly $17,000 To Restore Computer Network

The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center was hacked for ransom earlier this month.
Junkyardsparkle via Wikimedia Commons
A Los Angeles hospital paid a nearly $17,000 ransom to hackers who breached and disabled its computer network, the hospital said in a statement Wednesday…

Mobile Devices in Medicine

There’s been a lot of interest in expanding the use of mobile electronic devices as a part of medical treatment. They’ve been in use in clinical trials (for Patient Reported Outcomes, or ePRO) for years starting with Palm Pilot devices with both good and bad results. A lot has been learned in that time; security and data integrity safeguards are improving. However, as devices get more powerful and more complex, new issues are being discovered…..even in the “Apple Magic Bullet” that is touted (and marketed) as being superior on that front. Case in point (Click Link for Full Article):


Germany warns of Apple security problem

By JUERGEN BAETZ, Associated Press Writer – 04 AUG 2010
BERLIN – Several versions of Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch have potentially serious security problems, a German government agency said in an official warning Wednesday.
Apple’s iOS operating system has “two critical weak points for which no patch exists,” the Federal Office for Information Security said.
Opening a manipulated website or a PDF file could allow criminals to spy on passwords, planners, photos, text messages, e-mails and even listen in to phone conversations, the agency said in a statement.
“This allows potential attackers access to the complete system, including administrator rights,” it added, urging users not to open PDF files on their mobile devices and only use trustworthy websites until Apple Inc. publishes a software update.

There’s enormous opportunity with new technologies, but a profround responsibility to be diligent in assessing them and protecting their data.

~TJK

New Drug Development – 1.5 Billion Dollars

I was sad (though not surprised) to hear of JnJ’s pending layoffs. I have friends who work there. However, the thing that really caught my attention in this article is that the cost to develop a new drug has moved from US $800 Million to US $1.3-1.5 Billion in just a few years. I don’t have a lot of time to expound on this, but thought it worth flagging.

~TJK

J&J to slash 7,000 to 8,000 jobs

By Ransdell Pierson –

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson plans to cut up to 7 percent of its workforce in order to generate cost savings needed to finance increasingly costly drug research and to weather future challenges, the diversified healthcare company said on Tuesday.
J&J said the planned restructuring will eliminate 7,000 to 8,000 jobs and generate annualized cost savings of $1.4 billion to $1.7 billion by 2011…..[snip]

The typical cost of developing a new medicine has now climbed to between $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion, from a cost of $800 million only a few years ago, Weldon said. He noted that J&J and other drugmakers increasingly are partnering with rival companies in order to share such financial gambles…..[snip]

Defending Pharma

As all of the discussion on Healthcare reform comes to a head, I think it warrants some comments from me regarding “The Greed of Pharma”.  Let me start by saying that Pharma is a for-profit business like any other.

I think it is important to note that neither pharma (nor the insurance industry for that matter) has particularly high profitability (ROE %’s). The following industries have a higher ROE % (Return on Equity rating) than Pharma (21 of them, and in the order listed). Cigarettes has nearly triple Pharma’s profitibility (and the US Gov is a de facto share holder); Aerospace has double. So why would Pharma be expected to foot the healthcare bill (and squeal like a pig -to paraphrase Congressman Marion Berry of Arkansas) when there are so many other more deserving candidates?

 

Cigarettes

Aerospace/Defense – Major Diversified

Information & Delivery Services

Diversified Computer Systems

Cleaning Products

Beverages – Wineries & Distillers

Processed & Packaged Goods

Auto Parts Stores

Education & Training Services

Application Software

Personal Services

Food Wholesale

Industrial Metals & Minerals

Restaurants

Gas Utilities

Management Services

Personal Products

Personal Computers

Agricultural Chemicals

Diversified Communication

Electronics Stores

 

~TJK