Apple Watch’s Electrocardiogram App Can Be Used To Diagnose, Treat Heart Conditions During Emergency Times
The FDA approved the use of the smartwatch as a replacement for an in-clinic ECG during the coronavirus pandemic after Apple upgraded the app. In other health IT news: Robotics and AI may help improve safety; digital monitoring; COVID-19 conspiracies spread online; fighting bots and disinformation; and more.
Apple Watch ECG App Can Replace In-Clinic Tests During COVID-19
Apple has expanded the scope of its smartwatch's electrocardiogram app, which can now be used as a replacement for an in-clinic ECG during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The expansion takes advantage of guidance the Food and Drug Administration released to expand the availability of non-invasive remote patient-monitoring technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of an effort to allow physicians to treat patients remotely without needing them to visit a healthcare facility. (Cohen, 6/15)
The New York Times:
Fighting The Coronavirus With Innovative Tech
Dr. Cristiano Huscher has long used robotics and artificial intelligence for surgical procedures at the Policlinico Abano chain of hospitals in Italy. So when six doctors contracted Covid-19 at his hospital in Sardinia two months ago, he once again turned to technology — in this case, UVD Robots — to disinfect the rooms. The robot moves autonomously through a room, using ultraviolet-C light to kill the DNA in the virus, effectively destroying it, along with bacteria. (Morrissey, 6/16)
The Wall Street Journal:
Tech Firms Are Spying On You. In A Pandemic, Governments Say That’s OK.
While an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, Joshua Anton created an app to prevent users from drunk dialing, which he called Drunk Mode. He later began harvesting huge amounts of user data from smartphones to resell to advertisers. Now Mr. Anton’s company, called X-Mode Social Inc., is one of a number of little-known location-tracking companies that are being deployed in the effort to reopen the country. State and local authorities wielding the power to decide when and how to reopen are leaning on these vendors for the data to underpin those critical judgment calls. (Schechner, Grind and Haggin, 6/15)
The New York Times:
A Conspiracy Made In America May Have Been Spread By Russia
The night of the Iowa caucuses in February, Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, logged into Twitter to find the hashtag #RobbyMookCaucusApp trending across the country. Pundits on both sides of the aisle accused him of developing a mobile app to rig the Democratic primary against Senator Bernie Sanders. Soon his phone was buzzing with calls from reporters demanding to know what role he had played in creating the app, a flawed vote-reporting system that delayed caucus results for days. (Perlroth, 6/15)
The New York Times:
Who’s A Bot? Who’s Not?
Over the long Memorial Day weekend, a Twitter storm blew in about bots, those little automatic programs that talk to us in the digital dimension as if they were human. What first caught the attention of Darius Kazemi was the headline on an article from NPR, “Researchers: Nearly Half of Accounts Tweeting About Coronavirus Are Likely Bots” — which Hillary Clinton retweeted to her 27.9 million followers — and a similar headline from CNN. (Roberts, 6/16)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Kaiser Permanente Computer System Down For Five Hours During Coronavirus Pandemic
Kaiser Permanente’s computer system, which serves 4.5 million members in Northern California, was down for five hours on Sunday, limiting how patients could connect to doctors during a health crisis. Members experienced intermittent errors while attempting to access features on the website and mobile app, but were still able to communicate with representatives by phone, a spokesman said. The company did not explain what caused the outage. (Moench, 6/15)
Bipartisan Senators Call For Making Telehealth Expansion Permanent Post-Coronavirus
A group of 30 senators from both sides of the aisle on Monday urged leadership to make permanent the expansion of telehealth services that has been undertaken during the coronavirus pandemic. The letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) calls for provisions from the CONNECT for Health Act included in previous COVID-19 legislation be extended after the public health emergency is over. (Rodrigo, 6/15)