eNews September 20, 2022

The latest news affecting you and your customers… from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

Vulnerabilities in older medical devices

The FBI has identified an increasing number of vulnerabilities posed by unpatched medical devices that run on outdated software and devices that lack adequate security features. Cyber threat actors exploiting medical device vulnerabilities adversely impact healthcare facilities’ operational functions, patient safety, data confidentiality, and data integrity. Medical device vulnerabilities predominantly stem from device hardware design and device software management. Routine challenges include a substantial number of managed devices on the network, lack of device-embedded security features, and the inability to upgrade those features.

Heart tumor removed via catheter

Interventional cardiologists at the University of Washington used a catheter-delivered retrieval device to remove a benign tumor from a patient’s heart. This is the first time such a device has ever been used to remove a heart tumor, reports Cardiovascular Business. The 30-minute procedure occurred on July 27 at the UW Medicine Heart Institute. The patient, 54-year-old Tim Holland, underwent a liver transplant more than two years ago, when an echocardiogram identified the tumor. Though it was not yet causing issues for Holland, the team at UW decided there was a high enough stroke risk that they needed to act. The catheter-delivered device in question, the ŌNŌ retrieval system gained FDA clearance in May. It was designed and developed by Ōnocor, a healthcare startup with roots in the Penn Center for Innovation.

Hospitals are investing in innovating

Four hospitals and health systems that have opened or announced plans to establish new innovation centers were listed by Beckers Hospital Review: 1) Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic added seven AI startups to its innovation accelerator program, marking the second cohort of health tech startups to join the initiative; 2) Houston Methodist partnered with Houston technology innovation space the Ion to build a space for medical technology innovation; 3) Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai added 10 health technology startups to participate in its eighth annual accelerator program; and 4) Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Penn Medicine launched a kidney innovation center aimed at advancing research for early detection, prevention and treatment of kidney disease.

Your customers are worn out

About 63% of physicians surveyed experienced at least one manifestation of burnout in 2021, increasing from 38% in 2020 and representing the highest amount in a decade of recurring survey findings, according to an article published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, reports Healthcare Dive. Scores for emotional exhaustion and depersonalization were higher in 2021 while satisfaction with work-life balance dropped. Meanwhile, depression scores were relatively stable, suggesting the increase in physician distress was primarily due to increased work-related distress. The findings suggest that women have been more affected by burnout during COVID-19.