Microsoft Shares Health Sector COVID-19 Ransomware Insights

HealthITSecurity.com | April 02, 2020

Microsoft Shares Health Sector COVID-19 Ransomware Insights
Hackers are targeting network devices like gateway and virtual private network (VPN) appliances, as organizations have moved to a remote workforce during the COVID-19 crisis, including a rise in human-operated ransomware attacks, according to research from Microsoft. Microsoft is urging the protection of critical services, especially hospitals, to ensure uninterrupted system access during the crisis. But recently, there have been an increasing number of human-operated ransomware campaigns that have taken advantage of vulnerable network devices. Human-operated ransomware attacks are a cut above run-of-the-mill commodity ransomware campaigns,” Microsoft warns. “Adversaries behind these attacks exhibit extensive knowledge of systems administration and common network security misconfigurations, which are often lower on the list of ‘fix now’ priorities.

Spotlight

In a given year, between 10% and 20% of the Canadian population becomes infected with influenza, and an estimated 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths can be attributed to an epidemic of influenza; these include deaths related to pneumonia due to influenza virus or a secondary pathogen like Streptococcus pneumonia. 1 Rates of influenza infection are highest in children between the ages of five and nine years, but rates of serious illness and death are highest in children under the age of two years, older persons (>65 years), and persons with underlying medical conditions.


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MEDICAL DEVICES

BD Acquires Scanwell Health, Inc. to Expand and Scale Digital At-Home Testing

BD | December 22, 2021

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, today announced it has completed the acquisition of privately held Scanwell Health Inc., a leader in smartphone-enabled at-home medical tests.BD collaborated with Scanwell to develop the app used with the recently launched BD Veritor™ At-Home COVID-19 Test, the first at-home COVID-19 test that uniquely uses a smartphone camera and app to capture and interpret results, eliminating the human subjectivity in other visually read at-home antigen tests. Scanwell will become the foundational digital platform upon which BD plans to develop at-home diagnostic tests for a range of infectious diseases including COVID-19/influenza A+B, group A strep and additional menu for detecting infections and managing chronic disease. "The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to new care settings, and BD is ready to deliver a smart, connected at-home diagnostic ecosystem to support traditional and telehealth providers and consumers. This acquisition will enable us to expand and scale our digital capabilities in-house to speed time to market for transformative at-home solutions now and in the future." Dave Hickey, president of Life Sciences for BD The Scanwell app is a key differentiator in the market for at-home COVID-19 testing. To date, no other company uses the phone's camera to capture the image of the test that is then analyzed and interpreted by the app. Other COVID-19 home tests use smartphones as part of their process, but BD Veritor™ At-Home COVID-19 Test is the first and only test to use the smartphone as the analyzer to digitally interpret the test results and provide a definitive POSITIVE or NEGATIVE digital display of testing results. The app also has the capabilities to securely store and report test results to organizations, including businesses, public health authorities and schools. The results of tests are stored in the app and can be referenced and displayed at any time by simply logging into the app. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be immaterial to BD's fiscal 2022 financial results. Scanwell financial results will be reported under the Integrated Diagnostic Solutions business within the Life Sciences segment. About the BD Veritor™ At-Home COVID-19 Test The BD Veritor™ At-Home COVID-19 Test has not been FDA cleared or approved; but has been authorized by FDA under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). This product has been authorized only for the detection of proteins from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens. The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of IVDs for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the declaration is terminated or authorization is revoked sooner. About BD BD is one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world and is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. The company supports the heroes on the frontlines of health care by developing innovative technology, services and solutions that help advance both clinical therapy for patients and clinical process for health care providers. BD and its 70,000 employees have a passion and commitment to help enhance the safety and efficiency of clinicians' care delivery process, enable laboratory scientists to accurately detect disease and advance researchers' capabilities to develop the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics. BD has a presence in virtually every country and partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. By working in close collaboration with customers, BD can help enhance outcomes, lower costs, increase efficiencies, improve safety and expand access to health care.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

PulsePoint Releases Next Generation Health Media Platform With Advanced Automation And AI

PulsePoint | July 06, 2021

PulsePoint, a technology company revolutionizing health decision-making in real-time, today announced the next generation launch of its digital media buying platform, Life by PulsePoint™. Its enhanced AI and automation simplifies and supercharges the media planning, activation, and optimization processes. Designed for the self-serve programmatic trader, these updates promote efficiencies and surface predictive and in-flight campaign analytics for quick strategic decisioning to yield higher media return on investment. Built upon PulsePoint's extensive data foundation, Genome™, that proactively uses microdata to capture attention when intent is signaled, Life is the leading healthcare end-to-end programmatic platform. Life's automated machine learning and AI allows marketers to quickly create highly-customized segments that classify populations in real-time, and deliver sequential messaging to drive customer actions in the moment and across the health journey. This next generation of the Life platform includes: • Advanced media planning innovations: Life offers an AI-powered forecasting tool used to run simulations to generate predictive performance metrics and intelligent audience insights. This makes it easier for marketers to preview budgets and ideate and adjust tactics to obtain their desired campaign outcomes, all before a single dollar is spent. Each forecast is powered by detailed supply and channel insights, like expected delivery, and campaign performance can be viewed by a variety of dimensions, including creative types, domains/apps, condition categories, healthcare professional specialties, geographies, among others. • Better campaign management with advanced dashboard: An automated and real-time view of line item performance and pacing gives traders a deeper, more granular look into their campaigns, making it easier for them to optimize their spend based on flight delivery and anticipate new incremental opportunities. The dashboard not only surfaces key numbers, but it also includes dynamic performance charts to uncover real-time campaign insights. • Turnkey PMP (private marketplaces) deal builder: Enhanced with turnkey end-to-end functionality, self-serve traders can now enable the deals that they negotiated directly with publishers and/or SSPs through Life's UI, decreasing the time it takes to launch PMPs. "Life was built for the healthcare marketer to simplify and optimize marketing campaigns," said Andrew Stark, CRO of PulsePoint. "Our newest capabilities increase efficiencies through advanced forecasting and real-time performance optimization, enabling more control and enhanced campaign management." Life by PulsePoint provides access to over 110 billion daily impressions across more than 2 million health pages, reaching 1.8M+ opted-in, verified healthcare professionals and over 90% of the online U.S. population. This release is just another step in PulsePoint's journey to deliver personalized messaging at each stage of the health journey using predictive insights built on real-time data. The company was recently acquired by Internet Brands, a KKR portfolio company and owner of WebMD Health Corp. PulsePoint's teams will continue to operate as their own division from their existing hubs in New York, San Francisco, and London. About PulsePoint PulsePoint is a leading technology company that uses real-world data in real-time to optimize campaign performance and revolutionize health decision-making. Leveraging proprietary datasets and methodology, PulsePoint targets healthcare professionals and patients with an unprecedented level of accuracy—delivering unparalleled results to the clients we serve.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Texas Children's Hospital And Baylor College of Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Technology Secures Emergency Use Authorization In India

Texas Children Hospital | December 29, 2021

Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine announced today that CORBEVAX™, a protein sub-unit COVID-19 Vaccine, whose technology was created and engineered at its Center for Vaccine Development (CVD), has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval from the Drugs Controller General ofIndia(DCGI)to launch inIndiawith other underserved countries to follow. Dubbed "The World's COVID-19 Vaccine", it uses a traditional recombinant protein-based technology that will enable its production at large scales making it widely accessible to inoculate the global population. The initial construct and production process of the vaccine antigen was developed at Texas Children's Hospital CVD, led by co-directors Drs. Maria Elena Bottazzi and Peter Hotez and in-licensed from BCM Ventures, Baylor College of Medicine's integrated commercialization team, to Hyderabad-based vaccine and pharmaceutical company Biological E. Limited (BE). CORBEVAX™ after completing two Phase III clinical trials involving more than 3000 subjects was found to be safe, well tolerated and immunogenic: CORBEVAX™ demonstrated superior immune response in comparison with COVISHIELD™ vaccine when assessed for Neutralizing Antibody (nAb) Geometric Mean Titers (GMT) against the Ancestral-Wuhan strain and the globally dominant Delta variant. CORBEVAX™ vaccination also generated significant Th1 skewed cellular immune response. CORBEVAX™ nAb GMT against Ancestral-Wuhan strain is indicative of vaccine effectiveness of >90% for prevention of symptomatic infections based on the Correlates of Protection assessment performed during Moderna and Astra-Zeneca vaccine Phase III studies. CORBEVAX™ nAb GMT against the Delta strain indicates a vaccine effectiveness of >80 percent for the prevention of symptomatic infections based on published studies. While none of the subjects who took CORBEVAX™ or COVISHIELD™ had serious adverse events, CORBEVAX™ had 50 percent fewer adverse events than COVISHIELD™. In the continuous monitoring of phase II studies, CORBEVAX™ showed high persistence of immune response as indicated by <30% drop in nAb GMT till 6 months second dose as compared to >80% drop observed with majority of the vaccines. "Protein-based vaccines have been widely used to prevent many other diseases, have proven safety records, and use economies of scale to achieve low-cost scalability across the world," said Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, Professor and Associate Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and Co-Director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. "Our decade-long studies advancing coronavirus vaccine prototypes has led to the creation of this vaccine, which will fill the access gap created by the more expensive, newer vaccine technologies and that today are still not able to be quickly scaled for global production." The need for safe, streamlined, low-cost vaccines for middle- to low-income countries is central to the world's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Without widespread vaccination of populations in the Global South, additional virus variants will arise, hindering the progress achieved by currently available vaccines in the United States and other Western countries. "This announcement is an important first step in vaccinating the world and halting the pandemic. Our vaccine technology offers a path to address an unfolding humanitarian crisis, namely the vulnerability the low- and middle-income countries face against the delta variant," said Dr. Peter Hotez, Professor and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and Co-Director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. "Widespread and global vaccination with our Texas Children's-Baylor-BE vaccine would also forestall the emergence of new variants. We have previously missed that opportunity for the alpha and delta variant. Now is our chance to prevent a new global wave from what might follow." "Over the years, we have worked to make quality vaccines and pharmaceutical products accessible to families around the world. With this as our backdrop, we resolved to develop an affordable and effective COVID-19 vaccine. It has now become a reality. We deeply appreciate Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, Baylor, CEPI, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the government of India for their continuous support and cooperation during this journey. The combined efforts & unceasing support demonstrate that we can collectively overcome any challenge". Mahima Datla, Managing Director, Biological E. Limited ABOUT TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL Texas Children's Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children's hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children's has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women's health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Tower for pediatric research; Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children's Hospital The Woodlands, the first hospital devoted to children's care for communities north of Houston. The organization also created Texas Children's HealthPlan, the nation's first HMO for children; has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country, Texas Children's Pediatrics; Texas Children's Urgent Care clinics that specialize in after-hours care tailored specifically for children; and a global health program that's channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children's Global Health program leads efforts that advance health care equity through innovative collaboration in care, education and research for underserved populations globally. Texas Children's Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. ABOUT TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CENTER FOR VACCINE DEVELOPMENT Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development is one of the leading vaccine development centers in the world. Established in Washington DC as the Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership (PDP) in the year 2000 and after relocating to the Texas Medical Center in 2011, it rebranded as Texas Children's Center for Vaccine Development. For the past two decades it has acquired an international reputation as a non-profit PDP, advancing vaccines for poverty-related neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and emerging infectious diseases of pandemic importance. In addition, it builds and strengthens capacity for vaccine development locally and with foreign nations and leads global efforts to guide and influence vaccine policy and advocacy through "vaccine diplomacy" as an international bridge for peace and vaccine development capacity. ABOUT BCM VENTURES Baylor College of Medicine Ventures is the commercial engine of the health sciences university, created to support the translation of academic knowledge and intellectual assets for the benefit of society. We do this by engaging university innovators, entrepreneurs and industry to fully develop ideas along their best commercial path. We foster a culture of commercialization and engage with industry to identify market opportunities for collaborative ventures. ABOUT BIOLOGICAL E. LIMITED Biological E. Limited (BE), a Hyderabad-based Pharmaceuticals & Biologics Company founded in 1953, is the first private sector biological products company in India and the first pharmaceutical company in Southern India. BE develops, manufactures and supplies vaccines and therapeutics. BE supplies its vaccines to over 100 countries and its therapeutic products are sold in India and the USA. BE currently has 8 WHO-prequalified vaccines in its portfolio. In recent years, BE has embarked on new initiatives for organisational expansion such as developing generic injectable products for the regulated markets, exploring synthetic biology and metabolic engineering as a means to manufacture APIs sustainably and developing novel vaccines for the global market.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Microbot Medical Announces Strategic Collaboration with Stryker Corporation to Develop the LIBERTY® Robotic System for Neurovascular Applications

Microbot Medical | December 28, 2021

Microbot Medical Inc.announced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with Stryker, a leading global medical technology company. The company will collaborate with Stryker’s Neurovascular division to integrate its neurovascular instruments with Microbot’s LIBERTY Robotic System to develop the world’s first dedicated robotic procedural kits for use in certain neurovascular procedures. “We have already ensured that the LIBERTY Robotic System has a strong and sustainable competitive advantage, and the collaboration with Stryker will allow us to further expand in the neurovascular space. I believe the similarities in our innovation culture, as well as our complementary core capabilities, will allow us to establish a truly differentiated solution that will benefit all stakeholders and accelerate our goal of changing the way robotic surgery is viewed and adopted.” Harel Gadot, Chairman, CEO and President of Microbot Medical The company will continue to develop the LIBERTY Robotic System independently for use in peripheral and coronary procedures. The animal feasibility studies to date support the company’s assertion that it will potentially allow physicians to safely and efficiently conduct remote catheter-based vascular procedures, and reduce the risk for radiation exposure, physical strain on the user and Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs), without the need for cumbersome and expensive capital equipment. About Microbot Medical Microbot Medical Inc.is a pre-clinical medical device company that specializes in transformational micro-robotic technologies, focused primarily on both natural and artificial lumens within the human body. Microbot’s current proprietary technological platforms provide the foundation for the development of a Multi Generation Pipeline Portfolio (MGPP). Microbot Medical was founded in 2010 by Harel Gadot, Prof. Moshe Shoham, and Yossi Bornstein with the goals of improving clinical outcomes for patients and increasing accessibility through the use of micro-robotic technologies.

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Spotlight

In a given year, between 10% and 20% of the Canadian population becomes infected with influenza, and an estimated 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths can be attributed to an epidemic of influenza; these include deaths related to pneumonia due to influenza virus or a secondary pathogen like Streptococcus pneumonia. 1 Rates of influenza infection are highest in children between the ages of five and nine years, but rates of serious illness and death are highest in children under the age of two years, older persons (>65 years), and persons with underlying medical conditions.

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