Vendor Management Needed in Light of NRC Health Ransomware Attack

Last week, NRC Health became the latest vendor to report it fell victim to a ransomware attack, which locked the company out of its computer systems as it worked to recover. Given its massive list of healthcare clients, the cyberattack could become a massive data breach. NRC Health sells software to about 9,000 healthcare organizations, or about 75 percent of the 200 largest hospital chains in the US. Its clients include Cedars Sinai, Adventist Health, Providence Health, and a host of others, according to its website. In total, the vendor collects data from over 25 million US and Canadian consumers each year. While the vendor continues to recover and investigate the incident, security leaders have stressed what the incident could mean for patient privacy. But the NRC Health cyberattack sheds light on a greater concern to healthcare organizations: How can covered entities and other providers rein in their control over the vast number of vendors with which they interact, some of which are unknown?

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Medical Devices

Medtronic receives CE Mark for its next generation Micra leadless pacing systems

Medtronic | January 05, 2024

Medtronic plc a global leader in healthcare technology, announced it has received CE Mark for its Micra™ AV2 and Micra™ VR2, the next generation of its industry-leading miniature, leadless pacemakers. Micra AV2 and Micra VR2, the world's smallest pacemakers, provide longer battery life and easier programming than prior Micra pacemakers, while still delivering the many benefits of leadless pacing such as reduced complications compared to traditional pacemakers.2 With approximately 40% more battery life compared to previous generations,1 Medtronic projects the battery life of Micra AV2 and Micra VR2 is nearly 16 and 17 years, respectively.3 This means more than 80% of patients who receive a Micra may only require one device for life.3 This CE Mark milestone follows U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the Micra AV2 and VR2 devices in 2023. In addition to size and longevity benefits, Micra devices are also the only leadless pacemakers with remote monitoring capabilities, which allow a doctor or clinic to check on a patient's heart device without the need for a patient to travel to their clinic for an in-person appointment. Other patient benefits of remote monitoring may include a reduction in hospitalizations and increase in sense of security.4,5 "For more than eight years, our Micra leadless pacemakers have provided meaningful benefits to people in Europe who require a pacemaker. Now, these patients have access to the latest leadless pacing technology that, for most of them, may be the only device they will ever need," said Robert C. Kowal, M.D., Ph.D., general manager, Cardiac Pacing Therapies within the Cardiac Rhythm Management business, which is part of the Cardiovascular Portfolio at Medtronic. "The first generation of leadless Micra pacemakers demonstrated a significant reduction in major complications, and this next generation of Micra brings several additional benefits including greater longevity, and specifically for the Micra AV2, new algorithms to optimize AV synchrony at faster heart rates while requiring less in-office programming," said Prof. Dr. Christophe Garweg, Cardiologist at University Hospitals of Leuven, Belgium. "These advantages likely will expand the use of the leadless pacemaker to more patients." Globally, more than 200,000 patients have received Micra pacemakers.6 Comparable in size to a large vitamin, Micra pacemakers are less than one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers. Unlike traditional pacemakers, Micra pacemakers do not require leads or a surgical "pocket" under the skin, so potential sources of complications related to leads and pockets are eliminated, and there is no visible sign of the device. About Medtronic Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is the leading global healthcare technology company that boldly attacks the most challenging health problems facing humanity by searching out and finding solutions. Our Mission — to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life — unites a global team of 90,000+ passionate people across more than 150 countries. Our technologies and therapies treat 70 health conditions and include cardiac devices, surgical robotics, insulin pumps, surgical tools, patient monitoring systems, and more. Powered by our diverse knowledge, insatiable curiosity, and desire to help all those who need it, we deliver innovative technologies that transform the lives of two people every second, every hour, every day.

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Medical Devices

Canon Medical Systems and Olympus Announce Business Alliance regarding Endoscopic Ultrasound Systems

Canon Medical Systems | January 15, 2024

Canon Medical Systems Corporation and Olympus Corporation announced that we have reached an agreement to collaborate on Endoscopic Ultrasound Systems. Canon Medical will develop and manufacture diagnostic ultrasound systems used in Endoscopic Ultrasonography1 (EUS), and Olympus will perform the sales and marketing efforts. The aim of this collaboration between Canon's Aplio i8002 diagnostic ultrasound system for EUS and Olympus' Ultrasound Endoscope3 is to provide the market with advanced EUS equipment capable of delivering high-quality image diagnoses. Canon Medical and Olympus are focusing on technological advancements and enhancing diagnostic performance in the EUS field, with plans for global expansion, starting in Japan and Europe. Canon Medical has a history of more than 100 years in the diagnostic imaging systems business, including X-ray diagnostic systems, CT, MRI, and ultrasound diagnostic systems, and provides products and services to more than 150 countries and regions worldwide. Canon Medical has been a leading company in the development of diagnostic ultrasound systems since the 1960s and has pioneered the development of A-mode (Amplitude display mode) systems for neurosurgery and linear electronic scanning systems, among others. Canon Medical's strengths lie in its advanced ultrasound image quality and proprietary technologies, such as D-THI, an image quality enhancement technology, and SMI, an imaging technology that enables the delineation of extremely slow and fine blood flow, which has been difficult to image in the past. Olympus has contributed to elevating the standard of care through early detection, diagnosis and staging, and minimally invasive treatment since developing the world’s first practical gastrocamera. In the field of EUS, Olympus has worked closely with physicians to develop new equipment to enhance imaging and diagnostic methods and expand procedures, helping gain and maintain a high share of the global market. Through our collaboration, the two companies will achieve further qualitative improvements in the quality of images and performance in diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment of EUS, ultimately contributing to facilitate the early detection of diseases. Comment from Toshio Takiguchi, President and CEO, Canon Medical Systems Corporation “We have been promoting our business with diagnostic imaging at its core under the philosophy of 'Made for Life,' which expresses our desire to contribute to medical care that protects precious lives. We have a long history in diagnostic ultrasound systems and have developed unique technologies that contribute to the early detection of diseases in cooperation with doctors around the world. We are very pleased to collaborate with Olympus, a leading endoscope manufacturer, in the EUS field, which we have not been able to cover adequately until now, to deliver superior solutions to more patients.” Comment from Frank Drewalowski, Executive Officer and Endoscopic Solutions Division Head, Olympus Corporation “Olympus aims to improve patients’ quality of life through early diagnosis made available with Endoscopic Ultrasound Systems. In the field of EUS, diagnostic ultrasound systems are very important, and we are pleased to have a cooperative relationship with Canon Medical, which has advanced ultrasound imaging technology. Canon Medical and Olympus will continue to introduce products and technology that address the needs of the patients, healthcare professionals, and the broader medical industry.” This examination uses ultrasound attached to the tip of an endoscope to observe the outer organs (pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, liver, etc.) from the stomach and duodenum. Compared to the approach from the body surface, the target organs can be observed at close range, allowing detailed diagnosis with clearer images. In the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, EUS is recognized as having the same diagnostic capability as contrast-enhanced CT and MRI in the "Guidelines for Pancreatic Cancer Treatment (2022)" in Japan. EUS-FNA (Endoscopic Ultrasonography-FNA: a test to collect tumor cells using an ultrasound endoscope) enables qualitative tissue diagnosis by minimally invasive cell and tissue collection and is established worldwide as a diagnostic method when pancreatic cancer is suspected. In addition to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), which is the first choice for stent placement for obstructive jaundice, endoscopic ultrasound-assisted biliary drainage (EUS-BD) using the EUS-FNA technique is now available. With the advent of these devices, the endoscopic treatment area of Interventional EUS has been attracting increasing attention in recent years. About Canon Medical Systems Canon Medical offers a full range of diagnostic medical imaging solutions including CT, Diagnostic and Interventional X-ray, Ultrasound and MR, as well as a full suite of Healthcare IT solutions, across the globe. In line with our continued Made for Life philosophy, patients are at the heart of everything we do. Our mission is to provide medical professionals with solutions that support their efforts in contributing to the health and wellbeing of patients worldwide. Our goal is to deliver optimum health opportunities for patients through uncompromised performance, comfort and safety features. At Canon Medical, we work hand in hand with our partners - our medical, academic and research community. We build relationships based on transparency, trust and respect. Together as one, we strive to create industry-leading solutions that deliver an enriched quality of life About Olympus At Olympus, we are committed to Our Purpose of making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling. As a global medical technology company, we partner with healthcare professionals to provide best-in-class solutions and services for early detection, diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment, aiming to improve patient outcomes by elevating the standard of care in targeted disease states. For more than 100 years, Olympus has pursued a goal of contributing to society by producing products designed with the purpose of delivering optimal outcomes for its customers around the world.

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Health Technology

BroadcastMed Launches New Platform for Vision Portfolio of Products

BroadcastMed | January 25, 2024

BroadcastMed, the leading healthcare information marketplace that provides trusted clinical content, powerful engagement, and industry insights to healthcare professionals (HCPs), medical institutions and manufacturers, service providers, and pharmaceutical companies, is thrilled to announce the evolution of its Vision portfolio. PentaVision, powered by BroadcastMed, released a new digital platform designed to elevate the user experience for healthcare and optical professionals. Driven by many of the industry's leading Optometry and Ophthalmology publications, the platform leverages an intricate network that spans across their entire suite of Vision brands. The architecture was designed to provide HCPs with vibrant, interactive content within personalized user experiences. Real-time industry data has been optimized, ensuring that HCPs remain informed of the latest developments, trends, and breakthroughs in the field. With a user-centric design, the platform enables HCPs to navigate effortlessly, thereby saving time and enhancing efficiency in accessing the most pertinent and valuable content. This dedication to convenience fosters continuous learning, collaboration, and professional growth. "We are delighted about the positive impact this enhanced network will have on our partners' ability to connect with HCPs in a meaningful way," said Lee Schweizer, Chief Digital Officer, BroadcastMed. "With optimized architecture for improved search visibility, a network-buying approach for advertisers, and plans for dynamic content in 2024, we're excited to offer enhanced benefits for both advertisers and healthcare providers." "The new Retinal Physician website offers faster navigation, improved content, and a streamlined interface. I think the changes will be appreciated by everyone!" said Peter K. Kaiser, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Chaney Family Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology Research. BroadcastMed, together with 424 Capital, a growth capital partner, acquired PentaVision in August of 2022 to expand its healthcare audience and secure high-quality content across 11 brands in vision care. PentaVision's media brands are among the most respected and read brands globally, and include Contact Lens Spectrum, Corneal Physician, Eyecare Business, Glaucoma Physician, New Retinal Physician, Optometric Management, Ophthalmology Management, Ophthalmic Professional, Presbyopia Physician, and Retinal Physician. Underlining its commitment to evolving content distribution, expanding multichannel reach, fostering engaging live events and streaming experiences, and providing insightful data to HCPs and supporting organizations, BroadcastMed is dedicated to advancing the field of healthcare. About BroadcastMed BroadcastMed is the leading healthcare information marketplace that provides trusted clinical content, powerful engagement and industry insights to healthcare professionals, medical institutions and manufacturers, service providers and pharmaceutical companies. The company's integrated platform of digital, event, and publication solutions helps drive better dialogue, connectivity, and outcomes for the healthcare community.

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Health Technology

Rudolf Riester GmbH Announces Global Market Launch of Telemedicine Solution, Showcases ri-sonic® E-Stethoscope + eMurmur® AI Integration

Rudolf Riester GmbH | January 29, 2024

Rudolf Riester GmbH, a global leader in medical technology, proudly announces the full market launch of its comprehensive Telemedicine offering. Already in active use across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, the solution from the trusted Riester brand delivers industry-leading quality and versatility through integration of a broad range of medical devices to meet the needs of diverse user scenarios. "Since its founding 75 years ago, Riester has been a pioneer in providing accurate and efficient diagnostic devices for front-line healthcare. We have brought this passion and expertise to the creation of our telemedicine solution," said Dr. Georgiana Gasquères, Global Business Unit Director, Telemedicine at Riester. "Now we empower healthcare providers worldwide with the tools they need to deliver accurate diagnosis and exceptional care to every patient, everywhere, and to do it more sustainably." Riester is demonstrating its Telemedicine Case and Cart offerings at the Arab Health show in Dubai, 29 January – 1 February 2024, at booth SA.E30. Traveling nurses with South African healthcare innovator EQiGate are already evaluating dozens of patients every week with the Riester Telemedicine Case. "EQiGate selected the Riester Telemedicine solution for its high quality, comprehensiveness, and versatile, Windows-based compatibility with our portfolio of operating applications," stated Braam Kruger, CEO at EQiGate. "The Riester solution integrates seamlessly with our Hospital at Home concept, enabling us to bring the hospital to the patient, a healthcare paradigm shift that yields significant cost and time savings for both the healthcare system and the patient." At Arab Health, Riester is showcasing the integration of their industry-leading ri-sonic® E-stethoscope with the eMurmur® AI platform. Digital auscultation with ri-sonic and eMurmur AI enables the early detection and analysis of heart murmurs, informing better, more timely decisions about treatment pathways. To demonstrate their commitment to raising heart health awareness and improving quality of life through accurate and efficient diagnosis, Riester is offering complimentary advisory heart checks to all exhibition attendees at their booth at Arab Health, conducted by a professional cardiologist. "Our participation at Arab Health reaches beyond showcasing our technological advancements; it is about educating and engaging with the public – including Arab Health attendees – and healthcare professionals," said Irina Zhdanova, CEO of Riester. "By providing free advisory heart checks, we emphasise the significance of regular cardiac health assessments and demonstrate how innovative technology can be a pivotal tool in advancing diagnostic cardiac care to improve health outcomes. This is a perfect way to honor Riester’s 75-year heritage and act on our vision and mission." About Rudolf Riester GmbH Since its founding in Germany in 1948, Rudolf Riester GmbH has been a pioneering force in improving quality of life through accurate and efficient diagnosis on the front-line of healthcare. By developing and manufacturing high-quality, market-leading medical diagnostic products, Riester has earned a global reputation for quality, reliability, and innovation in the healthcare sector, with a presence in over 150 countries. Specializing in diagnostic devices, Riester's product portfolio includes telemedicine solutions as well as stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors, otoscopes, ophthalmoscopes, and other medical equipment. Riester is part of the Halma plc group of companies.

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