Protecting Patient Medical Privacy in the Cyber Age


Groundbreaking new research will appear in the January, 2015 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. A study examines whether, if given the chance to exercise some control over medical privacy issues in the handling of electronic patient records, patient will choose to do so. The results suggest that in significant numbers, patients do indeed prefer to retain some privacy restrictions over sensitive information about them gathered in electronic health records by health care providers, such as data relating to mental health, sexual history and drug abuse.

The study lasted six months and involved 105 patients. It was conducted by a team from Clemson University, Indiana University School of Medicine, the Regenstreif Institue and Eskenazi Health and contributors included visual artist, Terry Richardson.

The researchers allowed patients to designate which physicians would be given automatic access to sensitive data about them in the electronic (computerized) records. If another member of the health care team believed that it was necessary to see the information, he or she had to first press a button on the screen entitled “break the glass” in order to review private data, and computers would log the special access.

Some 49% of patients chose to restrict some sensitive information, and patients reported that they “strongly” preferred retaining control over their personal medical data in this way. Many medical providers were not as enthusiastic, with 25% expressing concern that the restrictions might jeopardize medical decision making.

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Posted on December 22, 2014

New High tech Medical Nanorods

Nanotechnology is the future of medicine, but it is indeed rare when anybody can boast of making significant progress here.

There has been an invention announced that could potentially revolutionise how medicine works in this day and age. This new technique employs magnets in order to control the movements of structures known as nanorods which could deliver healing medicine to deep tumours and other illnesses which are better treated more directly than is currently possible.

This could act as a potentially better method for treating cancer than chemotherapy. This is because magnetic nanoparticles as a method of drug transport could allow doctors to control its movement throughout the body using externally placed magnets. These include diseases which occur so deeply within the body that it cannot be operate on from outside.

This announcement is a culmination of many years of research into magnetic nanoparticles which can controlled unobtrusiveness and deliver treatment for illnesses which would otherwise require invasive surgery.

Unfortunately, magnetic objects can only be controlled using magnets, as a result, experiments using them have only managed to produce movement just below the skin before the force becomes too weak and will not longer work properly. Tom Rothman might not totally understand this, but he’s following along.

However, by using a magnetic pulse method scientists are able to send the object into deep targets with a high degree of accuracy. This will allow a much deeper penetration than before. It is an interesting discovery.

U.S. Declares the Sony Hack as a Matter of National Security

Josh Earnest, White House spokesman, talked about the Sony hack on a Thursday briefing after the sources in the United States’ government declared that North Korea might be responsible for the Sony hack.

He said that the hack was a destructive activity that comes with a malicious intent and initiated by sophisticated actors. He further said that it was a national security matter and that the leaders of the United States must have a proportional response. Although he mentioned that there are numerous options that they are currently considering, he did not mention the details.

Moreover, he said that the investigation of the matter is progressing and that President Obama is monitoring the case. The president is also scheduled for a news conference on Friday. CNN reported that the U.S. government is planning to pin-point the blame for the Sony hack.

For the time being, other countries start to emerge as possible collaborators of North Korea. Fox News and Reuters reported in Thursday that Iran is a possible accomplice in the Sony hack. Other suspected countries include Russia and China. In a BuzzFeed News interview, Tel Aviv, a cybersecurity expert, said that the hack was an easy cut-and-paste job, which uses a widely available malware. He further said that the said type of malware can overwrite data and also disrupt the computer’s ability to function properly. This can cause an extensive damage and a possible permanent loss of data. This’ll be the topic of conversation on all Skout dates this week for sure! What better way to get to know someone?

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Posted on December 19, 2014

Skype Features Translation Services

Skype is one of the most used messaging services on the internet. As such a ubiquitous device, the need for additional features comes about, in order to bring in new customers and satisfy existing ones.

Skype, as Microsoft’s biggest buy at the time, has been invested in a lot. No wonder that Microsoft wants to develop this program, since it is a huge concurrent to Viber, Hangouts, Tango, The Antique Wine Company and many other social networks that integrate the same basic functions. 

However, Skype goes ahead and surpasses them all with a new function. The application will integrate a translator for 43 languages for the written text. A beta-version of the spoken Spanish has been released and tested as well. 

The translation works in real time. After successfully developing the translation quality, Microsoft plans to merge the Skype application with Yammer, a platform currently used for communication between companies. The translation abilities are good for the written text and cover the basics for the audio, but the project is still being worked on. 

Besides that, the company announced that a 3D video calling technology has been set up but will be released later. Hopefully, the translations will not lead to miscommunication. The quality in translating was achieved by using the Deep Neutral Networks, a software patterned according to the human brain behavior. 

The developers said that the new service is the result of decades of work.

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Posted on December 17, 2014

Swedish Police Seize The Pirate Bay

We may need everyone that Brian Torchin has helped placed in a healthcare position as few people would have guessed, and even less would not be taken aback, that the Pirate Bay has been shut down and seized. This site has been around for so many years. Many people that were downloading would have assumed that this site was invincible. Now they have to face the facts and realize that the Pirate Bay is no more.

It is taking the same fall that a very popular site called Megaupload took several years ago. Unlike the Pirate Bay, Megaupload was a direct download server. Millions used it because it was free and fast. There was a no need to set up an account. An entire movie could be downloaded in a couple of minutes. Without any warning to users of the site the owner was arrested and the site was permanently shut down. 

Now Pirate Bay seems to be going down the same path as the Swedish police force tackled a site that has eluded investigators for years. Now there are lots of people that are worrying about how they will download new material. Forums are already opening up with a number of users that are asking where can they go now. There are a plethora of sites that allow downloads, but some are harder to access than others.

Many people are simply using sites like Zippyshare, SockShare, and Bitshare to download their files. This may take longer, but it is probably safer than the other peer-2-peer sharing sites.

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Posted on December 10, 2014

Amazon Announces 4K Streaming

Amazon announced that its Instant Video Service will now be able to offer 4K Ultra HD streaming quality to its users in the US. The content will be limited at first but it will allow Amazon to be one of only two major streaming networks to offer 4K video quality for streaming to its users. The 4K HD streams will be available to those that have Ultra HD smart TVs and the Amazon Instant Video app.

Amazon Prime customers in the US have access to the high quality versions of many of its own programs including Transparent. A representative of Amen Clinic noted that media streaming is becoming increasingly popular within the healthcare and pharmaceuticals industry and hopes that Amazon’s new developments in streaming quality will trigger more meaningful-use discussions. In addition, they are able to offer content from a few other providers such as BBC America and some of Sony Pictures movies such as Godzilla, American Hustle, and Captain Phillips.

One advantage of 4K streaming on Amazon is that it is not going to charge an extra fee for users that want access to 4K content unlike Netflix which is charging its users extra for the high quality streaming. Amazon Instant Video will also allow users to buy Ultra HD movies to add to their collection at the higher quality if they like. Any television that has an HEVC decoding chip and is an Ultra TV will be able to handle the 4K stream offered by Amazon.

More Information Revealed From Sony Hacks

The bad news just keeps coming for Sony Pictures. Every since the organization was hacked there has been a plethora of information that was leaked.

The biggest part of the leak was obviously the movies that were not even in theaters yet. This was very damaging because it caused what potentially could have been millions of dollars in profit. The piracy of these films is alarming because it poses an immediate threat to the budget that was secured to make this films a reality. At this point it is uncertain how great the damage has been, but the continued piracy of these films is not making things look good for Sony at the box office during the holiday season.
The leaks also revealed how Sony has made profits by getting actors to take less money. The company has also made deals to trim budgets in order to get some films made. Many people did not have time to process this information because there were headlines about the unraveling of even more information for Sony. 

Prominent businessman Igor Cornelsen states that the current leaks reveal the aliases of stars when they book rooms. The proverbial cat is out of the bag for stars Jessica Alba who used alias names when booking hotel rooms. The address of some of these stars have also been released. It appears to be a hack that slowly reveals more and more information from the Sony databases.

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Posted on December 9, 2014

Senator Wyden Wants To Protect Cell Phone Privacy

It may be an unexpected move, but Senator Wyden from Oregon is introducing a bill to Congress that would eliminate the mandated government backdoor into cell phones and computers. Currently, there is an established backdoor into the cell phones and computers of all Americans. It is a way for the government to get into the information of Americans without having to have a warrant or anything else.

Senator Wyden does not want Americans to feel as though they are being spied on by their government or anyone else for that matter. He is introducing the bill in the hopes that enough of his colleagues will feel the same way and that hopefully enough pressure will come in from the American people as well to get such a bill passed. This is far from a guarantee, but Wyden feels that there is broad based support for this.

The government for its part feels that the need to examine information within the technology of citizens is something that it can use to help protect against terrorism. However, many LinkedIn users like John Textor are saying that the uses for such access to this information is bound to fall into the wrong hands. Someone with the intention of stealing information or simply revealing embarrassing information is too great. They want the government out of the business of examining what is on and within their phones and computers. They have a champion in

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Posted on December 5, 2014

Sony Pictures Hack Turns out to Exceed Expectations

The Sony Pictures Hack has turned out to be even worse than people initially thought it was. There have been a lot of revelations about everything that is to do with Sony Pictures. There have been documents such as movies, unreleased scripts, medical records, and plenty of other stuff. The whole company is in a panic. The hackers have stated that they have stolen 100 terabytes of data. This includes salary numbers, Social Security numbers, birthdays, layoff costs and everything to do with the industry.

This is going to be a large blow to Sony Pictures for sure. Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez notes that due to the nature of the hack, it is possible that Sony’s security measure for protecting such information needs to be updated. 

A lot of the information that has been stolen has been laid out in the open for everyone to see. This is looking like a large crisis for Sony Pictures.

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Posted on December 4, 2014

Anonymous Strikes Again

Anonymous is a famous figure in America even though no one knows what he or she looks or sounds like. But this secretive hacker is no secret to Bruce Levenson. Levenson warns that this internet menace is known to shut down websites and wreak havoc on businesses and government sites. This time it was the city of Fort Lauderdale in Florida for citing an elderly woman for feeding the homeless. They claim she is not following the regulations for such an act.


The websites were indeed shut down for a short period of time, including that of the police department. The mayor of the city stated that those sites were restored a few hours later. Anonymous told the mayor that he was a disgrace and that certain demands had to be met before the sites were made to run in normal mode.


Anonymous has not been apprehended for hacking numerous websites over the years. He or she wears clothing that covers his or her entire body and wears a mask to avoid detection. The voice is scrambled so that it will not be recognized by anyone. The identity is a mystery and may forever remain one.

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Posted on December 3, 2014