By Kamini Kandica Abdool
I read about things going wrong and even went to the doctor several times over the course of my life for a problem that no one figure out until I met a neurologist who discovered that I was having seizures and have been since high school. The age of new technology you think? I don’t think so, I think it’s more the experience and integrity of the doctor coupled with my description of the scenario with someone as a witness to see the symptoms that I myself, could not.
These days, there is so much talk about the opportunity that new technology provides but, there is also much chat about the discrepancies that it causes along with the psychosis of the “Bad Reputation” that it encourages. I browse Wired Magazine and I see it. I went to Bill Gates website, “The Gates Notes” and saw a reference there. Even he has something to do with roll-outs in the medical technology field these days.
“Analyzing IQ and epidemiological data from around the world, the UNM researchers found that the burden of infectious disease plays a much bigger role in depressing IQ than other possible explanations that have been talked about.
There’s also clinical evidence. For example, research in Uganda found that children who survive cerebral malaria, which affects more than a half-million African children every year, continue to suffer significant cognitive impairments, mainly memory and attention deficit, even two years later. The Ugandan researchers found that these children can be helped by weekly sessions where they use cognitive training software on PCs. But this is an expensive, intensive and only partially effective approach to a problem that could have been prevented to begin with.” (Bill Gates)
The Gates foundation and its charity extends not just technology but also aid to those in need in most countries but the type of tools that come into play there become useless because time and effort is not available to properly distribute gainful progress. However, medical technology has more to do with tan the reference from Bill Gates and associated third party vendors. Partially effective as Gates suggested is not the only problem. The research is only as good as the person entering it. The PC and training program cannot by itself calculate the level of infection nor can it provide an accurate treatment for the patient. If it could, I would be very wary of the results because a computer is still not human and manufactured symptoms from a technicians might not adequately mimic the symptoms that the patient feel. So what’s the problem? Is the missing data? The computer non-ability to recognize the symptom and cure? Or is it that the patient load doesn’t offer the time to focus on every individual?
I have to blame the technology here. It seems that the technology takes too much time for one patient to be able to focus on the other. In addition to the current problem that we already face with medical technology, there comes another one. Hacking it seems it highly prevalent in this industry and offices upgrading their technology seem to be the most vulnerable. As expressed by the Mass Design staff, theft seems to be the leading cause of software vulnerability to medical records. This is true an here much information is lost but I’d like to veer back to the hacking part of this whole situation. According to Mass Design hacking is only six percent of the risk to records. While this is true, the risk also comes with a high payoff the those that hack.
The payoff from medical records facilitates a lot of business on the “black market” for hackers and pirates alike. There bids take place for the information for identity theft, financial data, and medical insurance information, along with medical disbursements for treatment and range of costs. Insurance fraud and identity theft become the high runners for a new type of white collar crime in the cyber industry that is strictly linked to hacking medical technology. In addition, many vendors use Microsoft technology to develop there own products that help in diagnosing various long tern and chronic diseases however, these third party applications have security risks that might or might not promote hacking and leaves not just patient records susceptible, but the patients themselves as well.
How do we facilitate better security for doctors and patients when this occurs? To begin with, we first have to make sure that the doctors that claim victimization are not the culprits as well. Believe it or not, this is more common than you think. According to Wired Magazine, “Most scientists will assure you that ethical rules never hinder good research — that there’s always a virtuous path to testing any important hypothesis. But ask them in private, perhaps after a drink or three, and they’ll confess that the dark side does have its appeal. Bend the rules and some of deepest scientific conundrums could be resolved: nature verses nurture,….” ( Wired Magazine; Extreme Science) Iiiii I think want more integrity than that. A follow-up to the insurance companies providing service is also a benefit and continuous contact to initiate an audit can be beneficial in scoping out the setup and helping to protect patients while educating doctors on better management and administration practices. I don’t want to be the next science experiment on the now or for the past. Here, I won’t and cannot, will not subject myself and other to that kind of mistreatment.
Security measures include same networking, not just with the Palm Pilot but with the physical computer in house IT structure. To recommend more would be useless because the information protection and security would have to reported and investigated by the FBI. As much of this process would be confidential it would not be wise to give privy to such information. But best practices, including the usual virus scan and security updates is recommended.
Extreme Science; Wired Magazine; Ethics Schmetics; 19.08; Author Unknown; Aug 2011.
A Disturbing Link: Disease and Intelligence; The Gates Notes; http://www.thegatesnotes.com/; Bill Gates; Aug 14, 2010.
Mass Design; http://www.massdesign.com; July, 2011.