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Amazon has recently announced that a new system has been developed allowing identifying protected health information (PHI) listed on medical images to be automatically removed which prevent patients from being identified.
Medical images generally contain a patient’s protected health information (PHI) listed on the image, including name, birth date, age, and possibly additional information. Before the images can be used for research, written permission must be obtained from the patient or all identifying data must be permanently removed. Removing PHI from images requires a manual check and alteration of the image which can be an expensive and time-consuming to complete.
The new system is Amazon’s Rekognition machine-learning service, which can detect and extract text from images. The text is then fed through Amazon Comprehend Medical to identify any PHI. In combination with Python code it is possible to quickly remove any PHI in the images. The system works on PNG, JPEG, and DICOM images.
Amazon claims the system allows healthcare organizations to de-identify large quantities of images quickly and inexpensively. Amazon also states that the system can be used to batch process thousands or millions of images. Also, once an image has been processed and the location of PHI has been identified, it is possible to associate a Lambda function to automatically remove PHI from any new images when they are uploaded to an Amazon S3 bucket.
Excerpts taken from HIPAA JOURNAL 2019
Created by RIO
This article is ©2019 Data Fast Solutions • All Rights Reserved
According to the HIPAA Journal, two 100,000+ record data breaches were reported in April 2019. The largest breach of the month was reported by the business associate Doctors Management Services – A ransomware attack that exposed the records of 206,695 patients.
The ransomware was initiated 7 months after the attacker had first gained access to its systems. Accessibility was gained via Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).
The second largest data breach was reported by the healthcare provider Centrelake Medical Group. The breach resulted in the exposure of 197,661 patients’ PHI and was also a ransomware attack that blocked patients from accessing their information. It has been found the attacker had been exploring the network prior to deploying the malicious software.
Data-Fast Solutions can prevent these malicious attacks with additional security measures.
Amazon has introduced six (6) new skills allowing Alexa to perform, whilst staying in compliance of protected health information rules, by using voice technology.
The Voice Technology use of Alexa permits patients and caregivers easier access and address their healthcare needs from home as well as interact with their health providers.
The (6) six new HIPAA compliant Alexa skills are as follows:
This enables the members of Express Scripts pharmacy service the capability to monitor the status and opt to receive notifications of when prescriptions will be complete and delivered.
Members of Cigna health plan can access this Alexa skill to check wellness program opportunities, receive health tips, and provide incentives.
Parents of children enrolled in Boston Children’s Hospital’s ERAS program can send updates to their medical providers on their child’s recovery progress as well as the Care teams can also send information on appointments and pre- and post-op guidance. At this time, it is only available regarding cardiac surgery patients, although the program will be expanded soon.
Anyone in the Livongo’s Diabetes Program can monitor their blood sugar levels and with the capability of procuring average readings as well as receiving personalized health information.
Providence St. Joseph Health patients can utilize Alexa to find a local urgent care center and schedule a same-day appointment.
Atrium Health customers can also access Alexa to acquire urgent care locations near them and schedule same-day appointments.
HIPAA and Voice Activated Virtual Assistants...