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*** A long-awaited rule proposal from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spells out standards for interoperability among health records and looks to reduce "information blocking" by which electronic health records providers put up roadblocks to data sharing. The rule also looks to establish an industry standard application programming interface (API) protocol for building applications to extend health record data to patients.

"For far too long, electronic health information has been stuck in silos and inaccessible for healthcare consumers. Our proposals help break down existing barriers to important data exchange needed to empower patients by giving them access to their health data," Seema Verna, CMS administrator, said in a statement.

*** The Department of Veterans Affairs is extending health record information to Apple iPhone users, via an API that connects patient records on procedures, immunizations, vital signs and more to the iPhone's Health Records app. The agency is looking to extend the service to other mobile device platforms. VA's Lighthouse program is designed to extend the agency's data on patients, facilities, providers and more to be used in secure, customer-facing apps.

*** A new report from the Defense Intelligence Agency probes obstacles and opportunities to U.S. interests in space. Challenges to Security in Space looks at efforts by nation-state rivals to disrupt U.S. satellite communications as well as the possibility of "kinetic energy weapons" -- lasers, high-power microwaves – being deployed via satellite at U.S. targets. China and Russia get detailed treatment as the most dangerous adversaries, but Iran and North Korea also come in for some attention.

"The advantage the United States holds in space -- and its perceived dependence on it -- will drive actors to improve their abilities to access and operate in and through space. These improvements can pose a threat to space-based services across the military, commercial, and civil space sectors," the report states.

Posted on Feb 12, 2019 at 12:49 AM


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