IT Update - February 2018

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» Computer scientists at the University of California-San Diego have built and successfully tested a tool designed to detect when websites are hacked by monitoring the activity of email accounts associated with them. The researchers found that almost 1% of the websites they tested had suffered a data breach during their 18-month study period. They also found that popular websites were just as likely to be hacked as unpopular ones.

» The LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies estimates that post-cyberattack action plans cost about $2.4 million between notification, forensics, legal fees and fines. To help senior healthcare providers better understand cybersecurity threats and mitigate risks, CAST has developed a white paper and benchmarking questionnaire.

» Reflexion Health, a virtual rehabilitation therapy company, will be working with nonprofit Los Angeles Jewish Home to bring virtual rehabilitation to seniors in its facilities. Reexion's “Stand Tall” program, initially funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, uses the company's Virtual Exercise Rehabilitation Assistant (VERA) platform to take patients through individualized exercise plans with progress remotely monitored by their clinician.

» University of Michigan researchers have developed an experimental device that could help those who experience tinnitus — or ringing in the ears — quiet the phantom sound. The device uses precisely timed sounds and weak electrical pulses to activate touch-sensitive nerves and steer them back to normal activity. The study, in Science Translational Medicine, shows that after four weeks of using the device daily, participants reported that the loudness of the phantom sounds decreased.

» The Federal Communications Commission has proposed higher broad- band limits, in an effort to promote rural telehealth. The commission wants to lift its $400 million annual spending limit on a program designed to support broadband connectivity for rural healthcare providers, and issued a rulemaking notice in January.