» An app piloted by orthopedics company Zimmer Biomet will allow patients who have hip or knee replacements to send heart rate data, steps taken and standing hours directly to their surgeons from their Apple Watches. The study will allow physicians to better gauge how well patients are following prescribed physiotherapy ahead of surgery or during recovery. The app also could help doctors monitor the health of their patients who prefer to stay at home after surgery rather than opt for skilled nursing.
» A user-friendly website on advance care planning and easy-to-read advance directives can be highly effective in empowering both English- and Spanish-speaking older adults to plan for their future medical care, according to a study by researchers at the University of California-San Francisco. The researchers found that the medical records of the study’s nearly 1,000 older adults had high levels of new advance care planning documentation 15 months after participants viewed the website prepareforyourcare.org.
» Hackers breached the government computer system that interacts with HealthCare.gov in October, compromising the personal data of approximately 75,000 people. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the system that was hacked is used by insurance agents and brokers to directly enroll customers, not by the general public.
» Social media use may reduce depression risk for older adults with pain, according to a study published online in the Journals of Gerontology: Series B. About half of the study’s 3,400 participants said they’d been bothered by pain in the last month. Of those in pain, the researchers found that 6% of those who used social media also reported symptoms of depression, compared with 15% of those who didn’t use social media.
» In October, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the opening of the Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center. It is designed to support and improve the cyber defense of the healthcare and public health sector, and report threats and preventive strategies to the Department of Homeland Security.