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Massive ransomware seen as more proof of perilous over-reliance on IT


The Web site of Roy Poses, M.D., sees the worldwide ransomware attack underway, including against hospitals and other healthcare institutions, as yet another ominous sign of our extreme over-reliance on computer systems.

Dr. Poses writes:

“InformaticsMD reviewed the recent global ransomware attack in the health care context, focused on the hacking of British NHS  {National Health Service} hospitals.  As seems usual in health care information technology debacles, hospital managers were quick to soft-pedal what aspects of it they could (the NHS was not the ‘target’ of the attack?  There was no evidence that “patient data was accessed”?)  Preliminary reports indicated that the NHS was using an outdated version of Windows which had not been updated.  Once again, advocates for commercial health information technology have been exaggerating (if not fabricating) its benefits, while pooh-pooling its harms for a long time.  The use of technologies whose benefits and harms have never been properly assessed by clinical research studies continues to pose dangers for patients.  Insiders in the health IT industry seem to be collaborating with government bureaucrats to promote this unproven technology.  True health care reform would require rigorous assessment of all new medical/ health care technology, regardless of who might be offended if such assessments provide negative results.”

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