Friday, January 31, 2014

Yahoo Reports Limited Email Security Breach

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On Thursday Yahoo announced that some of their users e-mail accounts were hacked and information stolen by unknown persons.
 
So far, details of the hack are limited, but it appears that the information was stolen from a third-party vendor and not directly from Yahoo itself.
 
We are seeing more and more of this, as more folks move to the cloud and popular sites collect more and more users. So far, it seems that the bad guys are concentrating on going after sites and companies that have millions of users. This, of course, is sort of the theory of low hanging fruit. When one good hack can net you information on millions of users, why should you waste your time on smaller sites and businesses that give you an exponentially smaller amount of data.
 
I did some checking, and here is what Yahoo had to say to their users about the hack and, what they can do as users to minimize the damage done to them. This appears to only affect, at this time, users of the Yahoo e-mail service.
 

Security attacks are unfortunately becoming a more regular occurrence. Recently, we identified a coordinated effort to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo Mail accounts. Upon discovery, we took immediate action to protect our users, prompting them to reset passwords on impacted accounts.

Based on our current findings, the list of usernames and passwords that were used to execute the attack was likely collected from a third-party database compromise. We have no evidence that they were obtained directly from Yahoo’s systems. Our ongoing investigation shows that malicious computer software used the list of usernames and passwords to access Yahoo Mail accounts. The information sought in the attack seems to be names and email addresses from the affected accounts’ most recent sent emails.

What we’re doing to protect our users

  • We are resetting passwords on impacted accounts and we are using second sign-in verification to allow users to re-secure their accounts. Impacted users will be prompted (if not, already) to change their password and may receive an email notification or an SMS text if they have added a mobile number to their account.

  • We are working with federal law enforcement to find and prosecute the perpetrators responsible for this attack.

  • We have implemented additional measures to block attacks against Yahoo’s systems.

What you can do to help keep your accounts secure

In addition to adopting better password practices by changing your password regularly and using different variations of symbols and characters, users should never use the same password on multiple sites or services.  Using the same password on multiple sites or services makes users particularly vulnerable to these types of attacks.

We regret this has happened and want to assure our users that we take the security of their data very seriously.

For more information, please check our Customer Care help page.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dermatology Practice Settles Potential HIPAA Violations

One of my Top 10  Practice Predictions for 2014 (number 4 to be exact) dealt with HIPPA.

Many practices are thinking they are doing the right things with the federal standard, but in actuality they are not.

Then there are problems like securing your backups.  As I've said time and time again, backing up is a chain and you need to have as many links as possible in that chain to make sure you have enough copies of your data.

Of course, with each copy you make, you also have to secure that data.

In my case, all backups that are kept offsite are always in my possession.  That means if I stop at the grocery store for a gallon of milk on my way home, the backups go into the store with me.  If I do *anything* before I can store the backups, they are on my person.  It's that simple.  They never leave my possession.

Recently a dermatology practice in the Northeast lost a jump drive that contained data on 2200 individuals.  Read on for the press release from  the Department of Health & Human Services:

 

Dermatology practice settles potential HIPAA violations

Adult & Pediatric Dermatology, P.C., of Concord, Mass., (APDerm) has agreed to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy,  Security, and Breach Notification Rules with the Department of Health and Human Services, agreeing to a $150,000 payment. APDerm will also be required to implement a corrective action plan to correct deficiencies in its HIPAA compliance program.  APDerm is a private practice that delivers dermatology services in four locations in Massachusetts and two in New Hampshire. This case marks the first settlement with a covered entity for not having policies and procedures in place to address the breach notification provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, passed as part of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) opened an investigation of APDerm upon receiving a report that an unencrypted thumb drive containing the electronic protected health information (ePHI) of approximately 2,200 individuals was stolen from a vehicle of one its staff members. The thumb drive was never recovered.  The investigation revealed that APDerm had not conducted an accurate and thorough analysis of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality of ePHI as part of its security management process.  Further, APDerm did not fully comply with requirements of the Breach Notification Rule to have in place written policies and procedures and train workforce members. 

“As we say in health care, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” said OCR Director Leon Rodriguez. “That is what a good risk management process is all about – identifying and mitigating the risk before a bad thing happens.  Covered entities of all sizes need to give priority to securing electronic protected health information.”

In addition to a $150,000 resolution amount, the settlement includes a corrective action plan requiring AP Derm to develop a risk analysis and risk management plan to address and mitigate any security risks and vulnerabilities, as well as to provide an implementation report to OCR.

To learn more about nondiscrimination and health information privacy laws, your civil rights and privacy rights in health care and human service settings, and to find information on filing a complaint, visit us at www.HHS.gov/OCR.

The resolution agreement can be found on the OCR website athttp://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/enforcement/examples/apderm-agreement.html.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Use Phone Vibration as Caller ID

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One of the great things about Smartphones is using custom ring tones.  I love knowing who is calling just by listening to the ring.  That gives you an idea of whether the call is important or not.
 
However, when you are in a meeting or some other location where you can't  have your phone ringing, how do you identify who is calling?  Let's face it, there are times when you can't just pull your phone out of your pocket and look at it.
 
Fortunately, there is a way to use the iPhone to create a custom vibration that can tell you who is calling.
 
Simply open the important person in your contact list, click on "Edit" then when you see "vibration" click "Default".  Once you do that, you can either select some preset vibrations from a list or you can then create a new one of your liking by tapping on the screen to create the "beat" of the vibration.  By doing this, once you have the phone on "shake" you will get the vibration pattern you've chosen for the selected contact.  Now all you have to do is remember what pattern is assigned to whom.
 
You can also do this on Android,  but it will require an App. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Caries Detection Case with Air Techniques Spectra

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I thought I'd share this case as it's another example of advanced caries detection that we are using here in the office.
 
The photo above shows an image taken with Air Techniques Spectra.  This is an interesting case of caries detection.  The tooth in the pictures here and below is #2 (FDI #17).
 
The Spectra image above shows an area of red indicating caries approaching the DEJ.  The area appears small and had NO explorer stick.  However, this patient has a history of decay so I wanted to make sure I took a good look at the area while prepping.
 
A mesial area of caries was present on the bitewing so a MO restoration was treatment planned.  I was originally planning on doing a "slot prep" on this tooth where I use a 330 inverted cone diamond bur to prep through the marginal ridge & leave the rest of the tooth intact.
 
However, you know what they say about the best laid plans...
 
When we opened up into the ridge, my 4.8 Orascoptics quickly identified caries progressing from the small pit in the Spetra image.  Take a look at this:
 
Clinical1.jpg
 
Here you can plainly see a dark shadow that indicates underlying caries.  I went ahead and and prepped into the carious area and removed the area of decay.  Here is another photo showing the area with almost all of the decay removed:
 
Clinical2.jpg
 
After removing all of the caries, we proceeded to bond in a composite restoration 
 
This is an example of things that we see on a routine basis when utilizing advanced caries detection systems.  The devices are definitely worth a look to any practicing dentist.
 
It is all about data collection & learning about your patient.  Being able to visualize 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Aspida Enterprise for Secure Email Communications

 

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 A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article on my Top 10 Practice Predictions for 2014.  

It's always a bit of a "oh, no pressure" moment when an author, especially one the deals with the future, is asked by their publication to give a few guesses as to what the future holds.  It's especially stressful for the writer when the author (in this case me) is making predictions for the near future.  Heck, in this case it's over the next 11 months.  Like I said, no pressure.

So, for the Top 10 2014 Predictions Article - My #4  Prediction was about an email service  that allows a dental office to communicate via email with other offices via encryption that provides secure communications.

At the time I wrote the article, the company, which is called Aspida, had asked me to keep their name confidential.  Since that article, I've received a fair number of requests from folks wanting more information about the company and what it does, what it provides, what it costs, etc.

Now, Aspida is making all of this information available to prospective clients.  All of the pertinent info is below and for anything else, you can visit their website.  

 

Aspida Mail – $95 per month

  • Encrypted Email for up to 10 accounts
    • Unlike like other encryption methods and services, Aspida Mail doesn’t transmit any email that may contain ePHI. Instead, it is sent to and held by a secure server that can only be accessed by your intended recipient.
  • 10GB of storage per domain
    • Enough to handle email and most images for a very long time. If more storage is required, $25 a month more gets you and additional 10GB.
  • Email archiving, retention, and backup for 6 years
    • Policy-based email archive solution for inbound and outbound email, which is required by HIPAA
  • Spam and Malware Protection
    • Inspection technology that throttles and blocks inbound and outbound SPAM and malware, ensuring your domain mail server is not compromised or blacklisted. Whether it’s protecting against a rogue SMTP sender inside the organization or an out of control virus with a spamming component, we can help protect your office’s reputation so the lines of email communication remain efficient and clean-flowing
  • $25,000 Data Breach Insurance for each domain.
    • In the unlikely event something goes wrong, every domain includes data breach insurance.
  • Practice Management Software Integration
    • Aspida Mail integrates with most dental practice management software titles allowing offices not to change the process they use for email currently.
  • Compatibility
    • Works with any web enabled device allowing for complete access anytime, anywhere.
  • Compliance
    • Aspida provides every end-user a Business Associate Agreement, insuring everyone is covered.

 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Enercell Backup Power Review

 
I wanted to give a quick review of my Enercell device.  I bought this little battery backup well over a year ago and from time to time I've had to use it.  Heck, I've even loaned it to super hygienist Sarah a while back.
 
This is a really handy little thing to have and is about $40 from Radio Shack.
 
The idea is pretty simple.  It's a rechargeable battery housed inside a sturdy rubber case.  The USB plug shown in the picture pops out of the device and plugs into your laptop or a USB A/C adapter and it charges the battery.  The amount of power remaining (or how much left to charge) is indicated by a small series of green LED's on the device that work as a "gas gauge".  When they are all lit, you are fully charged.
 
On the end opposite the USB plug is a female USB port.  Into that port you plug in the USB cable that matches the power port on your phone or other device.  Once the cord is plugged into the Enercell and your device, the Enercell is now an external power supply that will  power the device even if the device's internal battery is completely drained.
 
It provides about 8 hours of power.  Not bad huh?  Especially if you end up somewhere and you have no power at all & no place to charge.
 
Oh, and why did  Sarah need it?  Turns out the power button on her iPhone was "stuck" and she could not turn the phone off.  Rather than risk her phone going dead and she having no way to push the button to turn it back on, she used the Enercell for a few days until she had time to take her phone in for repair.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

"Fastest Ever" Internet Speeds Achieved by British Telecom & Alcatel-Lucent

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Remember the days of the 56K modem? I sure do. I remember upgrading from 28K and being thrilled that I had doubled my Internet connection speed.
 
Well, the times they are a changing. With advances in Internet transmission speeds we are all seeing and benefiting from being able to move large amounts of data faster and faster.
 
This test was carried out in London by British Telecom in the French networking equipment company Alcatel-Lucent.
 
The speed that these 2 corporate behemoths managed to generate? How about 1.4 terabits per second?
 
Now I'm a diehard geek, but even I had to stop and try and figure out exactly what that speed means. So to get some context, that is a bandwidth speed that would allow 44 high-definition movies to be downloaded in a single second. Even now I'm trying to get my head around that.
 
In my opinion, one of the really cool facts about this test is that it was run on the existing fiber optic network that is already in place in London. I mean speed is nice, but if it requires a complete overhaul of the network hardware, that means it's costly and it's also going to take a good deal of time to deploy. Using the existing infrastructure does away with all of those problems.
 
Without getting too technical the process that was utilized basically decreases the distance between transmission channels. To use a plumbing analogy it would be like decreasing the size of water molecules to allow a much larger amount of water to be delivered through the same pipe.
 
A couple of caveats.  First this test was carried over the Internet backbone which is the equivalent of a freeway. The second is that this requires a true fiber-optic connection or the old adage “fiber to the curb”. So that means that the end-user i.e. the consumer wouldn't see speeds this great, but would definitely benefit from the overall process.
 
No word on when something like this might become available on a large scale. However, with the world's continuing demand for increases in broadband speed, my gut tells me this will happen sooner as opposed to later.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Worst Passwords Released - If Yours Is Here… Get Busy or Get Hacked

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Yesterday, Internet security site SplashData released a rather dubious but important list.  It's their annual list of the 25 most common passwords used.
 
The problem is 2 fold:
  1. If the password is on the list, then the bad guys have it too.  Heck, if they can break into Target (I'm betting Target doesn't use one of these) then they can sure as heck get you if you are using one of these 25.
  2. Humans tend to be a lazy lot and hackers know that chances are if you're using an easy password in one place, you're most likely using it in some other places too.  That makes other info you have password protected a simple process to steal.

So, last year the #1 winner was… drumroll… Password.

Bright huh?

 

This year it is… 123456.  Not sure why the numbers won out this year.  That's something my bachelor's in Psychology will have to ponder on...

OK, so I know you are dying to know what the winners are.  So, without further ado, here's the list.  As I said, this is all the work of SplashData and I salute them for it!  Once you're done perusing the list below, click on the link to SplashData & read their report.  It's a short easy read and offers some really good security tips for passwords!  Get going!!!

 

2013 Password List.png

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Join Me at the Rocky Mountain Dental Convention this Weekend!

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This Friday I'll be in beautiful Denver lecturing at the Rocky Mountain Dental Convention.
 
I'll be doing my lecture on The Complete Recipe for the Paperless Office.
 
It will be done twice on Friday for the morning & afternoon session.
 
Attend or stop by and say hello!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Protect Yourself on Open Wifi with Hotspot Shield

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In case you didn't know it, whenever you connect over an open Wifi signal, you are at risk.
 
I'm not going to go into great details on how to do this because there are enough people doing it already, but suffice it to say it's pretty easy to do.
 
Basically the problem comes from someone running some software on a device connected to an open Wi-Fi network. All that person has to do is run the software and then wait. As other users connect to the network and send information over it that is unencrypted (since it is an open and unencrypted Wi-Fi network) and the bad guy has access to everything you do.
 
By everything you do, I mean everything you do online. Websites you visit, videos you watch, images you download, and more… Much more.
 
That much more includes usernames and passwords for every website that requests them as well as programs that send them automatically like e-mail. That's right, the guy sitting on the other side of the coffee shop could very well be grabbing every piece of digital information that you sent over the network. That's really bad news.
 
However, the good news is that there is a way to prevent this. Using a program called Hotspot  Shield on your wireless device you can prevent the scenario I discussed above.
 
For more information and for free download go to the company website. I've been using Hotspot Shield for over a year now and have been very happy with its performance. 
 
The app even has the ability to send a "heads up" to folks you might want to let know about the program.  I quick tap will send the following email to your friends, if you authorize it:
 
Every time you’re on WiFi networks, your personal info and passwords can be seen and stolen by hackers.

I use Hotspot Shield to protect my personal info online on any WiFi I'm on. I think you should try it too - get Hotspot Shield athttp://j.mp/secureshield

Stay safe!


Sent from my iPhone

Friday, January 17, 2014

Security of Starbucks App is Lacking...

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I flat out love Starbucks.  I'll readily admit it.  The weird part is that when I'm at home, I just grind up the beans and drink my coffee black.  No cream, no nothing.
 
However, you put me in a Starbucks and I'm asking for a quad vente hazelnut soy latte faster than you can blink. It's my drink of choice and I probably drink more of them than I should.
 
The thing is, Starbucks makes it really easy to indulge yourself. Even when it comes to paying. Years ago I set up my Starbucks card into the Starbucks App on my iPhone. Now when I go, paying is just a matter of having the barista scan the barcode on my phone. It's simple, painless, and when the balance on my Starbucks card drops below a certain point it even reloads automatically. That's how easy they make it for you.
 
So it was with  more than a little disappointment that I read yesterday about a serious security flaw in the Starbucks App. It seems that according to a report by Computerworld that your name, e-mail address, and password is stored in simple plain text. What this means is if your phone is stolen and connected to a computer all that information can be easily read and used by someone other than you.
 
As you would expect, later in the day an updated version of the app was made available which, according to the Starbucks press release, “adds extra layers of protection”.
 
I would advise everyone that like me, uses the Starbucks App, to update as soon as possible.
 
Here's what Starbucks had to say about the issue:
 

Security of Starbucks Mobile App for iOS

UPDATE (January 16, 2014 09:00 PM P.S.T.): As promised, we have released an updated version of Starbucks Mobile App for iOS which adds extra layers of protection. We encourage customers to download the update as an additional safeguard measure.

Read a letter from Curt Garner, Starbucks chief information officer, regarding customer information and Starbucks Mobile App for iOS

January 16, 2014

Dear Customer,

Your security is incredibly important to us. This week a research report identified theoretical vulnerabilities associated with the Starbucks Mobile App for iOS in the event a customer’s iPhone were to be physically stolen and hacked.

We’d like to be clear: there is no indication that any customer has been impacted by this or that any information has been compromised. Regardless, we take these types of concerns seriously and have added several safeguards to protect the information you share with us. To protect the integrity of these added measures, we are unable to share technical details but can assure you that they sufficiently address the concerns raised in the research report.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are also working to accelerate the deployment of an update for the app that will add extra layers of protection. We expect this update to be ready soon and will share our progress here.  While we are working on the update, we would like to emphasize that your information is protected and that you should continue to feel confident about the integrity of our iOS app.

We appreciate your business and believe it is our job to earn your trust as a customer. We also know that constant vigilance is the best way to protect you and the information you share with us. If you think your information may have been compromised for any reason, please contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-23-LATTE or atwww.starbucks.com/customer.

Sincerely,

Curt Garner

Starbucks chief information officer

Thursday, January 16, 2014

An Important Message from Target

As you probably read, Target suffered a major data breach recently.

There's been a lot of press about it and while Target has been speaking to the press, they had not yet communicated directly with customers… until now.

As a frequent customer, I received the following email.  I thought I'd pass it along to anyone who shops at Target but for some reason isn't on the email list.

Here it is in its entirety:

 

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Google Updates Drive with Activity Stream for Shared Files

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From someone who works a lot in Drive, I find this a pretty cool add-in.
 
In the next week or so, the smart people at Google are going to be adding an Activity Stream to the layout of Google Drive.
 
If you aren't familiar with the feature, you can share files in drive, such as documents and have partners collaborate with you in real time.
 
The confusion comes when lots of changes are added especially when they are done at times that all collaborators aren't there at the same time.  Obviously you can be checking out a file and not be sure what changes were made or when they were made.
 
With the addition of the Activity Stream, you'll click the "i" button on the top right and a list will appear that shows what's been done to the file.
 
It's a great way of keeping track of changes and making sure things turn out exactly the way you want them.
 
Look for it to be available in the next week.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Google Buys Nest… but Why?

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Nest was just bought by Google, wonder why?
 
I live in the Kansas City area and we were the first area to get Google Fiber.  Although it's not available to me, it is the fastest Internet connection around.  So Google is in the fiber to your home business.
 
Now imagine that once it gets to your home, it could control your home.
 
The control part is where Nest comes in.  If you've been paying attention (and if you haven't that's why you read this blog… ha) there are commercials airing now by AT&T and Time Warner showing people controlling their homes from a smartphone or tablet.
 
Obviously this home automation has got to come from somewhere, and if you're going to buy it why not buy a system designed by the guy who invented the iPod?  Tony Fadell  Is frequently referred to as the ” father of the iPod”. He left Apple to start Nest in recently sold it to Google for $3.2 billion.
 
So Google is now bringing the Internet to your home and then buys the company that makes devices to control your home over the Internet.
 
That, my friends, is a match made in heaven!

Another Success Story from Statim G4

I mentioned my Statim G4 Internet connected autoclave here before, but I wanted to share a great story about it.

It seems today my unit aborted back to back sterilizing cycles and no one noticed.

At lunch I got a phone call from SciCan, the makers of Statim to tell me they had received 2 emails this morning from my unit indicating an error with the water resevoir.

It seems there is a little float in the reservoir & the error was telling them that there was a problem with the float.


With the technician on the phone with me, I located the float in the water reservoir, tapped it with a screw driver, and *fixed* the problem! No service call needed. No repair guy needed. All done fast and easy.

That's why the idea of Internet connected devices is such a big deal and is only going to get bigger.

Thanks SciCan!!!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, January 13, 2014

TEO Smartphone Controlled Lock

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TEO Lock 2.jpg
 
A short post today, because this device is pretty  self-explanatory.
 
The device is called TEO. It is a lock is unlocked with an app on your smart phone. I  can see all kinds of uses for device like this.
 

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Small but Worthwhile New Year's Resolution Part 2

Last week I did a post on backing up and why it is important.

My friend and Group Editorial Director at Advanstar Kevin Henry read the post and wanted to expound upon it in a Google Hangout.

This week we shot the hangout interview and I thought I'd pass it along to my readers.

In this 6 minute video I discuss some of what I covered in the blog post, but also go into some things I didn't cover.

So, I think this is a worthwhile way to spend 6 minutes, especially if you aren't quite sure your backup protocol is all it should be.

 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

E4D Technologies Picks Up New Investment Partner - Planmeca

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As I've said in the past, E4D is a company that innovates and focuses on innovation as a key part of who they are and what they do.  Now innovation can come in many forms.  It can mean something as simple as packaging or something as complicated as their newest device, the handheld scanner which was launched under the name Nevo.
 
However, innovation can also mean knowing when to bring in strategic partners and being able to discern just *who* those partners should be.
 
That brings up to the topic of this post.  Lost in the commotion of the Christmas holidays, was the press release below that announced to the industry the strategic investment in E4D by Planmeca.  In the "About Planmeca Oy and Planmeca Group" paragraph in the press release you'll see what Planmeca brings to the table.
 

 

 

Planmeca MAKES STRATEGIC INVESTMENT IN E4D TECHNOLOGIES

 

Helsinki, Finland, December 23, 2013 – Planmeca, the world’s largest privately owned dental imaging company and equipment manufacturer, announced today that it has made a non-controlling, strategic investment in E4D Technologies, LLC, developer of the E4D CAD/CAM Restorative System.  This strategic investment reinforces Planmeca’s on-going commitment to help dental providers improve patient care by offering a comprehensive portfolio of integrated digital dental solutions for dentists and dental laboratories.

 

Planmeca will co-develop CAD/CAM products with E4D Technologies and offer these products in North America under the brand names Planmeca PlanScan-E4D Technologies and PlanMill-E4D Technologies.  Henry Schein, Inc. will continue to be the exclusive distributor in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, Planmeca will expand distribution of the E4D system to more than 120 additional international markets under the Planmeca PlanScan and PlanMill brands. In certain other markets, the E4D brand will remain in use.

 

“Planmeca’s investment in E4D Technologies offers us an opportunity to grow our company globally,” said Dr. Gary Severance, Chief Marketing Officer for E4D Technologies. “In addition, Planmeca has been a market leader in extra-oral digital imaging for many years, and we look forward to furthering the seamless integration of our CAD/CAM platform with the additional digital solutions offered by Planmeca. Our customers will benefit from the combination of these unique and innovative products and services.”

 

Under the new agreement, Planmeca joins the partnership of Henry Schein and Ivoclar Vivadent, who have been strategic equity partners in E4D Technologies since 2007, along with certain members of E4D Technologies’ senior management team.  

 

 

 

About Planmeca Oy and Planmeca Group

 

Planmeca Oy is one of the world's largest dental equipment manufacturers with products distributed in over 120 countries worldwide. Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, the company is a global leader in many fields of dental technology, with a product range covering digital dental units, world-class 2D and 3D imaging devices and comprehensive software solutions. Planmeca is also the largest privately held company in the field of dental equipment, with a strong commitment to pioneering in-house R&D and design. The Planmeca Group’s estimated turnover for 2013 is approximately EUR 760 million with over 2,600 employees worldwide.  More information is available at www.planmeca.com.

 

About E4D Technologies

 

Headquartered in Richardson, Texas, E4D Technologies is a high-tech medical device company focused on 3D digitizing applications, successful entrepreneurship, and commercialization of new technologies. The company has taken the dental profession to a higher level of productivity, patient comfort and convenience with its E4D CAD/CAM restorative systems and restorative software solutions for dental offices, laboratories and teaching institutions.  Quality-driven manufacturing teams are primed to meet demand along with best-in-class education and customer support to exceed dental professionals' demands and patients' expectations.  More information is available at www.e4d.com.

 

-more-

 

Page 2

 

About Henry Schein, Inc.

 

Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ:HSIC) is the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners.  The Company also serves dental laboratories, government and institutional health care clinics, and other alternate care sites.  A Fortune 500® Company and a member of the NASDAQ 100® Index, Henry Schein employs nearly 16,000 Team Schein Members and serves nearly 800,000 customers.

 

The Company offers a comprehensive selection of products and services, including value-added solutions for operating efficient practices and delivering high-quality care.  Henry Schein operates through a centralized and automated distribution network, with a selection of more than 96,000 branded products and Henry Schein private-brand products in stock, as well as more than 110,000 additional products available as special-order items. 

 

The Company also offers its customers exclusive, innovative technology solutions, including practice management software and e-commerce solutions, as well as a broad range of financial services.

 

Headquartered in Melville, N.Y., Henry Schein has operations or affiliates in 25 countries.  The Company's sales reached a record $8.9 billion in 2012, and have grown at a compound annual rate of 17% since Henry Schein became a public company in 1995.  For more information, visit the Henry Schein Web site at www.henryschein.com.

 

About Ivoclar Vivadent

 

Ivoclar Vivadent, headquartered in Schaan, Liechtenstein, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of innovative material systems for high-quality dental applications. The company’s success is based on a comprehensive portfolio of products and systems, strong research and development capabilities and a clear commitment to training and further education. The company has wholly owned subsidiaries in 24 countries, and it employs over 3,000 people worldwide. More information about Ivoclar Vivadent is available at www.ivoclarvivadent.com

 

Contact:  Carrie Nelson (Media), 214.432.6416, cnelson@e4d.com; Dmitry Edelchik (media) 630.529.2300, dmitry.edelchik@planmecausa.com

 

# # #

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dental Practice Management Presents the Ultimate Guide to the Affordable Care Act for Dental Practices

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Are you confused by the Affordable Care Act?  You are definitely not alone!  Lots of folks are in the exact same situation as you are.
 
Anytime a new law or group of laws comes along, there is guaranteed to be confusion galore.  To increase that confusion, you can add to it the concept that many of the bits and pieces are still under interpretation and many groups are either embroiled in or planning to become involved with some type of litigation over parts of the law.
 
Anytime a set of laws as wide sweeping as the Obama Affordable  Care Act comes along, you can count on confusion and difficulties in interpretation for an extended period of time.  Heck it may take years before anyone truly figures out all the information and nuances that go along with such a wide sweeping mandate.
 
I remember the ADA Annual Session in 2006.  The meeting was held in Las Vegas, Nevada and one of the keynote speakers was President Bush's Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt.  At that particular meeting, Secretary Leavitt discussed the challenges facing the United States in the healthcare sector.  Now remember, this was 8 years ago and things have probably worsened since then… However at that meeting Secretary Leavitt voiced some concerns on our GDP numbers.
 
Now, I'm going from memory here, so I might not have all of this perfectly straight in my mind, but at that time, the US government was anticipating that somewhere between 2020-2030 about 30-35% of GDP was going to be spent in the healthcare sector.  At that time the feds were concerned that any  country that spent that much of their GDP, just to keep their citizens healthy would not be able to compete for long in the evolving global economy.
 
Remember, this was when conservatives were in the White House.  The situation & numbers did not change when Democrats moved into the Oval Office.  My point here is that the numbers begin run were the same no matter what the political party.
 
That's the reason the federal government has put such an emphasis on the efficiency that technology brings to the healthcare market.  I am paraphrasing here, but I remember that Secretary Leavitt talked a bit about the financial markets and how you could use an ATM almost anywhere in the country and the machine could find out your bank balance, give you needed money, etc with little trouble, but basically doctors in the building didn't have any idea how they were treating the same patient.
 
Something had to change.  Now whether you agree with what changes were made, well… that's not the purpose of this post.  Heck, we could write an entire good about THAT.  However, the ACA is here and we're going to have to learn to navigate it at some point.  To help with that situation, and where the ACA fits into dental practices, Dental Practice Management has created The Ultimate Guide to the Affordable Care Act.
 
It's just another way how we at Advanstar Dental Media (the parent company of Dental Products Report and Dental Practice Management) are trying to help you, our readers, better understand the confusion surrounding the ACA.  We're all in this together and you can count on DPR and DPM to try our hardest to help our readers stay on the leading edge with timely info on anything and everything impacting the practice of dentistry.  This is just one more example of our commitment!!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

DentaPure Safe and *Easy* Dental Unit Water

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One of the things that dentistry deals with on a regular basis is the purification of water and waterlines in the dental operatory units.
 
This situation has changed dramatically in the last 10-15 years.  Early in the 2000's dental treatment units were simply connected to municipal waterlines.  However as concerns regarding "cleaner" water were voiced many offices (including mine) went to using self contained-water systems.
 
These self-contained systems were completely removed from municipal water supplies.  Instead, the dental unit water was supplied by a large bottle of water that was treated with sodium per carbonate, silver nitrate, and cationic surfactants.  These chemicals were supplied by dropping a tablet into the water bottle before connecting it to the dental unit.  The tablet would then dissolve and the chemistry would provide properly treated water.
 
That system works, but it is a hassle to add the tablets, staff has to *remember* to add the tablets, and there are 2 different bottle sizes required 2 different tablets.  It would be SO much easier to just put water in the bottles and go to work.
 
That little dream is now a possibility thanks to a company called DentaPure.  The company sells a small filter, developed by NASA, that goes inside the dental unit water bottle.  The water from the bottle passes through the filter before entering the dental unit, thus ensuring clean water through the entire system.
 
We've been using the DentaPure filters in our treatment areas for the past 2 months and have been very happy with the ease of installation and their performance.
 
Here is what the company has to say about their system:

DentaPure is Rocket Science for Water

DentaPure differentiates itself by providing advanced water treatment technology developed by NASA to ensure water consumed in space is free of bacteria, viruses and any other harmful organisms. The cartridge contains iodinated resin beads; the atomic isotopes of iodine are released as water passes through the resin matrix (elutes 2-4ppm of iodine). Isotopic iodine contains no proteins; there is no risk of allergic reaction. 

 

DentaPure takes the guesswork out of providing clean, safe dental water. Used according to labeling, DentaPure will meet all know microbiological water standards and recommendations.
Why trouble yourself with complicated protocols? DentaPure has eliminated the need to mix tablets
or chemicals, requires no daily, weekly or monthly protocols, and has no risk of leaving caustic cleaning chemicals in your waterlines. There is no need for shocking, monitoring or testing – we have done the testing for you. 


Monday, January 6, 2014

Set Your Office Apart with a Brushing App!!!

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A few months ago,I was approached by  a gentleman named Eric D'Souza with an interesting idea for something to try. Eric is a software designer, with a unique talent for designing apps for Tablets and Smartphones.  He found me through this blog and my writing for Dental Products Report.
 
Eric created a custom brushing app for my office and we've had it available for download for the App Store for a while now.  I've done some promotion of the app on my Twitter feeds as well as some other places and I've had good feedback on the app both publicly and privately.
 
Needless to say, I've downloaded it myself and have played with it off & on and I've been very impressed.  Based on Feedback that I have gotten, I'm rating this as   "Highly Recommended!"
 
Here is the company story from Eric himself:
 
Laumoda Inc was founded in 2011 by Eric D'Souza with a focus on developing apps for Apple's AppStore.  In 2012 Eric was approached by a friend, Dr Singer, who was looking for a brushing app branded for his dental office.  With Dr Singer's input, Laumoda developed a brushing app that encourages kids to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day.  
 
The bushing app has been extremely popular with Dr Singer's patients.  Kids of all ages look forward to brushing their teeth with the app.  They like that their picture appears while brushing, and that they can choose their own song.  They also like collecting points when they brush, and seeing their point total increase (twice) daily.
 
The app is customized using the logo, color and branding of the dental office.  Laumoda uses your website to develop customized logos, icons and splash screen.  All customizations are provided for your review prior to app development.  You can be as little, or as much involved as you prefer.
 
You can download and try Dr Flucke's custom app for free at appstore.com/fluckeandsuchman.  
 
For additional info:
416.907.9985
 
 

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Small but Worthwhile New Year's Resolution

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Here's a simple but effective idea for the new year that will hopefully save you some angst.
 
As you know, I highly recommend one part of backing up your data as doing so on a series of portable , removable USB hard drives.  While it isn't the only solution, it works *very well* and has been working for me for at least the past 10 years.  As far as backing up, I will be the first to admit that I'm a bit over the top on the subject.  For years, I have described my backup protocol as "The Backup Chain" and I have done that for a reason.  A chain is strong and I like the idea of thinking of every device I use to backup as another link in the chain.
 
This particular post is going to deal with small, portable USB drives, but those are definitely not the ONLY links in my backup chain.  I also use the following products as links in the chain and every one of these links is very, very strong.
  • ioSafe Hard Drives - These hard drives are not portable, they stay in the office and that is the beauty of them.  They are designed to withstand fire & water.  So much so, in fact, that they can be heated to 1550 F for 30 minutes and/or then be immersed in fresh or salt water to a depth of 10 feet for 72 hours without loss of data.  They are designed to be there through the "worst case scenario".  Take a look at the company website for all of the details.  You'll be amazed.  I have one of these drives under the desk in the office and 2 of these drives under my desk in my home.
  • Drobo - This is a product that also is not portable.  The model I have is designed as a small shoebox sized device that holds multiple hard drives.  The one I have holds 4 drives of one terabyte each.  Like a raid server, my data is spread across all 4 of the hard drives.  If a drive fails, you get an error warning from the device.  Then, you simply open the door, slide the bad drive out, slide a new drive in, and Drobo copies the info onto the new hard drive automatically.  It's just that simple.  One of these sits under my desk in my office with 2 TB of storage.  Visit their website and get all the details.  
  • DDS Rescue - This is a 2 pronged Virtual Server.  That's right I said Virtual Server.  The DDS Rescue device is a computer that connects to your office network and basically clones your server and creates a separate bootable server right in your office.  What if your office server crashes?  Call DDS Rescue and they can quickly have their device functioning as your office server and  you won't miss a beat.  Oh, and that second prong I mentioned.  It's just a little something called The Cloud.  The DDS Rescue device also creates a Virtual Server in The Cloud  simultaneously while it's creating the one in your office.  Should the worst case scenario happen and you lose your office and all the hardware?  You can run the virtual cloud server just like it was sitting in your office.  Cool huh?  Check out their home on the web for all the other info.  
  • 8Gb Jump Drives - While not nearly as sexy as the other 3 options listed here, the critical files Eaglesoft and I need to run my practice are stored on these little solid state (no  moving parts) wonders of modern technology.  They are almost impossible to destroy and, while not offering a fast way to retrieve your data, they do the job and do it very well.
 
I happen to use the USB devcies pictured above.  This is the Western Digital "My Passport" hard drive.  I included the "hand" photo for size comparison so that you can see why I like the Passport line of drives.  Obviously they don't take up much room in a bag or backpack (whatever you happened to schlep to the office with you) and they are not heavy at all.  Since you're going to be caring one of these with you every day that you go to the office, you might as well make the process as easy enough on you as possible.
 
Western Digital also makes a portable version called "My Book" which works well.  The only drawback is that it is about the size and weight of a very thick paperback book.  While not a deal breaker, I personally prefer the smaller footprint and lighter weight of the My Passport line.
 
At this point in the post it's important to me that I stop right here and tell you that there are *other* companies that make small, lightweight portable hard drives.  WD is NOT your only choice here.  It just happens to be the manufacturer that I use for this aspect of my backup protocol.  If you are using another brand, please don't feel you are making a mistake.
 
Now, you don't want to trust all of your data to just one of these drives do you?  Of course not.  That is why a successful backup strategy involves the deployment of multiple redundant portable hard drives.  That way, in case one fails, you should only lose one day's worth of data at the most.
 
OK, so here comes the New Year Resolution part of this post.  In order to make sure that your backup strategy is functioning properly you want to make sure the USB backup drives are functioning properly.
 
The idea of backing up is simply this:  All hard drives fail eventually.  In my opinion, any hard drive that is over 5 years old is running on borrowed time.  I truly feel that 5 years is as much as you can realistically expect to get out of a device with multiple movable parts spinning around at high RPMs.
 
So while we are protecting the data on the hard drives in our office, how do we protect the data on the hard drives on our backups?  One way, of course, is to add another layer of protection, of as I like to put it "put another link in the backup chain".  That can be as simple as adding DDS Rescue.  I did a recent post on the company including why I love them and their service.  You can read that article including info on how to purchase, right here.
 
There is also the concept of tracking the age of your portable hard drives which is simple, but we often don't think about this.  When I get a new portable hard drive that I'm planning on using in the backup chain the first thing I do is place a permanent label on the drive.  We use a little label printer from Brother that creates legible (better than my chicken scratching) label that is easy to read.  While not the exact device, here is a similar one.  
 
I use this label to indicate which link in the chain the particular drive is assigned to.  By that I mean either numbering them (1,2, 3, etc) or assigning a day of the week to them.  That way you know *exactly* which drive to bring to the office on Monday.  Then, to that very same label we type in the DATE of when that drive went into circulation.  Utilizing this system, I know exactly how long those platters have been spinning and when I can reasonably expect them to fail.
 
The final piece of this is that I do not wait for a hard drive to fail!!!!!
 
When the drive reaches the magic age of 5 years, it is simply "retired", taken out of circulation, and replaced.  Occasionally one of these drives does not survive to the 5 year deadline and is retired early due to early failure… although that isn't terribly common.  If that is the case, a new drive goes into circulation immediately.
 
 
The secret to the resolution of this post is simply keeping track of the age of the drives.  That will save you time by allowing you to prepare for the disaster before it happens.
 
I hope this helps get your digital life off to a less stressful start of 2014!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Snapchat Data Breach Exposes 4.6 Million Users

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For those of you who are Snapchat users… bad news.  In case you haven't heard, the company suffered  a serious data breach.  By serious, I mean just that.
 
This was a hack that was perpetrated by a person or persons who was up to no good.
 
After the info was stolen, it was then posted on several websites, tormented, and mirrored on Mega.  Interestingly enough, the last 2 digits of the phone numbers were not listed, but the perpetrator let it be known that the full numbers could be had… for a price.  That, of course, means that any crook or scammer wiling to pony up the loot can have full access.  This was even available for accounts marked as "private".
 
Lots of folks use Snapchat to deliver photos that can only be seen for a set amount of time before they are automatically deleted from the receiver's device.  This *appearance* of safety has led to lots of users with many of them not overly concerned about security.  Now the price is being  paid.
 
While researching this event, I found a really great article with tons of details by Violet Blue.  It's available on the ZD Net website and well worth the read if you are interested in all the details of what went down.  The article even has a link to this website that allows users to see if they are affected by the breach.  
 
This is just another example of security breaches that are just all to common these days...
 
I hope that none of you reading this has been affected.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

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Wishing all of you the best, brightest, happiest, and most fun filled New Year Ever!!!
 
Live, laugh, love.  Also, pray.  That's the most important thing… at least that's how I feel.
 
Thanks for reading the blog, commenting, and making my online life so rewarding!!!!!