Thursday, June 30, 2022

Facebook Faces Lawsuit Over "Under the Radar" Transfer of PHI

 Meta, the parent company of social media behemoth Facebook is in *big* trouble legally.  As most Americans know, electronic health data must be protected and stored securely.  It is considered "Protected Health Information" (PHI) by the Department of Health and Human services (HHS) and is protected by federal HIPAA laws.  There are specific legal parameters that must be followed to protect this information.  The golden rule of this is that a medical entity must only share this information with entities that are involved with care, such as specialists, or with third party payers such as insurance companies.  However, even when sharing the info must be encrypted so that it can only be seen by the recipient.

Somehow or other, Meta seemed to be unaware of this requirements.  Earlier this month, a lawsuit was filed when it was discovered that many hospitals use a software component from Meta that is called Pixel in the hospitals' online scheduling pages.

According to Bloomberg:

The plaintiff, who wasn’t identified, described himself in the complaint as a patient who has used a Baltimore health system’s portal to review his lab results, make appointments, and communicate with his providers. 

Bloomberg also discovered:

On Thursday, The Markup, a non-profit news organization, published an investigation that found that 33 of Newsweek’s top 100 hospitals use Pixel on their appointment scheduling pages, which the report alleged may violate federal health information privacy laws. Several of the identified hospitals have since removed Pixel, according to the report.

Basically the code from Pixel was taking PHI from patients and sending it to Facebook servers.  It was sent unencrypted and without the knowledge of the patients or the hospitals using Pixel.

This is scary.  At the very least this was a huge oversight by Meta/Facebook.  At the worst it was an intentional violation of federal HIPAA laws and an inexcusable violation of users' rights.

I'm going to follow this one closely.  If you would like the full lowdown on the entire situation, I highly recommend reading the full article on Bloomberg.  It is a short read and well worth the effort.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

MouthWatch Publishes Must-Read eBook: “The Jumpstart Guide to Making Money with Teledentistry”

 

                                                                         


Metuchen, NJ – June 16, 2022 – MouthWatch, LLC a leader in innovative teledentistry solutions and intraoral imaging devices, recently published the timely and useful eBook, “The Jumpstart Guide to Making Money with Teledentistry.”

Available as a free PDF download, the eBook is for those researching the merits of teledentistry, considering implementing it, or trying to get the most ROI from their technology investments. Individual practice owners, DSOs, or anyone wanting to provide virtual access to patients will get value out of this eBook..

According to MouthWatch CEO and Founder, Brant Herman, “Increasing revenue with teledentistry is achievable! Our new eBook answers some of the most common questions we’re asked when we demonstrate TeleDent, our all-in-one teledentistry platform. The result is a step-by-step recipe for virtual care success.”

The main theme of the eBook is doing well by doing good . In other words, using teledentistry to save valuable chair time both enables increased revenue and  improves the patient experience by saving them an extra trip to the office. Other topics covered include:


What teledentistry is, what it isn’t, and how it works

Critical criteria for selecting a professional grade teledentistry platform

The value of taking a virtual-first approach to patient care

Teledentistry regulatory and reimbursement tips

Increasing patient acquisition and retention

Reducing overhead with virtual appointments


“The Jumpstart Guide to Making Money with Teledentistry.” Is available as a free downloadable PDF document at http://mwtch.co/jumpstart.

About MouthWatch, LLC:

Headquartered in Metuchen, New Jersey, MouthWatch, LLC is a leader in innovative teledentistry solutions, and intraoral imaging devices. The company is dedicated to improving oral health around the world through innovative software and products that improve communications, enhance understanding, and facilitate the delivery of dental care

In recent years, the company received the following significant awards and 

accolades: The 2020 and 2021 Cellerant Best of Class Award  for TeleDent™, the provider-focused, patient-friendly teledentistry platform. In 2021, TeleDent also won Dentistry Today’s  Top 100 Products, Reader’s Choice Top 25, and Top Aesthetic and Restorative Products awards. The MouthWatch Intraoral Camera won Dentaltown Magazine’s Dental Townie Choice Award™ in 2021 and 2021 as well as Dentistry Today Magazine’s Top 100 Products Award in 2020. 

What’s more, the company’s latest product, The MouthWatch Plus+ HD intraoral camera, introduced in September of 2021, has already won a Dental Products Report Top 5 Editor’s Choice Award and  a Dentistry Today Reader’s Choice Top 25 Innovative Products Award. 

The company was also included in the 2020 and 2021 Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies as well as The Financial Times Americas’ Fastest-Growing Companies 2021 List and The 2021 Inc. Best in Business List. For more information, visit www.MouthWatch.com.


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association Meets with Federal Health Minister


In a virtual roundtable with select professional association leaders convened by the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) underscored the importance of including preventive oral care services in the federal government’s new dental care program. During the meeting, Sylvie Martel, CDHA’s director of dental hygiene practice, reiterated that CDHA’s primary concern remains the need to improve access to preventive and therapeutic oral care for people across Canada by including dental hygienists among the licensed oral health professionals who are eligible to provide services under the new program.

 CDHA also confirmed its commitment to working collaboratively with the minister, the provinces and territories, and others to strengthen oral health outcomes for people in Canada. CDHA thanks the minister and his team for the opportunity to participate in this roundtable and looks forward to further dialogue in the months ahead.

 Progress on the creation and delivery of this new dental care program continued yesterday with the release of a legislative costing note by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. As further questions and uncertainties are identified and addressed in the design of this program under the timelines previously specified, the cost estimation may be revised and adjusted.    

 CDHA is the collective national voice of more than 30,000 dental hygienists in Canada, directly representing 21,000 individual members, including students. Since 1963, CDHA has worked to advance the profession and promote the importance of oral health. Dental hygiene is the sixth-largest regulated health profession in Canada, with professionals working in a variety of settings, including independent dental hygiene practice, with people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health. For more information on oral health, visit dentalhygienecanada.ca. 


Monday, June 27, 2022

Former Office Manager Sentenced to 3 Years for Dental Office Embezellment

 Today's post is fairly short because the real story is in the link that follows.  I am posting this because statistics show that between 1 in 6 or 1 in 4 dental offices will have someone embezzle from them.  That is a scary number.  

So with that in mind I thought today's post should emphasize that it really does happen to offices.  In fact, it is happening right now to some unsuspecting doctors.  My advice is to "trust but verify".  Anyone that is honest will welcome opportunities to prove their honesty.

In this story, not only did the employee steal from the office when she was fired she then stole from the next office that hired her.  So just be aware and keep your eyes open.

Here is the story... follow this link.  

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Sonendo, Inc. Announces Executive Management Team Changes

 

Sonendo, Inc. (NYSE: SONX), a leading dental technology company and developer of the GentleWave® System, today announced two upcoming departures from its executive management team. Jacqueline Collins, vice president, general counsel, and Merhzad Khakpour, chief technology officer, will each leave the company in July for other opportunities.

In 2018 Ms. Collins became Sonendo’s first general counsel, bringing extensive expertise in medical device and intellectual property to the company. During her tenure she focused on building a legal and contracting foundation to support future growth and was a critical team member in preparing for Sonendo’s 2021 initial public offering and transition to operating as a public company.

"Jackie has been an invaluable member of our executive management team, helping define systems and processes for the years ahead,” said Bjarne Bergheim, chief executive officer. “I appreciate her leadership and the foundation she helped create for Sonendo’s future.”

Mr. Khakpour joined Sonendo in 2008 as one of its first employees and played an integral role in Sonendo’s early days of intense research and technology exploration. He leaves an experienced R&D organization that is expanding Sonendo’s technology platform and that has the expertise and passion to continue the company’s history of innovation in endodontics.

“Jackie and Mehrzad have each made tremendous contributions to Sonendo’s growth and milestones to date, including our 2021 initial public offering, the more than 800,000 GentleWave procedures that speak to growing adoption of our technology, and innovations like our recently announced CleanFlow Technology,” said Mr. Bergheim. “We appreciate their leadership during their time on the Sonendo team – both Jackie and Mehrzad are leaving behind strong organizations that will continue to drive innovation, scale for growth, and deliver on our commitment to patient-centric endodontics.”

A search is underway for a new general counsel and a new chief technology officer with extensive experience in product development to lead and scale the R&D organization for the company’s next stage of growth.


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Join Me on Friday June 24th for the Dental Products Report Summer 2022 Bootcamp!

 



This Friday, June 24th, Dental Products Report is presenting out Bootcamp Summer 2022.  The event is held mid-day so if you are in the U.S., chances are it can fit into your schedule.  You can get state of the art information and also earn 3 hours of continuing education for attendance.

I will be moderating the event and I love the topics that have been planned out.  The presentations are:
  • How to choose an intraoral scanner
  • Understanding if the Cloud is right for your practice
  • Real world cosmetic dentistry: Faults, Failures, and Fixes
  • Tips for final impressions
We have done many of these events in the years since Covid-19 changed the world and I'm finding that I love being able to learn, and to teach, without seeing the inside of an airport.  If you haven't had a chance to attend one of these yet, I think you'll be impressed.

I am really excited that two of my friends will be presenting.  Dr. Joyce Bassett and Dr. Nate Lawson are 2 of the presenters.  Both are truly smart individuals and their presentation styles make them easy to learn from.

If you're interested in attending, here is a link to the registration page.  See you Friday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Forsyth dentech drives innovation and investment in oral health technology

The Forsyth Institute, with its 112-year history of oral health innovation, announced today the return of its oral health technology conference and investment forum, Forsyth dentech 2022, taking place on September 14-16, 2022 at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Somerville, MA. In-person and virtual registration is now open for this hybrid event, with limited in-person capacity.

Forsyth dentech 2022 builds on the success of last year’s inaugural event, where more than 400 inventors, investors, and leaders from 30 countries convened to discuss the latest cutting-edge innovations and investment opportunities in oral health. The conference will include a keynote speaker, CEO panel discussion with leaders representing research, industry, venture capital, and more, and a pitch competition for selected presenters to showcase their novel technology or business proposal. The presentation competition application period is now open, and the deadline to apply is August 1, 2022.

“Our first dentech conference in 2021 confirmed what leaders in this space have said for many years—oral health technology is a largely untapped $100+ billion market with incredible potential for growth,” said Dr. Wenyuan Shi, President and CEO of The Forsyth Institute. “Forsyth is proud to be leading the charge to accelerate innovation and launch new dental-focused ventures that transform the oral health landscape.”

Forsyth dentech 2021 featured a keynote speech by Dai Feng, co-founder and managing director of CareCapital Advisors Limited. Feng manages a multi-billion portfolio of more than 50 dental technology companies worldwide.

 “There is a huge surge of activity in dentistry—new product technologies, new software technologies, and new forms of services and clinics,” Feng said. “Dentistry has accelerated digitization beyond what we’ve seen in general health care.”

 Forsyth dentech 2021 included a pitch competition with 18 presenters selected from a cohort of more than 80 applicants. The winners of last year’s pitch competition, Dr. Chris Ciriello, Co-Founder of Cyberdontics, and Michael Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of Intrommune Therapeutics, went on to raise significant funding because of their participation in Forsyth dentech. Several other presenters, including Dr. Benjamin Wu, founder of Gradient Orthodontics, secured additional funding and other business deals through connections to the dentech network. 

“The outcomes from Forsyth dentech 2021 demonstrate the investment and innovation opportunities that exist within the oral health technology field. We anticipate this year’s event to be even more exciting as this market continues its trajectory of exponential growth,” said Dr. Shi.

The dental industry is primed for disruption, but has historically been overlooked by investors, receiving comparatively less capital investment than other health care sectors. That is starting to change thanks to a recent influx of digitization in dental labs and growing awareness of the important connections between oral health and overall wellness.

According to an analysis by Revere Partners, the first independent venture fund for oral health and a Forsyth dentech sponsor, investors could expect investments in early-stage dental companies to provide an average internal rate of return of 33-35 percent.

“Certain categories of companies within the dental market have experienced significant growth and investment in recent years,” said Feng. “For example, digital image capturing with software that help dentists plan treatments and work collaboratively are the ‘future of dentistry.’” Feng also predicts an increase in market share for businesses focused on remote monitoring, artificial intelligence, as well as value-based dentistry that broadens patient access.

“The highway infrastructure of digitization is being built, and now there are more cars on the road,” Feng said.

Forsyth is pleased to announce that CareCapital has agreed to be a platinum sponsor for this event. They will join join CareQuest, Colgate, Revere Partners, Pacific Dental Services, Henry Schein, Quip, and other leading organizations that have signed on to sponsor dentech for a second year. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

About The Forsyth Institute

The Forsyth Institute, founded in 1910, is the world’s leading independent research institution focused on oral health and its connection to overall wellness. Forsyth was founded as a pediatric dental hospital serving disadvantaged children in the Boston area. Today, the Institute is grounded in a 3-pillared strategic plan focused on biological research, clinical service and public health outreach, and technological innovation. Forsyth carries out its original mission through a mobile public health dental program called ForsythKids.