ROUNDUP: Hackers Access Files of Health Products Supplier
Consumer confidence in the security of e-commerce suffered another blow this week as hackers accessed the credit card database of Global Health Trax Inc. The Poway, Calif.-based company sells dietary supplements to about 3,500 distributors nationwide. On Monday, credit card account information, home telephone numbers, addresses and bank account information on several hundred of those distributors was available to hackers on the company's former Web site. Company representatives said they believe the incident to be a case of "corporate sabotage" -- three former employees are suspected of breaching security. The company believes few people accessed the highly personal information (AP/Spokane Spokesman-Review, 1/20).
HIMA and EUCOMED Join Forces
Medical technology manufacturing groups in the U.S. and Europe signed a joint position paper last week to improve patient access to and information about medical technology. The paper, signed by the Washington, D.C.-based Health Industry Manufacturers Association (HIMA) and the Belgium-based EUCOMED, aims to address the funding, provision and reimbursement of medical devices and technologies within the medical technology community. The paper focuses on three major areas: patient access to health care, health technology assessment and innovative technology (HIMA/EUCOMED release, 1/13).
Web Sites for MDs
Attempting to bridge the "missing communications link" between physicians and patients, MedWired.com plans to re-establish a "collaborative relationship" between physician and patient via the Internet. The company, started by doctor/entrepreneur Thomas Hazy, helps doctors build their own Web sites, thereby allowing the doctor-patient relationship to be "collaborative" rather than "confrontational." The company provides a prototypical Web site that can be easily modified and customized by each physician to suit their needs, as well as the ability to display content, such as articles from drug companies or other doctors, on their Web pages (Hubler, Denver Post, 1/17).
Online Insurance Help
Insure.com, a Conn.-based Web site, offers consumer information and help regarding insurance of all kinds, including health coverage. While the site accepts advertising, it does not sell insurance; rather, it provides discussion forums, state-by-state information, databases on company performance and expert advice. Two other Web sites offer rate quoting services: InsWeb and QuoteSmith ( Hartford Courant, 1/20).