Electronic health records

Millions of medical images are susceptible to hacks

Illustration of a man looking into the backdoor of a computer
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The medical records of more than 5 million Americans and even more people globally — including X-rays, MRIs and CT scans — are vulnerable targets to even the simplest cybersecurity threats, ProPublica and German broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk found.

Why it matters: Because of the sensitivity of some of these records, patients face potential devastation if their images are hacked.

The monopolization of patient drug data

Illustration of a prescription paper being digitized.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Few things are more valuable in health care than data — specifically prescription data. Surescripts, a company that allows prescriptions to be filled electronically, controls a lot of that data and has every incentive to keep it gated.

Driving the news: Surescripts is asking the FBI to investigate allegations that one of its vendors illegally shared patients' medication histories with Amazon's online pharmacy, PillPack. It's a fight that highlights how difficult it has become for patients to share their own drug data and how incumbent players protect their turf.