NASA Prepares to Launch Internal COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program

nasa prepares to launch internal covid-19 contact tracing program


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its spread in the U.S., NASA is tapping commercial software to start an internal contact tracing program.According to an information collection notice posted Tuesday in the Federal Register, the voluntary program “will be used to determine whether NASA personnel have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus and to track and trace their interactions across the NASA community for identifying possible points of exposure.”Once the program is stood up, NASA plans to designate a health care-focused employee to act as the NASA Contact Tracer to lead the effort.When a NASA employee or contractor agrees to sign up for the program, the Contact Tracer will start by going through the privacy considerations so the employee understands their rights and how their personal information will be used, after which the employee “will be asked, orally, to confirm if they have symptoms or not,” by replying “yes” or “no.”That information—along with the employee’s contact information and the names, phone numbers and email addresses of those they have been in close contact with—will be entered into the new tracking app.“While participation is voluntary, it is strongly encouraged as failure to provide …



GAO to Suggest More than 100 Ways to Secure Federal IT Supply Chains

gao to suggest more than 100 ways to secure federal it supply chains


A pending report from the Government Accountability Office will outline more than 100 recommendations describing how federal agencies should mitigate risks in their information and communications technology supply chains associated with foreign suppliers.The report, which is expected to be issued in September, is the first comprehensive look at whether agencies have processes in place to address the potential vulnerabilities created by global, distributed supply chains, Carol Harris, the director of GAO’s IT and cybersecurity team, told Nextgov. GAO analyzed the supply chains of the 23 civilian agencies at the behest of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. “The vast majority of agencies lack comprehensive processes in order to effectively manage their supply chains,” Harris said.Harris called the results of the report “stunning,” and indicated supply chain risk management may be another area that should be added to future FITARA scorecards. She added supply chain risk management is not an area federal agencies are prioritizing. “It’s kind of mind-boggling to me,” she said.China is a major concern when it comes to supply chain security, particularly because of documented instances of intellectual property theft. At the August 3 House hearing on the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, or FITARA, …


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At Health First, preregistration tech streamlines processes and

at health first, preregistration tech streamlines processes and


Because of the growing number of cases in Florida earlier this year, Health First Community Health Services’ Health First Medical Group needed to create a safe environment for its patients to register for their appointments and minimize time spent waiting for their provider visit.PROPOSAL
Health First studied a health IT system from Phreesia as a solution to its problem. The system would let patients preregister for their visits from home, wait in their car until notified their provider is ready, and then be taken directly to an exam room.

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In addition, the system would provide a COVID-19 daily dashboard that correlates patients’ responses to COVID-19 questions. Health First could use the COVID-19 dashboard to move patients with symptoms to virtual visits and monitor its PPE inventory.
Health First also could implement patient completion of clinical intake forms, allowing for improved documentation and allotting more time for provider/patient interaction.

“The patient could complete a COVID-19 screening questionnaire and the entire registration process from the comfort of their home.”
Frank Letherby, Health First Community Health Services

“Phreesia proposed to alleviate all of the registration bottlenecks and pain points …


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Amid pandemic, School’s IT team keeps everyone connected

amid pandemic, school’s it team keeps everyone connected


Transitioning Harvard Chan School to online working, teaching, and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic required a swift pivot for the information technology team
August 11, 2020 – To say that the Department of Information Technology (IT) team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health—those who handle everything from upgrading computers to checking mics at lectures to producing online courses—have had their hands full over the past few months is something of an understatement.
A sampling: Back in March, when the School shifted to remote work and learning, the team got faculty, staff, and students up and running with Zoom in just two weeks’ time. They handed out computer hardware from a parking lot. They created a series of “remote readiness” web pages. They strengthened security when unwanted guests “Zoom bombed” events and meetings. They helped whip up a totally online commencement.
While keeping the School connected during the pandemic has posed many challenges for the IT team, they also say that the pandemic has been an unlikely catalyst for improvements on a number of fronts. IT staff have stepped up efforts to help faculty and teaching staff learn how to run an online class. The IT website is chock-full …


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Black Widow hires former ADESA chief technology officer

black widow hires former adesa chief technology officer


O’FALLON, Mo. – Black Widow reinforced its leadership on Tuesday with a technology expert who arrives from ADESA.
The automated imaging company with a drive-through camera system that can capture images and 360-degree virtual tours within seconds named Chris Dillow as chief technology officer.
Black Widow said Dillow, who brings more than 30 years of enterprise information technology experience to his new role, will ensure its information systems continue to scale with the company’s rapid growth in the automotive remarketing space.  
Through high-end image technology, Black Widow emphasized that it’s focused on helping auctions and dealers become increasingly more efficient while enhancing the quality, consistency and timeliness of the online experience.
“Chris joins our team at the perfect time,” Black Widow chief executive officer Jason Hauk said in a news release. “Technology is the cornerstone of what we do.
“Chris’ deep experience and proven track record as a leading technology executive in our space will accelerate Black Widow’s already advanced imaging systems to enable dealers, auctions, service departments and rental companies to transact, verify and build trust with their customers in the digital world we now all work in,” Hauk continued.
Most recently, Dillow was chief technology …


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OIG Finds Number of Issues with VA Health Information Exchanges

oig finds number of issues with va health information exchanges


By Christopher Jason

August 11, 2020 – A recent report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) found training challenges, the need for increased community partners, the use of community coordinators, and technology issues that need to be addressed to enhance the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) ability to effectively utilize its health information exchanges and the ability to exchange patient data.
However, OIG found respondents who utilized either VA Exchange or VA Direct cited successes and said VA goals were more attainable with more community participation.
Patient data exchange and interoperability is crucial for the VA to enhance patient care. Not only does the Veterans Health Information Exchange (VHIE) program use the VA Exchange and VA Direct, which is directly connected to DirectTrust, but it also has community partnerships to promote patient data exchange and accessibility.

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OIG interviewed and surveyed faculty at the 48 Level 2 and 3 Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities. The group also interviewed the VHIE Program Office, while meeting with the Office of Information Technology, Office of Community Care, Office of Rural Health, Cerner Corporation, and two unnamed state HIEs to gain a variety of differing perspectives.
Based on the VHIE Program Office, 140 VA facilities have access to …


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TechTalk Summits Adds IDC As Strategic Research Partner For Virtual Event Series

techtalk summits adds idc as strategic research partner for virtual event series


BOSTON, Aug. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — TechTalk Summits today announced the addition of the Commercial IT Analyst Series to its expanding roster of events for IT professionals and executives. The company has suspended live events while significantly increasing its virtual event roster in response to demand from partner companies and attendees, paving the way for a strategic research partnership with global leader in market analysis, International Data Corporation (IDC).
IDC has responded to the challenges of the recent pandemic and associated costs on the global business market with comprehensive research on strategic technology decisions that will flatten the curve toward recovery. Joining TechTalk Summits’ program is a natural fit with the company’s reputation for featuring cutting edge information on innovation, products and services to IT professionals in markets ranging from SMB to enterprise.
“We’re excited to offer our sponsor companies and attendees access to analyst research at the forefront of this new normal from the most respected global market research leader, IDC,” said Mike Healy, TechTalk Summits Founder and Managing Partner. “We’re committed to helping with real world recovery solutions for business in 2020  — IDC is integral to this commitment.”  
“As companies recover from the pandemic, CIOs have the opportunity to lead …


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Johnson Controls Appoints Diane Schwarz As Chief Information Officer

johnson controls appoints diane schwarz as chief information officer


Schwarz most recently served as Senior Vice President & Chief Digital and Information Officer at Hunt Consolidated, a privately held Global Energy and Real Estate company. 
Previously, she served as Vice President & Chief Information Officer for Textron, an industrial, aerospace and defense manufacturer. Earlier in her career Schwarz worked for Bell Helicopter, Sonitrol Corporation, Honeywell, Nestle Foods and Ernst & Young.”Diane is a seasoned global business leader who will help Johnson Controls anticipate sweeping technological changes and identify opportunities for our IT team to innovate and deliver world-class customer service,” said George Oliver, chairman and CEO. As our suite of connected solutions continues to be enhanced and we leverage our tailored services and capabilities under our new dynamic digital architecture, OpenBlue, Diane’s leadership will play a vital role in liaising with our product and engineering groups to serve as a hub for innovation and business enablement.” Schwarz received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Notre Dame and her MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. About Johnson Controls:At Johnson Controls, we transform the environments where people live, work, learn and play. From optimizing building performance to improving safety and enhancing comfort, …


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Claroty and Check Point Software Technologies Partner to Secure Industrial Control Networks

claroty and check point software technologies partner to secure industrial control networks


NEW YORK, Aug. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Claroty, the global leader in operational technology (OT) security, today announced its partnership with Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions globally. The technical alliance between the two companies gives enterprises and critical infrastructure operators the real-time cybersecurity and visibility they need to protect OT and industrial control system (ICS) networks from cyber attacks.
This announcement follows the release of Check Point’s Internet of Things (IoT) Protect solution, which prevents IoT cyber attacks by adapting protections to any IoT or OT device across smart-office, smart-building, medical, and industrial environments. As one of Check Point’s technology partners, Claroty supports the discovery and classification of OT devices in a variety of verticals, giving Check Point customers an integrated end-to-end security solution.
“We are excited to bring Claroty to our customers as part of Check Point’s IoT Protect Discovery program,” said Russ Schafer, Head of Product Marketing at Check Point. “The combination of Claroty’s Continuous Threat Detection (CTD) and Check Point’s IoT Protect threat prevention solution provides our industrial customers the visibility, security, and automation to protect networks from emerging IoT threats.”
“At Claroty, we pride ourselves on being able to integrate …


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U.S. Employers Shed IT Jobs Amid Faltering Reopening Plans

iam platform login page background


U.S. employers shed roughly 134,000 information-technology jobs in July, the first month of tech job declines since nationwide lockdowns to combat the spread of the coronavirus began in March.


Jim Young/Bloomberg News


Jared Council
Jared Council



Aug. 11, 2020 5:30 am ET

U.S. employers shed roughly 134,000 information-technology jobs in July, according to IT trade group CompTIA, a signal that companies might be taking a wait-and-see approach as questions remain over everything from a new stimulus package to the return of in-person schooling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

July marked the first month of tech job declines since March, as employers across industries expanded net IT head count in April, May and June, according to CompTIA. While tech jobs remain among the most in-demand, some firms may be hesitant to fill openings as they assess how the economy develops, said Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s executive vice president for research and market intelligence.

“Perhaps they want to see how the stimulus package is going to play out,” Mr. Herbert said. “They want to see how states navigate school reopenings—a lot of those factors that they probably are hoping to get some clarity on before …


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