Top FDA officials knew about whistleblower email monitoring; VA's new Las Vegas medical center features telehealth unit;

> The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's email monitoring of employees after they testified to Congress about questionable medical device approval practices appears to have been sanctioned all the way to the top, FierceMedicalDevices reports. Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health Director Jeffrey Shuren are among the high-level regulatory officials briefed on the practice, according to FDA officials and an agency letter sent to Senate investigators. Article

> Ninety-nine percent of all laptops belonging to the Department of Veterans Affairs are protected by hard drive encryption, VA CIO Roger Baker said during a conference call last week, reports. According to Baker, such a statistic is a relief in light of a 2006 incident in which an unencrypted laptop containing 26 million veteran's records was stolen. "[F]rom a cost standpoint, we're now talking about the loss of something that's going to cost us about $1,000 versus something that's going to cost us a lot of money to identify any information that might have been on it and anybody who might have been affected." Article

> Speaking of the VA, the department opened a new Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Las Vegas this week. The new center features a telehealth unit that will allow providers to deliver specialized mental health services to outlying clinics. Announcement

And Finally… I wish I had this much time on my hands. Article


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