Around the nation: Lockheed Martin expands its push into health care

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

  • Maryland: Lockheed Martin, well-known for its weapons business, is launching a new group to explore the future of health care. Called the Healthcare Technology Alliance, the group—which includes a diverse range of organizations ranging from tech firms like Intel to a small community college—plans to research topics such as patient data security and precision medicine. Lockheed has recently launched other health care initiatives, including an effort to collect genetic data a million of veterans to better understand post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases (Jayakumar, "On Small Business," Washington Post, 7/30).

  • Michigan: Henry Ford Health System on Monday is opening a new clinic in Detroit specifically focused on serving younger adults. The so-called QuickCare Clinic is open to all patients, but has special features designed to appeal to younger patients: Visits can be scheduled online, patients can get updates on care and delays via text message, and the interior has been updated to appear more modern. Common ailments at the clinic will be treated by nurse practitioners, who can consult with doctors as needed (AP/Modern Healthcare, 7/29).

  • New York: New York health officials say that a Legionnaires' disease outbreak has sickened 46 people, including two who have died, in the South Bronx since it began on July 10. The disease— which causes  fever, headache, and muscle pain—does not spread directly between people, but rather through bacteria in the environment—typically via contaminated mist of water. "What's unique and important about this outbreak is there is a dramatic increase in one specific area, which leads us to believe it's a change in the environment," says Jay Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. On Thursday, city officials identified contaminated water present in building cooling towers of a private housing development and a public hospital that they say could be connected to the outbreak (Hu, New York Times, 7/29; Mohney, ABC News, 7/30; Haller, Chicago Tribune, 7/30).

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