The Pioneer of Project Strato-Lab

Project Strato-Lab was the United States Navy’s upper atmosphere research program, begun in the early 1950′s. Its plastic balloons took adventurous Americans up to the top of the stratosphere, over 21 1/2 mILes (34 1/2 kms) above the earth. The most famous of these intrepid aeronauts was Malcolm D. Ross. Born on October 15, 1919 in Momence healthcare hospital, ILlinois, Malcolm Ross attended Purdue University where he studied engineering and physics, and worked as a sports announcer at the Purdue radio station. Graduating in 1941, he married his high school sweetheart, and then took different broadcasting jobs in Chicago and Indianapolis. Early in 1943 he entered the United States Navy which sent him to graduate school at the University of Chicago in aerological engineering. He obtained a professional certificate in atmospheric science, and he graduated from U. Chicago with a meteorology master’s degree working from hospitals in Chicago area in 1944. He was initially assigned by the Navy to Pearl Harbor’s Fleet Weather Center, and later served on the USS Saratoga as aerology officer during its missions against Iwo Jima and Tokyo in 1944 and 1945.At the end of the Second World War, Malcolm Ross left the Navy and moved to Pasadena, where he started an advertising agency with his wife Marjorie. The business was successful, but with the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 the United States Navy recalled Ross to active duty. Ross went to work for Project Skyhook, the Navy’s unmanned balloon program, based in Minneapolis. He began to direct high altitude balloon missions to obtain meteorological and cosmic ray data; and in 1954 he was assigned to begin Project Strato-Lab, the Navy’s manned balloon program. Using balloons made of thin polyethylene plastic which weighed but a fraction of the rubber balloons used previously, humans for the first time were able to perform experiments and make observations at the upper reaches of the earth’s stratosphere. Project Strato-Lab was instrumental in providing biomedical data which was used subsequently in the United States space program. One outcome of these experiments was the knowledge that protons resulting from solar flares can pose a major health risk to humans in space; which in turn sparked research in monitoring and predicting solar flares. The Strato-lab project was also a major contributor to astronomical observation above the atmosphere.As a key player in Project Strato-Lab, Ross spent over one hundred hours aloft with other balloonists and scientists making stratospheric observations. His record breaking ascent to 21 1/2 mILes (34 1/2 kms) over homes, schools, businesses, and hospitals in IL was made in 1961. After the 1961 ascent Ross never again flew balloons, although he was an advocate of ballooning as an inexpensive platform for scientific investigation. He became a stock broker and account executive. He died on October 8, 1985 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Standard Mobile Devices Do Not Comply With Healthcare Security Requirements

As medical service providers increasingly use mobile phones and devices to view medical records and access patient databases, mobile data security has become a growing issue of concern in the healthcare industry.Medical records contain an abundance of personal information such as name, date of birth, Social Security number, credit-card numbers, and employer information, making these records a prime target for cybercriminals. According to a recent article, between January and May 2012, 29 healthcare security breaches had already occurred, affecting approximately 935,000 individuals.According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health and Information Technology (ONC), off-the-shelf smartphones in today’s market typically meet 40 percent of security requirements called for by HIPPA and MU Stage 2 Standards. On the high end of the spectrum, iPhones and BlackBerrys only achieve 60 percent of the recommended criteria after manual configuration.Currently, ONC is conducting research that will assist small to medium sized health care provider organizations secure mobile devices that process health data. Mobile security for these organizations is essential, as they may not have an IT department or data security partner to manage their devices and the sensitive information that they hold. Implementing the appropriate security applications for these devices will safeguard against the loss of patient data.The ONC is also in the process of compiling a list of best practices for various mobile security scenarios. This guide, published later this year, will outline wireless pitfalls such as unsecured WiFi access, email on mobile smartphones and unsupervised “bring-your-own-device” methods. Circulating these best practices throughout a national healthcare network will assist smaller medical service providers in adopting and executing health IT.When implementing security for mobile devices, healthcare facilities should also consider how to securely dispose of wireless devices once they have reached the end-of-life. Data security breaches can occur even after a mobile device has been retired and medical service providers need to dispose of devices in a way that does not jeopardize patient data. Partnering with a certified mobile phone buyback and recycling company ensures retired healthcare devices are put through a comprehensive, multi-step mobile data deletion process that keeps confidential information secure.Developing health IT is essential to ensure mobile phones and devices in the healthcare industry remain protected. Hospitals and health providers have a responsibility to their patients to maintain the proper and secure handling of wireless devices. Additional protocols need to be established assuring out-of-the-box smartphones are protected from data breaches.The author likes