Securing mobile devices in healthcare is very important because the technology is not without risks and just as it offers faster access to information, it can also open new ways for the information to be compromised.
To have better seurity on the healthcare data that gets downloaded onto a mobile device is to automatically destroy it as soon as the browser session expires. Aprt from the secure connections to download data , we also need secure browsers which will make the downloaded data files invisible so that they cannot be copied or forwarded in emails or transferred over Bluetooth or such connections. Then and then only the privacy and scurity of this sensitive information can be guaranteed.
Like in the old days the secret services used to communicate messages with a tag "your eyes only". Such messages would be destryed by the reader after he/she memorised the contents.
Thanks for the article. You have highlighted some of the key points which should be kept in mind while selecting mobile devices. I think one more important aspect we should keep in mind is the device shouldn't interefere with the medical devices. Most of these mobile devices use RF signals and this shouldn't interefere with the medical devices.
@The Source, I get what you're saying and I agree software can be used to improve the usability of the iPad for healthcare professionals, but the reasons why the iPad doesn't have a chance of being a viable force in the healthcare industry isn't just due to the software: it has more to do with the hardware and Apple's company policies.
For a tablet device to succeed in this sector, it's going to have to be more than just a consumer tablet with different software installed on it: most significantly, the security and durability requirements are far higher. And this device would need to be designed to meet the specific requirements of physicians so many of the things the iPad does would be irrelevant anyhow.
Again, the iPad is a great consumer product. But especially given the numerous Apple security scandals, would you trust an iPad with your life? I certainly wouldn't...
The importance of developing mobile devices that will be used in a healthcare setting and can be sanitized is often overlooked.It seems to me companies often focus more on providing device that access, input and exchange data. OEM’s need to consider a lot of variables as they develop their products for a healthcare market that has a variety of needs.
Your points are well taken.GE Healthcare simply saw the great demand for the iPad among physicians and that went a far way in influencing their decision.They have not closed the door to other mobile devices, but in business you go with what is most popular and tailor your product to the demands among your target audience.With regard to security, this is an overriding concern in healthcare.Hospitals can pay a lot of money when there are breaches of private patients’ health information.Here’s a story on one incident: http://informationweek.com/news/healthcare/security-privacy/231001236?queryText=UCLA
When Apple developed the iPad it did not do so with the aim of developing a mobile health device.The iPad’s popularity among consumers in general has spilled over into the healthcare sector.You may now find that any improvements to the iPad will further enable physicians to do their jobs better, and while other OEMs will develop mobile devices specifically for the healthcare space in the future, the iPad may remain a fixture in the healthcare sector.Mobile devices for this vertical are still evolving, and so we will see what happens in the next three to five years.
Thanks for reading this commentary and for responding to my post.
I think overall this is a great idea to have mobile access to certain information. I think Motorola Mobility has a great product, particularly allowing the device to be sanitized. There are going to be issues relating to data transfer; like privacy and connection speeds. Slower connections mean longer wait times or limits on what can be viewed. I believe companies will make an effort to follow these seven tips and we will start seeing more tablets and handhelds in hospitals and doctors’ offices. I am surprised that GE joined with Apple, even though the demand was there, mostly based on hype by doctors preferring the more popular Ipads than a better suited rival. I think GE will be better served by creating a program to be run on multiple tablets rather than exclusively on Ipads.
Nicole, most of the companies like GE, Hitachi, Dell etc has their own EHR data base. But the problem is all these databases are physically connected with the affiliated hospitals desktop or laptop. One of the reasons for such physical connection is security concern and to avoid misuse of one’s health related issues.
Smart phone apps to monitor the health record through smart devices are a good idea, but it has lot of issues. The main issues is connectivity, if the record consists of scanned documents or digital X rays, it required a seamless connectivity with a higher data transfer speed, in order to get load in smart phone. Otherwise the application has to limit only to get the prescribed medicines list or diagnostic reports, which are light weighted.
Nicole, these are some good tips... and I do believe that a tablet-type device will someday become common in the higher-end hospitals, but this device will not be manufactured by Apple.
Apple makes great consumer products and mediocre (at best) enterprise products. And when it comes to hospitals in particular, "mediocre" is not going to cut it when lives are possibly at stake and security absolutely cannot be compromised.
Anyhow, again, I do believe that someday a device that follows these 7 guidelines will exist... but that device is not the iPad.
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