Electronic Patient Records(EPRs)

Initially the border between Welbeing and Clinical mhealth applications was considered to be whether or not patient information was stored and transferred.

Whilst people openly upload personal details to Social media sites without so much as a thought, when the information is of a medical nature,  the service providers need to consider the safety of the patient’s information.

So, whilst a Slimming application may contain a complete summary of your daily food intake,  and any results automatically posted on Facebook, monitoring a heart condition remotely be it by mobile or not, will fall under strict data protection constraints.

In the UK it’s the Data Protection Act whilst the US its HIPAA, both designed to ensure Electronic Patient records are securely moved between devices.

So what should I consider?

Most sensible computer users have a Security software package running like Mcafee. Regular updates protect against known threats and allow the user the ability to search and clean any infections. All of which need Processing power, memory and a compatible internal file structure. Whilst mobile phones and tablets have the Processing power, memory might be an issue and for devices like the iPhone the file structures are not compatible with most security packages at present. The flip side, is that because you can only purchase iPhone software from iTunes, and everything is pre-screened by Apple, infections are limited to file transfers etc.

You should also consider the security of the connection.  Regardless of Wifi or 3/4G a secure VPN between your device and the medical facility may be an option. The data is then encrypted and theft unlikely.

Many US medical applications and services come with HiPAA compliance, which is a form of security certification. This is not the case in the UK.

 

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