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Mobile Device Security in Healthcare ?

Seeking to Improve These Tools and Techniques Will Get You Started WRITTEN BY BY NARI KANNAN A

CCORDING to a new report by Manhattan Research, fully two-thirds of physicians in the

U.S. will be using Apple iPads for professional purposes by 2013. A similar study in Europe showed that about 26% of physicians owned and used an iPad. Healthcare workers are using mobiles and tablet computers for various purposes such as looking up drug interactions, other medical

reference material and, in some cases, electronic medical records of patients. That brings to the forefront the

issue of security of transmission and storage (even if temporary) of personal health information on these mobile devices. Privacy mandates like the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) also heighten anxiety about storage and use of personal medical information. Healthcare workers have been clamoring for some time to bring their own mobiles and tablet computers into work, expecting to access work-related applications on them. Consequently, healthcare IT has been setting up Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies considering the variety in device preferences of the workers. This way they can exercise some level of control over security and privacy of healthcare data.

The Latest Trends in Mobile Security

Current trends in mobile security promise a number of different ways in which security and privacy of health

data can be addressed effectively. Some of these are:

Desktop as a Service (DaaS):

Recently Dell rolled out its Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering. On mobiles and tablets, this allows desktop environments to run virtually and access applications in their native forms (like a Windows desktop or a Macintosh). This is as if a virtual desktop resides inside the mobile device. The biggest security win in this approach is that no additional security is needed. If the owner of the mobile device is no longer with the company, this access is disabled. All applications and data reside in internal servers and no data is present locally on the mobile. Companies can adopt BYOD policies easily since the applications are not on the mobile devices. This means a larger variety of devices can be supported.


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