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Mobile Technology in Healthcare

Mobile Technology in Healthcare
  • Risks, Consequences and Remedies

    Risks, Consequences and Remedies

    The use of mobile technology products – particularly smartphones and tablets – is taking the healthcare field by storm. The convenience of having a handheld device in your pocket or bag that allows you to work while waiting for a meeting, boarding a plane, or sitting at a football game is irresistible to a growing number of busy healthcare professionals.

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    The Health Care Blog1 references a current Manhattan Research study showing that 30% of surveyed physicians already own iPads, even though the devices were only released in 2010. While this trend is exciting for the future of the healthcare industry, it could also have potential consequences for the confidential information to which doctors are privy. Current mobile technology users present expanded risks to the security and privacy of information assets – including Protected Health Information (PHI) – that are accessed, viewed, stored or cached on mobile devices.

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    A number of factors contribute to the security and privacy risks associated with mobile devices. In addition to their high adoption rate, smartphones and tablets are less secure than desktops and laptops, due in part to users’ lack of security risk awareness and to inconsistent or unavailable security features. Vulnerabilities such as weak or missing policies, procedures, workforce training, and monitoring increase this level of risk. In order to properly examine mobile risks and to look for solutions, these threats have been broken down into the following three areas:

    • Breach of data when at rest on a mobile device
    • Breach of data during transmission to/from a mobile device
    • Breach of an organisation’s private network and information assets via a mobile device
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