Editor’s note: Alena describes the most effective measures to ensure the safety of a telehealth application. And if you’re thinking of creating a safe telehealth solution, you can explore ScienceSoft’s offer of development of telehealth applications.
How statistics It shows, the telehealth market is growing rapidly, which means that the amount of personal data transmitted through telemedicine solutions it also grows. Thus, the issue of telemedicine safety is becoming increasingly important, as the leakage of PHI (protected health information) causes serious financial and reputational losses for caregivers. Based on the experience of ScienceSoft, I would like to help healthcare providers prevent PHI leaks by indicating important safety measures to be taken during the development of telehealth applications and after the launch of ‘an application.
In the healthcare industry, data encryption refers to translating patient data into a form that cannot be decrypted by unauthorized users or users who do not have an encryption key. Even if a data leak occurs, thieves receive encrypted health information. For example, we have used data encryption to ensure the security of the peer-to-peer video connection between patients and medical staff when developing a Android version from the Chiron Health platform.
Encryption applies to both stored patient data and those transmitted over the network:
- Data encryption at rest protects PHI when stored in the cloud or on-premises. Because it can slow down the work of a telemedicine solution, I always advise using file-level or block-level encryption to prevent a slowdown in application speed.
- Data encryption in transit secures PHI when transmitted using in-transit encryption standards such as SSL / TLS certificates.
To regulate who and to what extent can access patient data in a telehealth solution, I recommend using measures such as user role settings, user authentication, access rights, action permissions, automatic shutdown session, etc. Thus, patients and medical staff are assigned. different roles that allow them to acquire only certain information and perform a limited set of actions. For example, in ScienceSoft we carried out similar measures to ensure the safety of telehealth during the development of a mobile remote care solution.
As my experience shows, regular vulnerability assessment procedures and penetration testing can help assess the overall security level of a telemedicine application. You can use the recommendations issued after the audit results to increase and maintain the quality of telehealth safety.
To achieve the safety of telemedicine and the security of the health data of patients with a telehealth application, I strongly recommend that security measures be provided such as data encryption and data access control, which perform audits of periodic security and to ensure continuous monitoring of the telemedicine system. If you need a qualified provider to perform these procedures, feel free to do so turn to ScienceSoft’s healthcare IT team.
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