Data Breach Threats Remain The Bane of mHealth

Data Breach Threats Remain The Bane of mHealthWhen it comes to the adoption of mHealth, the threat of patient data breaches continues to imperil the industry’s growth.

Citing data from a small survey that was conducted at the HIMSS14 conference last month, QRcodepress reports that “mHealth adoption could be facing some hurdles until it undergoes some improvements in the area of security.”

The risk of data breaches was the top major barrier identified to be in the way of mobile health technology adoption. After that was the ability to meet compliance and regulatory requirements for the security and privacy of patient information.

As mHealthWatch has repeatedly covered in recent months, with more and more companies and professionals in the healthcare sector beginning to jump onto the mHealth bandwagon, one of the main concerns of government officials and technology developers is how to protect the wealth of personal data which will be transferred through mobile devices and across mobile networks for healthcare purposes.

In particular, the federal government is unsure whether current security measures are sufficient to keep personal information safe from hackers.

Keven Charest, who is the Chief Information Security Officers for the US Department of Health and Human Services, recently said that his department’s goal “is to identify additional ways that we can help the industry be better prepared for and better able to respond to cyberattacks.”

Last summer, the U.S. House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology held a hearing that allowed a number of leading mHealth industry stakeholders to testify as to how healthcare would benefit from improved mobile medical application security.

“This type of security does not exist in the private sector,” AirStrip CEO Alan Portela said ahead of the hearing. “We need to bring the standards (inherent in DIACAP certification) into the private sector… We need to open the gates.”

Keith Brophy, CEO of Ideomed, and Sabrina Casucci, a PhD candidate at the University of Buffalo, also testified with a similar message.

“Entrepreneurs are creating groundbreaking mobile apps to help empower consumers to make better health care decisions, allow patients to access critical health data at anytime and anywhere and guide physicians to diagnose or monitor potential conditions,” said Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.).

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