TechRadars title Healthcare software systems could become problematic in the US, according to a new report article Health care software systems can’t be expected to deliver on their promises of improving patient care.
While the technology is well suited for providing patient-centric care, there’s also potential for privacy and security concerns.
“We know that healthcare software has a great potential to become an effective tool in healthcare systems,” said Dr. Chris O’Brien, chief executive officer of healthcare systems consultant Insights Global.
“But what about the way the software is used in practice?
What are the privacy implications of that?
And what are the security implications of this?”
O’Brien noted that healthcare systems are now increasingly reliant on a “parking” system to help users manage their time, which in turn creates a large set of privacy issues.
For instance, there are multiple parking apps, and users have to enter their parking address, time zone, and date of birth, which can lead to significant data breaches.
“When a system is able to park you in a way that makes it very easy for you to get to and from your destination, it opens up the door to an even greater level of data that can be shared with other users, and that could be very problematic for the healthcare system,” O’Briensaid.
“What we’re seeing is that, despite the potential benefits of healthcare software, this is one area where the healthcare business has a real opportunity.”
There are several options for healthcare software companies to address these privacy and data security concerns, according the report.
While it’s unclear what software could become a common practice in healthcare environments, some companies are trying to build out systems that provide privacy and protection.
The most well-known and well-received example is Ovid, which is a free mobile healthcare app that enables users to manage their medical records.
Ovid allows users to lock their personal information away, and only their physicians can see it.
Ouidad, another free healthcare app, allows users a single-sign on option that allows them to sign up for their healthcare provider.
Other companies are looking to provide privacy protections in their software by encrypting user data with encryption keys, and they also provide software that will help prevent users from sharing data with third parties.
However, these solutions may have the potential to open up even more privacy issues, according O’Brian.
While Ovid offers a single sign-on option for users, it does not offer encryption and privacy, which are key elements for healthcare users.
OiVe, for instance, encrypts all the data it collects with the help of a password, and the company claims that OiVes encryption can protect the user from being compromised by third parties without their knowledge.
“OiVegas encryption is not as strong as some other encryption solutions, but it’s really good,” said O’Ovid CEO Daniel Schmitt.
“And we have to say that OvE encrypts more than 90 percent of our data.”
While some healthcare software developers are trying their best to provide more privacy-friendly software, others have begun working to protect privacy by encrypt.
Ophotex, for example, has developed a proprietary app called Ovpn, which encrypts user data to make it easier for users to communicate.
OPhotex also encrypts the data for other users when they download Ovid or Ovie, according an Ovid spokesperson.
The healthcare industry is looking for ways to increase privacy protection while ensuring that healthcare data is safe and secure, and O’Tara, for one, is hopeful that more companies will adopt privacy-focused software.
“I’m hoping that a lot of companies will embrace privacy-centric software,” said Thomas.
“It’s a very important topic and a topic that’s been overlooked by healthcare systems.
If we’re going to move away from [the] current paradigm of healthcare providers, then it will require us to embrace a different paradigm of health care.”
For more information about healthcare systems and the privacy issues that healthcare developers face, you can watch TechRadaru’s Tech Talks with Dr. Christopher O’Connor on Tuesday, February 12 at 7 p.m. ET.