Guest Column | April 4, 2013

Securing Mobile Healthcare Applications In A World Of BYOD

By April Sage, Director, Healthcare Vertical, Online Tech

Mobile device and application use in the healthcare industry is becoming ubiquitous, with 80 percent of physicians using mobile technology to deliver patient care, and over 90 percent using mobile devices in everyday operations (HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey, 2012). The mobile trend isn’t slowing down, according to Gartner: Worldwide IT spending is anticipated to surpass $3.7 trillion in 2013, with major growth drivers being cloud computing, big data and mobile technologies.

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement coupled with mobile healthcare applications brings numerous benefits to the table, including ease of use and ability for real-time collaboration between employees. It also allows for improved and remote access to patient information, meaning increased productivity and better patient care.

However, with the benefits of mobile health come concerns about security. Mobile device use opens up electronic protected health information (ePHI) to mobile malware, viruses and potential network intrusion. Statistics from the HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey show that companies may also not be ready to support the growing trend in mobile device use. Only half of enterprises and 41 percent of mid-sized firms have an employee network access policy in place. Without proper established mobile policies and staff training, the possibility of a data breach is imminent.

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