mHealth - Innovative Technology for a Sustainable Health Service - Part V: Ensuring Data Security

There are a lot of industry conversations and articles on what is perceived to be one of the biggest deterrents to the adoption of mHealth in Australia and elsewhere - Data Security. Conversely, patients it seems are eager to share the data they collect with their doctors and are finding ways around the current lack of integration, e.g., simply emailing their personal data to be held on existing in-house or cloud based servers. Privacy Laws can and should be complied with but data security can never be 100% guaranteed, we can only address potential breaches in similar ways to any form of malware: relentlessly enhance data encryption functionality and, when all else fails, keep one step behind the hackers, plugging the breaches as quickly as is humanly possible. Mubaloo in the UK advocate a reasonably pragmatic approach to this problem: mHealth: Ensuring Data Security. Yes, we are dependent on ethical mHealth providers, but their reputations/businesses are at stake. Yes, we are dependent, through those same ethical providers, on innovative programmers/developers to stymie hackers at every opportunity. And yes, we are dependent on users to protect their own data securely by enabling the functionality provided by those innovative programmers, such as regular and robust password updates and remote wipe.

Technology and, for those with chronic disease, time is marching on and if we continue to wait on a 100% guarantee of data security, todays’ patients will lose the benefit of innovative mHealth technology which they, and our governments, can ill afford. I am willing to take this chance, are you?

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