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Securing Mobile Medical Apps on Devices Adds Flexibility

While device security is important, focusing on securing mobile medical apps can add much needed flexibility to mobile strategy.

securing mobile medical apps

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- More mobile devices are being introduced into health IT infrastructure environments. Organizations must find the right way to manage and monitor different mobile medical apps to ensure reliable and secure connections.

Entities need tools to help track and manage mobile devices that fit in with their mobile strategy and the types of mobile devices that are connected to their network. Tools that can handle real-time tracking and data sharing are critical to a successful mobile strategy.

For example, Blue Cedar announced its partnership with MediBioSense. The collaboration will use Blue Cedar’s code-injection technology to protect MediBioSense’s VitalPatch app on mobile phones and tablets.

VitalPatch is a wearable biosensor that attaches to a patient’s chest and monitors heart and respiratory rates. The data is transmitted to the mobile devices where it is made available on the app before being stored in the cloud.

The app helps keep track of patients and gives patients and clinicians a way to view biomedical data conveniently. The partnership emphasizes the importance of the data’s accessibility and security.

“Mobile apps and cutting-edge technology are a game-changing combination in healthcare, helping to improve lives and meet the increasingly stringent demands placed on modern healthcare services,” MediBioSense CEO Simon Beniston said in a statement. “But ultimately, these apps are only as effective as their level of security. We are partnering with mobile app security innovator Blue Cedar to ensure that patients’ data is secured at all times and that their privacy needs are met consistently.”

Apps have been a significant security concern for healthcare organizations over the past several years. However, those security concerns have not deterred organizations from developing and utilizing mobile apps. This makes it vital that organizations implement apps that can properly secure their mobile devices.

Blue Cedar has been working to secure mobile devices in the medical field. Last year Blue Cedar released its new enterprise mobile security platform aimed at extending traditional enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions. The platform provides secure data access for all end users and secures mobile data without having to directly manage endpoint devices.

The platform moves away from securing endpoints and focuses on securing the application so user productivity and device privacy requirements are not impacted.

The platform provides IT with granular security controls for all native, hybrid, and web enterprise apps. The security controls allow organizations to comply with internal policies and external regulations, such as HIPAA, without writing any new security code. The apps can securely access data in public or private cloud-based storage.

Choosing to secure apps instead of endpoint devices is a large part of building a healthcare mobile strategy. EMM solutions are a more traditional way of securing mobile devices and still have a place in healthcare mobile strategy. Many organizations though are looking to be more flexible and are focusing on their applications.

Many vendors are producing alternative solutions to traditional EMM and MDM, taking the focus off the device.

The endpoint device is the most vulnerable part of the equation because IT has the least amount of control over it. Eliminating the need to secure the endpoint altogether significantly reduces the risk of a data breach because the network is no longer compromised if a device is lost or stolen.

Securing applications also caters to bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs because the application can be contained and secured while the device itself remains private.

Healthcare organizations need to understand what they need from their mobile environment to determine the best way to handle mobile device security.

Mobile environments are evolving as different kinds of devices are introduced into the IT infrastructure. Organizations need a strategy that allows them to be flexible.

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