Technology tips & tricks

How to stay secure and compliant in the age of telehealth medicine

Posted 9.14.20 by
Carrie Kennedy
Blog

With McKinsey recently reporting that up to $250B of US health spend potentially moving to a virtual platform, all of the cloud-based technologies, data, communications and access methods used to expand telehealth will come under increased scrutiny as both the Office of Civil Rights (the enforcer of HIPAA) and consumers look to assure the security of communications and records.

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The numbers are staggering. “Telehealth claim lines increased 4,347 percent nationally,”  reported a recent study by the non-profit group Fair Health, largely due to the initial spike in virtual healthcare visits during the early days of the pandemic. Skilled Nursing News reported an 8,000% (yes, that’s correct) year over year increase for the month of April in medical services provided remotely via Telehealth.

There are other interesting facts and information regarding telehealth usage reported in this article from Healthcare IT News, but the article also explains a recent leveling off of telehealth visits as medical facilities fully reopen and knowledge of the virus increases. What we are left with is to analyze and admire the immediate and effective use of technology in the face of a global crisis, appreciate the technical advancements and adaptations that will improve access to medical care for everyone, and understand the role that cloud played in delivering these solutions.

New Telehealth Services Require Increased Security and Compliance

With McKinsey recently reporting that up to $250B of US health spend potentially moving to a virtual platform, all of the cloud-based technologies, data, communications and access methods used to expand telehealth will come under increased scrutiny as both the Office of Civil Rights (the enforcer of HIPAA) and consumers look to assure the security of communications and records. Today, the rapidly growing prevalence of remote healthcare and the vast amount of data/records it creates is evident in technologies like Internet of Medical Things, (IoMT; $142B by 2026) medical contact tracing applications, and remote patient monitoring (RPM) and diagnosis. Secure and authorized AI and analytics engines will anonymously sample this data to help make quantum leaps in the prevention and treatment of diseases; all via cloud and edge technologies. With the proliferation of telehealth devices approaching billions of end points, the race to assure robust security and record survivability from end point to record storage becomes more critical than ever.

What’s required for secure, compliant telehealth

To assure the security, survivability and compliance of health data and records facilitated by Telehealth devices and services, consider the following for any cloud services:

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