The growing challenge for consumer health devices: keeping up with medical regulatory requirements

Internet-of-Things

From fitness trackers and home blood pressure monitors to MRI machines, the Internet of Things (IoT) can help healthcare providers and caregivers easily track patients’ health status. Wearable bands and smartphone alerts can monitor heart rate or send medication reminders; early warnings allow patients and clinicians to act quickly to prevent small problems from becoming big ones. But a growing concern, according to a recent Microsoft in Health post, is whether regulatory and security protections are keeping up with the flow of detailed patient data among medical devices and systems.

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are accustomed to managing patient data in compliance with standards such as HIPAA. Consumer devices may not be designed with such regulations in mind, but the individual patient data they relay requires the same level of protection from accidental disclosure or theft by cyberattack. Microsoft technology makes it easy to build security and privacy into healthcare IoT implementations such as Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System’s new ImagineCare system. ImagineCare enables continual monitoring of patients’ health status, from blood pressure and exercise habits to emotional states as expressed through social media, providing personalized attention and care to help patients live healthy lives.

Microsoft in Health plans to explore the challenge of securing healthcare IoT data in an upcoming series of posts; check out the introductory post, and learn more about Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s innovative use of Microsoft technologies to seamlessly incorporate health monitoring into patients’ daily lives.