Your Medical Info By Mobile

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Your mobile phone may now become your source of all things medical.

Healthcare organizations and providers can now exchange sensitive information with customers over mobile devices within a secure and trusted environment using MobiSecure SMS, a new product introduced today by Diversinet Corp., Toronto.

The company, a leading innovator of secure mobile applications, has also introduced Release 4.0 of its MobiSecure Wallet and Vault, which features new advanced personalization tools ideally suited to health care organizations.

These new products were introduced with briefings and product demonstrations in the Wireless Health Pavilion at CTIA in Toronto by Diversinet, which provides the healthcare industry with applications that securely connect people with their healthcare information, providers and payers.

The boom in smartphone usage, cost pressures on the healthcare industry, and opportunities to improve patient care are driving demand for mobile healthcare. However, security issues have posed a hurdle until now to broader adoption of solutions for accessing and sharing healthcare information via mobile devices.

MobiSecure SMS, which enables healthcare providers to exchange sensitive information instantly with patients via any mobile device, is targeted for telemedicine and provider case/disease management.

And MobiSecure Wallet and Vault R4.0, enables healthcare providers to quickly launch branded versions for their patients/members, allowing access to critical and sensitive health information.

Bluetooth connectivity to medical diagnostic devices through MobiSecure Wallet and Vault will be launched in the second half of this year, allowing collection of additional medical information, reduction of user errors, and an increase in the reliability of data received.

Diversinet is also focusing on creating customized portals to support mobile health applications for physicians and healthcare providers; and expanding its network of healthcare partners and introducing an expanded trial program for potential new healthcare partners through a model that offers companies trials with minimal commitment. (The company has also hired a new agency, Comunicano, Del Mar, California, to develop a comprehensive communications program. It had already engaged Connected Health Strategies to support business development in the United States and globally.)

“Our mobile expertise puts us in a position to meet the growing demand for secure application solutions in the healthcare industry,” says Albert Wahbe, Diversinet chairman and CEO. “We have invested more than $80 million in our MobiSecure technology platform over the last 13 years and have built up a significant patent portfolio. Given government and industry mandates to move to a more efficient and effective electronic system of healthcare information management, we believe this is the ideal time to focus our solutions on healthcare providers, payers and patients.” The company sees mobile phones as the logical vehicle for providing these services.

Diversinet’s products securely support both patient-entered and physician-verified records. The applications enable patients to securely and easily access and update their information, wherever they may be, whether in the doctor’s office, at the pharmacy, or while traveling. Medical entries can indicate whether they were verified by a physician, ensuring future providers’ willingness to base treatment on the data.

With just a few clicks on a mobile device, patients can use Diversinet’s solutions to access and share with trusted third parties vital information about allergies, medication usage and medical history. The company’s applications can also be used to extend case management, such as reminding people to take their medication or quickly and confidentially interact with health insurance companies and their chosen medical team.

Healthcare providers and payers can quickly customize Diversinet applications to meet their own unique needs. The technology allows providers to consolidate data from multiple sources into one holistic view. Physicians can use the applications to monitor patients’ treatment compliance and progress, including viewing results from home monitoring devices.

Numerous studies demonstrate the increasing need for access to secure electronic healthcare. A 2008 survey by Credant Technologies, Addison, Texas, showed one-third of healthcare professionals store patient data on portable and mobile devices, including USB drives, laptops and mobile phones. But only 39% of healthcare organizations report encrypting the data on these devices – devices that can easily end up in the wrong hands. (A recent report found that 12,500 mobile devices were left in taxis, and 4,500 USB memory sticks were left in pants pockets sent to dry cleaners during a six-month period last year. And in the medical field, people have fraudulently received expensive procedures based on stolen identities.)

Telemedicine reportedly reduces costs and offers benefits for patients and healthcare providers. The use of encryption and authentication technologies gives the healthcare industry a safe, efficient way to connect people, providers and payers with critical information.

Diversinet’s secure gateway for MobiSecure SMS provides delivery and read-receipt confirmation message status to users, offering assurance that messages have been successfully received by the intended recipient.

The new personalization tools of the MobiSecure Wallet and Vault platform enable organizations to manage the look, colour and other features, reinforcing brand awareness and maintaining market presence. Encryption and strong authentication provide security for both one- and two-way messages meeting regulatory and privacy requirements. A remote access wipe capability enables users to erase sensitive data in the event a mobile device is lost or stolen.

MobiSecure SMS is compatible with global SMS aggregators and modems to ensure that MobiSecure SMS messages are delivered to end users, regardless of handset, carrier, or country specifications. The products can be used on Java phones (J2ME), BlackBerry, MS Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, BREW, iPhone, and Android. MobiSecure is also is available for PCs and as a Web browser plugin.

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