Conversation with Martin Hack on Security and mHealth

Posted: October 18, 2010 in Expert Q&A
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As the Mobile Health Expo 2010 gets underway this week, we caught up with Martin Hack executive vice president of NCP engineering on his upcoming panel session, Privacy and Security: How American Hospice Incorporated Mobile Devices into Its Day-to-Day Operations. Here’s what Martin had to share with us regarding the Expo.

VPN Haus: During your session on Tuesday, you and Fred Cruz will talk about vendor lock and the challenges it presents to healthcare organizations. Can you give our readers a sneak preview here and tell us the main challenges around vendor lock and how healthcare organizations can work around these?

Martin Hack: It’s primarily a question of standards and whether it is feasible to use standards based solutions. Luckily, in our networking world, standards have been well defined and have been around for ages. So one thing a customer can do, to avoid too much of a vendor lock in, is to purchase from vendors that support industry standards and have a history of providing up-to-date products for a variety of platforms and devices.

VPN Haus: Do you think security has taken a backseat to convenience with re: to mhealth?

Hack: Historically security has taken a backseat with pretty much everything that requires some thought. However I also notice that especially the healthcare industry is now taking a more proactive stance with regards to securing sensitive information. Whether that has been forced through the front page news data breaches or the increase in regulatory requirements, hard to tell. Probably both. So a new initiative like mHealth is now being launched into a industry that has increased awareness around data security. That’s good news for mHealth.

VPN Haus: What is IPsec’s role in mhealth? Do you see it eclipsing SSL in this sector?

Hack: Contrary to most pundits IPsec is going to be here for the long term. We are going to see an equal amount of use out of both IPsec and SSL.

Sometimes you need a flat-head screwdriver and sometimes you need a Philips screwdriver. Different job different tool. Both protocols address a fundamentally different use case.

VPN Haus: Why should folks attending the Mobile Health Expo come to your session?

Hack: They are going to learn how easy and straightforward it can be to switch from paper based health care to mobile/near real time processing. That alone is a quantum shift as far technology is concerned. But the intrinsic value that attendees will learn about is that we can improve care delivery with the use of our current solutions. And that’s what it’s IMHO ultimately about.

Attend Martin’s panel session at Mobile Health Expo in room 23 on Tuesday, October 19 at 2:00 PM at the Caesars Palace Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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