Verizon and Duke Tackle Healthcare Data Analysis, Security

Everybody uses technology.  From our homes to our workplace, we see how technology has changed our way of life.  Now, the medical world will be facing a challenge in meeting their needs with the 21st century technology at hand.

Just recently, Verizon and Duke University announced their partnership in building a cloud computing and mobile technology for the betterment of how health care is delivered and to expand access and lower the cost of treatment.   Also, the merging strengths would open the possibility for people to keep better track of their own health, may that be through a connected device such as a smartphone, a computer and eventually the cloud.  Moreover, doctors shall be able to track health records better, easier and more conveniently.

“For every project we’ve done, it comes back to how do we reconceptualize this so it hasn’t been done previously,” says Kevin Schulman, director of the health sector management program at Duke University.

Verizon’s task is to contribute computing infrastructure, staffing and resources for developing new technology.  The telecom company’s cloud infrastructure plays a very important role in the project and will be responsible in the analytical processing and modeling needed.  Duke University on the other hand, will be tasked to bring researchers, students and other technical resources.

“The ties between academia and technology companies run long and deep,” said Dr. Peter Tippett, Vice President of Verizon Connected Healthcare Solutions, in a statement. “Leveraging Duke’s renowned research capabilities will help Verizon’s technical staff identify and deploy technologies that are needed to advance U.S. health care in a sustainable manner.”

“Our goal is to have a meaningful impact on health care, and from a national policy level, we’re focusing on meaningful use and isolation of health technology on the provider level,” Schulman said. “The project will show how connectivity can lead to achieving health outcomes”

Products involved in this project include home-based medical monitoring of chronic conditions and remote sensors running on Verizon’s 4G network.   The devices may be a mobile phone-based or may be directly connected to the network.

With this plan and development, a big consideration on security and privacy must be addressed properly.  Both Verizon and Duke University are now looking to transform how security is handled for healthcare IT.

Security and privacy have been major concerns as more and more devices are being hacked.   The most recent victim of hacking is Bitcoin7, an exchange website, causing wallets and user database be compromised.

Health is a particularly tricky subject for projects such as the one Verizon and Duke University are working on when it comes to security.  The information being collected and handled can have grave implications if released to the wrong hands or mismanaged in any way.  As connected devices are on the rise, security must remain a priority to close the loops personal data may slip through–every technological advance has its own retro-graded concerns to address and this isn’t always accomplished before a technology is released for public use.