The digital connectivity of medical devices is now more prevalent than ever in the new-normal world of healthcare. But what exactly are the different types of connected medical device data, what does data governance mean and what are the basics of privacy and security of data in Telehealth?

A connected medical device uses networks to transfer, manage, store, and analyze health data. These devices can be wearable or implantable and sense physiological patient data and/or provide therapy (e.g., neurostimulator).The data, along with the devices themselves, are creating the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) – a connected infrastructure of medical devices, software applications and health systems and services.

A few types of connected medical device data include:

  • User physiological data: Vital signs and measurement of body functions (e.g., heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, etc.).
  • User therapeutic data: Information about specific devices and therapies (e.g., implantable device parameters).
  • User demographic information data: User information not captured by medical device (e.g. height, weight, age, exercise, sleep activity, etc.).
  • Device status data: Essential parameters indicating the status and health of the device itself (e.g., battery level or other device-specific models, serial number, etc.).

Introduction to data governance

Data governance is a set of standards and measures that guides organizations and entities on how to handle data throughout the data lifecycle. The data lifecycle typically includes:

Data security is essential for the entire data lifecycle as it assures that data is available, confidential, encrypted, and safe. More than ever, there is a need for data governance and user access and management rights are particularly critical to secure.

Privacy and security? Why is it so essential to Telehealth?

First things first, when it comes to privacy in healthcare, it is important for medical devices to comply with the (HIPAA).  While HIPAA regulations are mostly procedural, we will dig deeper into this topic in upcoming blogs, especially when it comes to Telehealth.

Security is intrinsic, and for example, in Telehealth, user access management is the biggest worry for IT security teams. The data transport is customarily encrypted but user authentication like granting access and session expiration are critical to secure.

As successful Telehealth and digital health solutions define next-generation healthcare, there is a need for tighter cybersecurity measures that must encrypt confidential data and meet state, federal, and international compliance standards and privacy regulations.

This blog is part 2 of a series on Telehealth and Telemedicine Security. Follow us here to stay up to date!