It is a well-known fact that the Healthcare industry has been slower to adopt IOT or the Internet of Things!
Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Senior Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.
It is a well-known fact that the Healthcare industry has been slower to adopt Internet of Things technologies than other industries. The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is poised to transform how we keep people safe and healthy, especially as the demand for solutions to lower healthcare costs increase in the coming years. This leads to concerns of whether regulations can keep up with the growing technology. As the number of connected devices increases, IT systems will need to determine how to handle the data load securely.
The benefits of IoMT are vast and growing fast. Due to the availability of wearable devices and the decreasing cost of sensor technology, most consumer mobile devices are equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, they can communicate with IT systems.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) confirms that the largest payer in the U.S. sees remote patient monitoring (RPM) as part of the future of care delivery. Beginning this year, CMS will begin incentivizing the use of connected technology to capture patient-generated health data. In 2017, a Pennsylvania based team, Final Frontier Medical Devices, won the first place prize for developing an artificial intelligence-based engine named DxtER, which learns to diagnose medical conditions by integrating learnings from clinical emergency medicine with data analysis from actual patients. DxtER includes a group of non-invasive sensors that are designed to collect data about vital signs, body chemistry, and biological functions which is then synthesized in the device’s diagnostic engine in order to make an accurate assessment.
All health product or service providers whose clients’ data is stored in the U.S. are a subject to a set of security regulations set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance laws. Any vendor offering services that are subject to the act must provide documentation as proof of their conformity. It is important to check that a HIPAA certified provider is willing to make a Business Associate Agreement, which is the agreement between two parties planning to transmit, or receive personal health information (PHI). Also, a System and Organization Controls (SOC) audit report can be requested when contracting with a provider which will include the company’s certification of encryption levels, and physical security measures.
There are several ways to check if a provider follows standards and relevant regulations. One way is to audit the potential provider using an independent party. Another way to determine whether the company is compliant is to assess the qualifications of its staff which are required to be educated on the most current standards and safeguards.
For a number of years, SafeSourcing has been sourcing healthcare related products and services to our clients. Between looking at services offered and price points, healthcare institutions also need to consider vendors’ HIPAA compliance readiness.
For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your business or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.
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