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  • Writer's pictureENTRUST

Data security in remote patient monitoring

Authors: Arnor Solberg and Erik Houge Mathisen, Tellu.



A. Solberg and E. Houge Mathisen from Tellu about remote patient monitoring  


In this article, Arnor Solberg and Erik Houge Mathisen from Tellu provide their expertise on the importance of security and privacy in Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) solutions. As a Use Case provider in the ENTRUST project, Tellu is actively involved in implementing the RPM use case and conducting testing and validation of project concepts and technologies. Explore potential challenges, best practices, and innovative solutions in ensuring the security and privacy of remote patient monitoring data. 


 

Benefits of RPM in Healthcare 


RPM represents a significant shift in healthcare service delivery, allowing patients to receive care remotely from their own homes. This method involves the remote tracking of patients' health metrics and symptoms by healthcare providers. 


Through RPM, patients regularly provide updates on their physical and mental well-being via video chat, questionnaires or connected medical devices measuring e.g. blood pressure, weight, and body temperature. The collected data is then transmitted to healthcare professionals for analysis and proactive management of patient health. By avoiding unnecessary medical visits, the patient is spared inconvenient and taxing journeys to the hospital, while the hospital reduces costs and can utilize their resources better. It’s a win-win. 


A practical example of RPM 


Consider a scenario where a diabetic patient uses a glucose monitoring device synced with a gateway device, which can securely transmit sensitive data directly to care providers. Throughout the day, the patient logs their blood sugar levels, which are seamlessly transmitted to their healthcare provider for review. Every week, the patient will get notifications on their mobile phone and answer a short questionnaire concerning their overall well-being as well as a few targeted questions which can indicate developments in their personal diagnoses.


If the designated carers were to detect worrisome measurements, they schedule a video chat with the patient to clarify and plan a further course of action. This may lead to the patient coming into the hospital for a more thorough check or adjustments in the monitoring regime for the patient. 


glucose monitoring device RPM

Ensuring security in RPM 


Security and privacy are important aspects of Remote Patient Monitoring solutions, in part due to the inherently sensitive nature of patient health data. For instance, the cares monitoring the patient need to trust that the data they receive is indeed coming from the patient and that the measurement values are accurate. In addition, it is important that the data is only accessible by authorised personnel and systems. However, enhancing the security of a solution in the wrong way can end up making the system complicated to manage.  


In the context of RPM, where there can be a network of connected devices physically located in the patient’s home, often without people with technical competence nearby, this further complicates the situation. In the ENTRUST project, we are exploring ways to strengthen the security infrastructure of these connected medical devices with even less interaction needed from both the user and the system administrators. We are also exploring ways to better monitor the connected medical devices that we connect with in a network in the user’s home to ensure all devices are always in a trustworthy state, protecting data integrity and availability. 


Minimising disruption to patient care


At Tellu, we are committed to providing advanced services within the e-health domain. Within the realm of Remote Patient Monitoring, we are continuously concerned about maintaining patient security and privacy. Through our participation in the ENTRUST project, we are strengthening the security infrastructure of connected medical devices while minimising disruption to patient care.


Our flagship solution, the TelluCare Platform, together with the Personal Health Gateway, serves as key components in our Remote Patient Monitoring service. By seamlessly managing sensors and devices in patients' homes, the Personal Health Gateway ensures confidentiality, data integrity and service availability. With ENTRUST, Tellu reaffirms its commitment to pioneering solutions that prioritise patient privacy and security in the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare technology. 

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