Article

mHealth Alliance: Protecting Patient Privacy in an Increasingly Mobile World

    Author:
  • Patricia Mechael, Executive Director, mHealth Alliance
  • July 23, 2013
mHealth Alliance: Protecting Patient Pri

In mHealth Alliance's eNewsletter this month, Executive Director Patricia Mechael shares her first insights on the results of a newly released, thought-leading report on issues around privacy and security policies in field of mobile health. The research has surfaced key considerations and a global framework to help the field in addressing security issues, moving forward and reaching scale.

On June 25, the mHealth Alliance released a first-of-its-kind report that was produced as part of our exciting collaboration with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the law firm Baker & McKenzie, and Merck. Following months of research, this report offered the first-ever global review of privacy and security policies in the field of mobile health.

We are increasingly embarking into new territory where technology moves faster than policies, regulation, and mechanisms for both protecting people’s rights and taking legal action when those rights are infringed upon. More than ever, the field of mHealth needs to carefully consider the way forward to address the challenges associated with privacy and security issues, which studies have shown are top barriers to scaling up mHealth in low- and middle-income countries.  

In order for mHealth to reach scale, we have to build greater trust among the recipients of mHealth solutions in the privacy and security of their health data. We also have to mitigate the risks for those in the public and private sector who want to invest in mHealth but may be hesitant to do so, based on data privacy concerns. I feel confident that the findings and recommendations from this research will help move the needle on mHealth privacy and will offer a valuable framework for how to proceed on complex issues related to securing health data. 

I encourage you to read the report and to check out the very interesting panel discussion from our launch event. I hope this report will be the starting point for an ongoing conversation among all stakeholders about how we overcome the challenges related to privacy and security that currently face the field of mHealth, and I look forward to hearing the thoughts and perspective of members of the mHealth community.

Read the full report here.

mPulse, the mHealth Alliance's monthly eNewsletter, highlights the latest news, events, and articles from key opinion leaders in the mHealth field. Sign up for mPulse today >

 

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