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Internet in Healthcare and Security Aspects

Upcoming Trends in Healthcare


Gone are the days when we sought the help of a physician to understand a medical term or a condition. Now, things are so simple at the touch of a button. Physicians need not explain to patients how he or she is going to feel after a surgery or what to expect from a procedure or what side effects a particular drug can give. All these are self-learnable now. Thanks to Internet and the excellent medical websites available. Internet-time has become inevitable in our lives. Now everyone has easy access to persons, places, and technology. No one needs to be educated about Skype or what's app. The impact of internet on the healthcare industry is tremendous.

Healthcare and Social Media: Social media is changing the nature and speed of health care interaction between consumers and healthcare organizations. Some reliable statistics of US says that social media users are twice in the age group of 18-24 compared to their 45-54 year old counterparts and 90% of them trust the medical information shared by others on social media. At least 31% of healthcare organizations have specific social media guidelines in writing. 19% of smart phone owners have at least one health app on their phone like weight or diet or exercise. Recent study shows 54% of the patients are comfortable seeking medical advice from online communities to treat their condition. 31% of healthcare professionals are using social media for professional networking. Social media is affecting the choice of doctor or medical facility to 41% of the people. More than 30% of the people are sharing their health information on social media sites with other patients and a sizable percentage of people share with doctors, hospitals, health insurance companies or drug companies. Facebook is used by 22% of parents to seek medical information. The quality of care provided through social media is better according to 60% of the doctors. Youtube traffic to hospital sites has increased by 119% over every year. Most popular activity of 60% of physicians is following what their colleagues are discussing and sharing on social. So, internet has become a part of the healthcare industry globally.

The Internet provides unprecedented opportunities for interaction and data sharing among health care providers, patients and researchers. However, the advantages provided by the Internet is not without significant risk to the confidentiality and integrity of information.

Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems have been in use since the 1960's, but more prevalent since 2009. EHR system came into existence due to physicians concerns that, because the complexity of medical care is increasing, that in certain critical situations, the patient information might not be fully accessible. The EHR systems and software programs are such that they could store enormous amounts of patient data and by accessing them any critical information can be obtained quickly and accurately.

How secure is the patient data available on the EHR? The Office for Civil Rights has enforced the HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 that was enacted by the Unites States Congress). The HIPAA Privacy Rule protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information. The HIPAA Security Rule sets national standards for the security of electronic protected health information. The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule requires covered entities and business associates to provide notification following a breach of unsecured protected health information. The confidentiality provisions of the Patient Safety Rule protects identifiable information being used to analyze patient safety events and improve patient safety.

Summing up, the internet health services do have advantages as well as disadvantages. Advantages being the use of the internet to research health issues, medications, chatting with doctors online, and saving of time and effort in reaching the physician. The disadvantages being lack of accuracy, lack of internet skills by elderly people, and false online pharmacies. Also, there is a possibility that an insurance company also checks through the websites someone has looked at, and this could jeopardize an insurance policy if the provider thinks that the person may have a preexisting condition. However, weighing the pros and cons, internet healthcare is and will continue to be a huge advantage to the world, provided all of the approved websites are labeled official and the false websites eliminated.

Watch the Video: Future vision of Healthcare

Protecting your phone data ...



If you are someone who misplaces your phone quite often and worried about data falling into wrong hands then you now have an option.

You can now have a "remote kill switch" which can allow you to remotely wipe your phone. Apple's "Mobile Me" and Android's "SMobile Anti-theft" serves such service. Check your phone manufacturer and your service provider for a remote kill option. However, don't forget to do the simple thing - adding a password to your phone.

Disclaimer: The above content is provided for information and awareness purpose only. It is not prescriptive or suggestive or meant to replaces your qualified physician's advice or consultation.