Remote health must expand to meet patient demand, study says
A new report by medical device manufacturers Owen Mumford Pharmaceutical Services, has found that remote healthcare solutions must expand to meet the increased need for acute services and treatment for chronic conditions.
The study says that services risk being overwhelmed unless more patients are able to manage their own treatment and self-administer medicines at home.
Demand for healthcare is rising as the population grows and ages. While the World Economic Forum says the world's health workforce will need to double by 2030 to meet demand, the WHO says that globally there is a .
Connected devices are critical tool to allow clinicians to oversee treatment taking place outside of healthcare practices, remotely accessing data produced by the digital devices. The need for clinicians to manage their patients' conditions remotely will become more pressing as staff shortages grow and healthcare demand increases.
The report considers the number of different key stakeholders (payers, clinicians, pharmaceutical companies and patients) who have influence over the adoption of telehealth and connected drug delivery devices. Each has a different perspective and approach and these need to be understood to gain a full picture of all the different benefits of connected devices, but also the factors that must be taken into consideration to effectively integrate them into healthcare management. For instance, from a patient point of view, comfort during the administration of treatment and ease-of-use are the most important aspects of agreeing to use a device.
Other issues to consider when introducing connected devices are sustainability and data protection. Drug delivery device designers are under pressure to create products that enable connectivity but also produce minimal waste, especially of electronics that use rare-earth materials. Working in partnership with healthcare authorities and providers, designers must also ensure that devices are interoperable with standard clinical systems, and protected from data breaches.
George I’ons, Head of Product Strategy & Insight at Owen Mumford Pharmaceutical Services comments: “The current health crisis really drives home the value of enabling self-administration and remote consultations. In the long-term, it is imperative to develop and expand these capabilities and reduce pressure on healthcare systems, especially as
populations are ageing and non-communicable diseases have become more widespread.
"Connected devices will be instrumental for encouraging therapy adherence in the home but we thought it important to also highlight the cost and environmental implications of shifting to connected devices, as well as viewpoints from each player in the healthcare chain.”
Data de-identification - why it matters in healthcare
Large amounts of healthcare data is generated yet goes unused due to privacy concerns. To address this, data privacy firm TripleBlind has created Blind De-identification, a new approach that allows healthcare organisations to use patient data while eliminating the possibility of the user learning anything about the patient’s identity.
We asked Riddhiman Das, co-founder and CEO to tell us more about data de-identification.
Why is data de-identification important in healthcare?
Blind De-identification allows every attribute of any given dataset to be used, even at an individual level, while being compliant to privacy laws, rules, and regulations by default.
Governments around the world are adopting global data privacy and residency laws like GDPR, which prohibit citizens’ personally identifiable information data from leaving the borders of the country. While great for data protection, data residency laws result in global silos of inaccessible data. TripleBlind allows computations to be done on enterprise-wise global data, while enforcing data residency regulations.
In the US, HIPAA compliance has relied on what is called the Safe Harbor method, which requires removing 18 types of personal patient identifiers like names, email addresses, and medical record numbers. The Safe Harbor method can be too restrictive with the data or can leave too many indirect identifiers, which puts the patient data security at risk. Getting de-identification wrong could make an organisation liable for a costly mistake.
What does TripleBlind's solution do?
With TripleBlind, data is legally de-identified in real time with practically 0% probability of re-identification. Our solution allows analytics on data containing personally identifiable information and protected health information with zero possibility of re-identifying an individual from the dataset. This allows healthcare organisations to access more meaningful data, creating more accurate and less biased results.
For example, a healthcare drug researcher in a rural, predominantly white area, would only have patient data that would reflect their local population. With TripleBlind’s de-identification, they could more easily leverage third-party data from another healthcare facility in a more diverse region, creating a more complete data set that more accurately reflects the larger population. This has the possibility to create more accurate diagnoses and better drug results for more diverse populations.
How can healthcare organisations use this in practice?
TripleBlind is blind to all data and algorithms. That means we never take possession of customer data. We only route traffic between entities, enforce permissions, and provide audit trails. The enterprise’s data remains under their control. TripleBlind does not host, copy or control their data, algorithms or other information assets, ever.
We facilitate a connection to an encrypted version of their information assets. Our technology allows the algorithms and data to interact in an encrypted space that only exists for the duration of the operation. Organisations use their existing infrastructure, so it’s not hardware dependent.