Real Time Communications Featured Article

Can Real-Time Communications and WebRTC Play a Secure Role in Healthcare?

March 25, 2015

The healthcare industry today is a fascinating machine. Not only do nurses and physicians have access to medical information from around the world, they can access that information instantly to provide better care. Real-time communications ensures an expert can get in on the collaboration when needed.

Likewise, we as patients have access to our personal healthcare records. By accessing a protected database, we can have that information with us at all times, seeing the healthcare professionals we choose, not just those who hold the records. But what if the interaction is scheduled to take place online? Do we trust real-time communications solutions like WebRTC to protect our information?

It’s one thing if we’re doing something with our healthcare information. If we want to access an online portal to ask questions, we may or may not worry about the HIPAA implications if the security on our side is less than stellar. But we do expect the security on the other end to protect our information like national security. Can we ensure that security and compliance are happening and at the level required?

This is an important question to ask as we’re increasingly relying on mobile and online technologies to complete transactions. Consider mobile payments. Their popularity has risen such that the use of cash continues to decline. Retailers are continually looking for ways to offer flexibility in payments, especially to support social events, retail shopping, bars and restaurant activity.

To respond to the demand for easy transactions that are also secure, NXTD announced its biometric payment technology. The Wocket smart wallet is considered the next great thing as a new way to pay and a vault to protect all of your personal information. With more than 13 million cases of identity theft every year, a device that can take the pain and hassle out of even the possibility is bound to gain the attention of the masses. The universal form of payment secures personal information, but still makes it easy to use.

Image via Shutterstock

The demand for such a wallet demonstrates that while we want easy access to be able to complete transactions, we also want protection when doing so. Real-time communications provides considerable convenience, but will it also allow for the protection necessary to support the healthcare industry? Given the demand for telemedicine and connection healthcare professionals throughout the world, the answer has to be yes.

The emergency surgery that needs to be performed in the Gulf can be overseen by the expert in New York; the oncologist in California can collaborate with experts in Florida and Chicago in real-time; and the patient traveling abroad can seek professional help from his specialist when his condition unexpectedly flares up. WebRTC is allowing for these real-time connections and protective technologies are already in place to secure those conversations. The key is to make security and compliance a priority so patients always have access to the care they need.

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