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Did you really leave your personal health record in the cab?

In the 1990’s, who would have thought that by 2015 most of your sensitive health records might be stored on the mobile phone in your pocket.  If you thought you were afraid of leaving your smartphone behind in the cab before, imagine how much you store on your mobile devices today that is protected by a simple 4-digit PIN code.  How “smart” is that?

Keeping Personal Health Information (PHI) secure, used to be an issue reserved for doctors, healthcare providers, public health officials, and federal regulators. But with health records being stored and shared in the cloud, cyber criminals see a $3 Trillion opportunity and according to Reuters, in 2014 they stole over 4.5 Million health records.

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez on digital health news from CES 2015:  “Connected devices that provide increased convenience and improve health services are also collecting, transmitting, storing, and often sharing vast amounts of consumer data, some of it highly personal, thereby creating a number of privacy risks.”

So getting back to those very powerful and not always secure mobile devices, are passwords and PINs enough protection?  Even the US Government, not always known for being on the cutting edge of technology, drafted an Executive Order mandating that personal data needs to be protected by two-factor authentication.

Strong authentication of identity, based on at least two factors, is vital to protecting PHI contained within healthcare apps and devices.  Multi-modal biometrics is by far the most effective form of identity authentication, whether using face, voice, fingerprint, eye, or hand.  Whether using biometrics to identify medical staff, in-processing patients, accessing clinical data or mobile applications, strong traceable authentication is the key to maintaining security of sensitive personal information.

It used to be that integrating biometric-based authentication required installing sensors and fixed infrastructure systems, but thanks to cloud-based computing, innovative design, and smartphones, biometrically-based strong two-factor authentication can be just a text message away.

ImageWare Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: IWSY) has introduced an Out-of-Box mobile application called GoVerifyID™ to specifically address this issue.   GoVerifyID is a turnkey cloud-based application providing Out-of-Band verification from a patient’s mobile device. It uses a patient’s biometrics, such as face and voice, to verify their identity prior to transmitting PHI over a mobile device.  Best of all, it is fast, easy to enroll, and can be integrated to work with any application.

With GoVerifyID, the next time you leave your phone behind in the cab you will have only lost a phone, not your entire identity.



Tom Evangelisti is the Director of Mobile Business Development at ImageWare Systems, Inc. Previously, Mr. Evangelisti served as President of VOCEL Inc. Tom leverages over 30 years of successful pharmaceutical and medical device experience; with 10 years in wireless technology as a business owner and a senior sales and marketing executive for private and public companies. He co-founded Dura Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Advanced Delivery Systems, and We Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  Tom also served as interim President of Skin Medica and provided consulting services to several large and small pharmaceutical and medical device companies.