Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

ARM works with HeartToHeart to help neurodegenerative patients

Steve Rogerson
November 18, 2015
ARM and HeartToHeart Networks have announced a secure digital health system for use by healthcare providers caring for patients with neurodegenerative conditions.
This remote health management (RHM) system uses mobile devices enabled with a trusted execution environment (TEE) based on UK-based ARM’s TrustZone technology combined with HeartToHeart’s structured intelligence care management platform. This creates an opportunity for healthcare providers to make accurate decisions based on the delivery of trusted and accurate patient-validated data.
“Trust is a crucial element in every medical undertaking,” said Karthik Ranjan, director of healthcare technology at ARM. “Remote health management has the potential to change lives for patients and bring greater levels of efficiencies to the healthcare industry but only if trust is ensured all the way from the medical sensor to the secure medical records system of the care team. Proven security technologies like ARM TrustZone can provide a trusted environment for data to move from patient to healthcare provider.”
RHM methods are only successful if the patient data are both trusted and accurate. To address those requirements, ARM technology is used at both the software and hardware level while incorporating the structured intelligence platform from Kansas City-based HeartToHeart at the device level.
Patients use connected health and wellness devices such as blood pressure monitors to acquire physiological data. As the data move from sensor to mobile device, encryption is enabled by the ARM Mbed TLS (transport layer security) features. Once on the mobile device, data are kept secure in a TrustZone-enabled TEE and only the approved medical application can access the stored private data. Prior to any transmission of data, they must first be validated by the patient. The TEE also enables a secure user interface and touchscreen so data are always in the custody of the healthcare provider and patient.
“Data security and confidentiality are always top-of-mind for those of us who are committed to enabling meaningful continuity and support for health among individuals and communities, especially for persons living with neurodegenerative conditions,” said Abhi Ray, CEO at HeartToHeart. “Just as a person’s health journey needs to be seen as a continuous flow, it has been an honour for us to work with partners like ARM who see the secure and trusted flow of personal health information as an end-to-end proposition.”
Neurodegenerative conditions range from diseases such as ALS, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis to spinal cord injuries or brain trauma such as concussions. The remote engagement approach developed by HeartToHeart is a step towards enhancing both quality of life for patients with neurodegenerative conditions and a healthcare provider’s knowledge base by enabling more accurate tracking of disease and symptom progression.