Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Arm, Philips, Qualcomm and others collaborate on medical data

Steve Rogerson
May 22, 2018
 
Technology and health companies Arm, ForgeRock, Philips and Qualcomm Life, along with healthcare start-ups Sparsa and US TrustedCare, are collaborating to enable more trustworthy remote patient monitoring data and consented patient-information sharing.
 
Under the banner Open Med Ready, the companies have created a framework designed to complement existing standards in remote clinical care by addressing five critical areas in remote patient monitoring: patient identity, device identity, data integrity, patient privacy and consent.
 
As a part of the framework, Open Med Ready will use capabilities such as fingerprint biometrics, available in many smartphones, with connected medical sensors to add patient identity into the data stream. The framework also includes device identity, which ensures that clinicians are aware of the actual device from which a reading was taken, helping to connect a patient to the device for data transparency and clarity.
 
Making use of these capabilities brings traceability and auditability to remote patient data, and enables securely binding that data with dynamic patient consent. The framework is designed to be readily implementable by telecare service providers and medical device vendors for improved clinical decision making.
 
“Historically, clinicians have been reluctant to use remote patient data for clinical decision making due in part to the concerns regarding identity management, consent and data integrity,” said James Mault, chief medical officer at Qualcomm Life. “Open Med Ready combines connected sensors with modern smartphone capabilities to provide doctors a cryptographic log of a patient’s identity, their device’s identity and their consent, giving care teams the confidence they need to treat patients based on data acquired remotely.”
 
Most healthcare industry initiatives related to remote patient monitoring have focused on connectivity standards such as Bluetooth, EHR data standards such as IEEE and HL7 FHIR, and health data exchange frameworks, such as the Continua Design Guidelines. Open Med Ready will complement these building blocks by adding assurances to physicians about the authenticity and integrity of the measured data, with a goal to increase trust in remotely gathered patient data. Ultimately, trustworthy and secure remote patient data can help lower costs across the healthcare industry and lower hospital readmission rates.
 
“Open Med Ready is an essential building block for enabling effective accountable care, and will serve as a valuable component for providers engaged in shared savings and risk contracts,” said Ramkrishna Prakash, CEO of US TrustedCare. “We are excited to participate in the design of this framework to enable such an open solution for the healthcare and wellness industry.”
 
Research shows that 87 per cent of patients are unwilling to divulge comprehensively all medical information due to privacy and security issues.
 
“It’s critical to establish a proper trust relationship among patients, care providers, telecare devices and digital services,” said Eve Maler, vice president of ForgeRock. “The two critical pieces in doing this are authenticated identity and consent management. The Open Med Ready framework promises a method for doing this in a way that lets valuable ecosystems grow.”
 
Karthik Ranjan, director of healthcare strategy at Arm, added: “Future remote patient analytics platforms will employ artificial intelligence for greater data accuracy, speed and scale in managing outcomes of large patient populations. Open Med Ready enhances remotely acquired data by increasing its provenance, bringing us closer to the reality of closed loop health systems. Automatically reacting to a patient's condition and orchestrating the right response will help to avoid costly hospitalisation and doctor visits while reducing billions of dollars from the healthcare system.”