Technology and health organisations Philips, Arm, ForgeRock and Qualcomm Life, along with US-based healthcare startups Sparsa and US TrustedCare, are collaborating with the aim of enhancing data from medical devices to enable more trustworthy data sourcing and consented patient-information sharing.

The companies have created what they call the OpenMedReady framework to complement existing standards in remote clinical care. The new framework addresses five critical areas in remote patient monitoring: patient identity, device identity, data integrity, patient privacy and consent.

OpenMedReady will utilise capabilities such as fingerprint biometrics, which are present in a growing number of 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 patient to device for data transparency and clarity.

Making use of these capabilities will bring traceability and auditability to remote patient data, and enable securely binding that data with patient consent.

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. According to the participating organisations, OpenMedReady 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.

“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 Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Qualcomm Life, James Mault, MD, FACS.

“OpenMedReady 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,” continued Mault.

“At a time when research shows 87% of patients are unwilling to comprehensively divulge all medical information due to privacy and security issues, it’s critical to establish a proper trust relationship among patients, care providers and digital services,” said Vice President of Innovation and Emerging Technology at ForgeRock, Eve Maler.

“The two critical pieces in doing this are authenticated identity and consent management. The OpenMedReady framework promises a method for doing this in a way that lets valuable ecosystems grow,” continued Maler.

“Future remote patient analytics platforms will employ artificial intelligence (AI) for greater data accuracy, speed and scale in managing outcomes of large patient populations,” said Director of Healthcare Strategy at Arm, Karthik Ranjan.

“OpenMedReady 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,” concluded Ranjan.

The OpenMedReady framework is designed to be readily implementable by medical device vendors.

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