Monthly Archives: February 2014

How do hospital CIOs deal with the challenges of BYOD and the Internet of Things?

Smart Strategies for Healthcare Technology

There was a very interesting insight from Andrew Litt, Chief Medical Officer at Dell’s Healthcare division on Computerworld recently, about how hospital CIOs are dealing with the dual challenges of BYOD and the Internet of Things. Even though he is US-based, many of the themes are universal. The article is reproduced below.

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  • Transforming Healthcare with Knowledge and IT
  • Clinician And Patient Empowerment
  • Health Informatics
  • Sharing Information across Health and Social Care

With your peers, with Ovum’s analysts, and with expert speakers from the likes of BCS Health, Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, GP Care (Bristol), HSCIC, NHS England Northern Senate, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham.

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Mr Litt’s thoughts are below:

‘There are two trends in healthcare that should give hospital IT professionals pause: BYOD and the Internet of Things. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is certainly not new, but hospitals are still figuring out how to navigate the security concerns. While BYOD is a trend in the corporate world, too, there are two major differences for hospitals. First, the folks accessing corporate networks are, almost exclusively, employees and they use corporate-owned devices for most of that access. Second, when they do use their own devices, they are mostly reading email, not accessing sensitive data.

Hospitals, however, have hundreds of physicians who are not employees who access their networks, and they want to use their own devices to log into applications to read medical records (containing some of the most sensitive data on the planet), order tests and prescribe medications. The idea of non-employees accessing data and applications of that level of sensitivity on personally owned devices would scare the daylights out of most corporate CIOs. And hospital CIOs are equally worried about the broader security concerns inherent with BYOD. How does one monitor or control the apps on all the different devices and make sure they are not a “back door” into sensitive systems and data?

The Internet of Things (no matter what you think of the moniker), is related to BYOD in that it could, depending on how hospitals set up their systems, introduce a vast array of new access points to the network. The “things” involved that concern hospitals are patient monitoring and diagnostic devices that are Internet enabled. Again, a very scary thought when you consider the sensitivity of the data that is being transmitted. While these wireless medical devices currently exist, they now communicate by way of Bluetooth, transmitting data via a smartphone or computer that relays the data to the endpoint. Once these devices become Wi-Fi enabled, however, that buffer will disappear, creating yet another access point to the network…’

Read the full article on Computerworld.

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Joan Miller, Director of UK Parliamentary ICT, on the digital divide, online voting, BYOD and hackathons

joan-millerA recent interview with Computer Weekly magazine saw Joan Miller, Director of UK Parliamentary ICT, share her thoughts on how Parliament should be using technology today, as well as the challenges of digital in an evolving world. The interview is below.

Joan Miller will be participating in an Industry Leaders Panel Discussion at Public Sector Enterprise Insights on 13th March (free passes for public sector executives), which can be summarised thus:

Leadership, Innovation and Driving Business Goals Forward

  • Successfully supporting a more agile organisation
  • Progress on Urban vs. Rural Landscape – A realistic map for the future
  • The future – Exploring opportunities mobility and engagement
  • Public Sector Networks
  • M2M and the future requirements on IT capabilities
  • Skills needed for the future

The other speakers on the panel are: Bill McCluggage, Irish Government CIO, Department of Public Expenditure & Reform; Michael Eaton, Deputy Director, ICT Business Strategy & Planning, Welsh Government; Chris Price, Chief Information Officer, West Midlands Police Authority; Stephan Conaway, Chief Information Officer, London Borough of Brent.

Here are Joan’s thoughts:

Miller says she is excited about the prospect of a [digital democracy] commission: “Technology has become so much a part of how people work these days, not just an IT issue, it’s a business issue.”

She says the commission will allow MPs to think through the impact of current technology practices and future trends.

“I think the commission is an opportunity to look at the challenges,” she says. “The challenges are in an evolving world – are we ready for that evolving world?”

She believes there are many issues for Parliament to debate, including the use of technology and how that will change the way Parliamentarians works.

Her job role is to manage the internal technology in Parliament, providing all the applications, systems and devices used by the House of Commons and House of Lords.

She says we are living in a world overloaded with information from modern technology. Parliamentarians need to consider big data, how they select the information they need, which is useful, and how they will engage this information with the public.

“I think the mechanisms for accessing information has become easier, but the information has become more dense,” she says.

The digital divide

One concern the commission is determined to address is that of the digital divide. Society is divided by those who are connected to the internet and use it regularly, and those who do not use the internet and social networks. The government is aware of the problem, and is working through the commission and the Government Digital Service to solve it.

“Many MPs are using social networks and connecting directly with many members of the public,” says Miller. “That also has the opportunity to exclude people who are not involved with technology as much. What do we do with about the population who do or can’t have access to it?”

But Miller – who is hoping to provide evidence to the speaker’s commission – says the digital divide is not a new problem and has always been a challenge.

In the 1990s, Miller worked in local government at a time when there was talk about changing services in line with the development of the internet. “I was working in social services and providing services for older people,” she says. “It was quite difficult to see where the internet could help older people who didn’t have a computer.”

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Smart to Future Cities 2014 speaker line-up to be revealed on Twitter

Ovum Smart Cities

Join us on Twitter at 12:30 GMT/ 13:30 CET on Tuesday 4th February, for the full release of the Ovum Smart to Future Cities 2014 speaker line-up. There are some very big names involved, which we’re very excited about, and hope you will be too. Don’t miss it!

@ovumlive