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Using Smartphone Cameras in Medical Practice: Productivity Gain or Privacy Pain?

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As Smartphone Use in Medical Practice Grows…You Need to Know the Rules

Mobile devices have revolutionized health care by improving access to decision support, expediting specialist consultation, improving communication, and reducing wasted effort. However, the pace of adoption has exceeded the implementation of appropriate security measures and policy. Every physician needs to know the appropriate steps to take to optimize the usage of these devices while mitigating the risk of a privacy breach.

Mobile devices have revolutionized health care by:

  • Improving access to decision support
  • Expediting specialist consultation
  • Improving communication
  • Reducing wasted effort

However, there are some risks associated with the use of smartphones for medical images including:

  • Managing privacy
  • Keeping medical records
  • Obtaining consent

Common usage of consumer mobile phone apps for photo documentation clearly does not meet the existing standards for medical documentation nor for the maintenance of privacy. Despite having the best of intentions, recording, storing, and sharing medical images on a smartphone increase the potential for a security breach, putting patients, providers, and health care institutions at risk.

Existing guidance is sparse and conflicting on this issue. It is important that, as the popularity of these devices grows, physicians familiarize themselves with the rules surrounding their use.

Download this important white paper today to explore the following:

  • What are the data security risks?
  • What are the implications for personal health records?
  • How do practices deal with patient consent?
  • What are the liability issues?
  • Is there any guidance?
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