iPads in Healthcare and Ways to Secure Them

  • September 11, 2018

The paper clipboards remained healthcare industry’s mainstay for the number of years, but today, many of the hospitals have replaced it by mobile devices like iPads, thanks to ever-advancing technology. Many of the routine hospital tasks like filling the patient forms, questionnaires, and feedback are now replaced from the paper form to electronic form. Besides the routine tasks, hospitals can utilize the technology and use iPads to collect patient information, prescribe drugs and even place online orders for the drugs and other healthcare & hospital items.

Patient engagement is a very critical aspect of the healthcare industry, and that’s where it struggles. Though, questionnaires and surveys are a good start, more and more physicians use it to even explain the medical conditions of the patients by the means of videos, webinars and online interactions irrespective of time and place of the patient. In this way, patients can avail better awareness and at that time when they really need it.

iPads in healthcare make it easy to take up home healthcare initiatives. A physician or any health care practitioner visit the patient at their home, as in many cases, patients are immobile and cannot go to the hospital premises to get a check-up. In such cases, the healthcare practitioner can carry an iPad, with the wi-fi connectivity, can access the patient history and even record the observed health parameters in real-time. He can also give a prescription, even order medicines online which can reach directly to the patient’s home. iPad also supports Bluetooth, and with the recent developments of the Internet of Things, iPad can directly monitor data which comes from different medical monitoring devices and hence there is no need to enter the data and most importantly patients can be taken care of right at their home.

iPad now a mainstay in the healthcare industry, we have highlighted various benefits, but, with increased usage, there comes the risk of privacy, data breaches, and device theft. Amongst the riskiest of these is the risk to patient data privacy, where the device is being used to store or exchange critical personal information. These risks happen due to technical factors such as lack of encryption, organizational factors, human error such as leaving the device unattended or misplacing it, and human intent such as hacking the device or introducing a malware in the system. All of these may jeopardize personal privacy and unnecessarily lead to misuse of data. Hence, the hospital IT department need to look out for a good Mobile Device Management Solution to secure iPad in healthcare.

Scalefusion – an MDM for iPad in healthcare makes it simple, to not only protect but also optimize the iPad utility.

Scalefusion MDM for iPad can help you Secure iPads in Healthcare

Utilize auto-erase, auto-lock and password protect & secure your iPads in healthcare. For e.g., in the hospital, you have a number of iPads provided to doctors and patients. If anyone of them gets lost or misplaced, all the confidential information is on the risk. Hence the IT Admin of the hospital can set as to how many attempts to be given to unlock the password, set the auto-erase/auto-wipe feature by which if someone tries to guess the password and tries to log in, it will either lock the device remotely or automatically delete the data. Also, location tracking if enabled, helps to locate the stolen devices.

There are innovative mobile applications available for the various hospital functions. These apps can be uploaded centrally on the cloud-based Scalefusion dashboard and then further published on different iPads. By this way, all the mobile applications are maintained and updated centrally and there are no discrepancies in their versions.

One of the best advantages which Scalefusion can offer to better utilize & secure the iPads in healthcare is to turn the iPad into single app mode or the kiosk mode. In this mode, iPads can be used specifically for one app either for patient’s use or doctor’s use or for any administrator’s purpose like registering the patient for the first time, taking feedbacks or running a questionnaire survey. Single app mode in iPad restricts the devices for all the other users, that is, no other apps can be accessed by the device user except the one which is set in the single app mode. On many devices, the requirements may be to run a few of the selected apps and restrict the devices for other apps and websites, then Scalefusion for such cases can lock the devices in multi-app mode. This is achieved by whitelisting as well as blacklisting the applications.

The security of the devices can further be enhanced by restricting the hardware feature as well as such as volume buttons, camera, home button, iCloud, Siri and many other. By this, every device can have different security profile according to their requirement and be used by patients or doctors or the administrators without any worries of the data breach or the device theft. The network management is also done by Scalefusion MDM, that is, remotely create & configure Wi-Fi and hotspot settings of all the enrolled iOS devices. Hence, that way too, IT admin of hospitals can stay in control of the security aspects. And, all these security aspects and the device restrictions can be controlled and monitored by them, over-the-air from the centralized, user-friendly Scalefusion dashboard.

In addition to all the above utilities, it also offers,

1. Seamless bulk enrollment of the iPads and support Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP)
2. Content Distribution and Management
3. Business messenger to effective communication among the teams

To conclude, hospitals can utilize the cutting edge technology by using iPads for patients, doctors and administrators use by taking necessary security precautions. This is possible for them to achieve by deploying the right MDM for iPad in healthcare to remotely manage and control the devices



About the Author

Nema Buch is a Research & Marketing professional, also writes for Scalefusion on Enterprise Mobility trends, SaaS, and different Industry Verticals.

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