Since I follow the teleheath space rather closely from a security/privacy perspective, I was drawn yesterday to this article titled “How Health Privacy Regulations Hinder Telehealth Adoption”.  From my experience, I know telehealth has many obstacles to overcome but I have never thought of security-privacy being prominent among them. I have certainly not thought of security-privacy as a hindrance to its adoption, as the article’s title says.

I read the article and then downloaded the original AHA paper (pdf) the article is based on.

It wasn’t too long after did I conclude that the title of the article was misplaced, in my opinion.

The AHA paper is nicely written and very objective in my view. It covers a number of areas that are true challenges to telehealth adoption but it doesn’t portray security-privacy as a hindrance, contrary to the title of the article. On the other hand, it talks about specific security-privacy considerations for planning and implementation (see page 10 of the pdf). These considerations are no different from what one would need to implement when deploying any new type of technology.

The considerations are the right things to do if you were to have any confidence in your ability to safeguard patient privacy and safety. Sure, there are some regulatory aspects (discussed on page 11) but these are no different from what we need for protecting Protected Health Information (PHI) in any form.

In conclusion, I think the author should perhaps look to change the title lest anyone should think that it adds to the FUD, of which there is no shortage in security, as we know.