Smartphones start doing the rounds

Pagers have for long been considered the doctor’s sidekick but in the United States, as hospitals face pressure for greater efficiency, smartphones are taking over.

However, the rise of smartphone healthcare comes amid added concern about patient privacy. Although apps such as AirStrip OB and mVisum are approved by the FDA (The Food and Drugs Administration) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), some critics remain sceptical about data security.

“The problems are common to all mobile devices: encryption at rest on the device and in transit, and whether data on lost or stolen devices can be easily accessed,” says Deborah Peel, founder of US watchdog organisation – Patient Privacy Rights.

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