Sunday, February 5, 2012

HHS Mobile Device Projects

The Office of the National Coordinator’s Office of the Chief Privacy Officers and the HHS Office for Civil Rights recently launched a “Privacy & Security Mobile Device” project. The goal is to develop an effective and practical way to bring awareness and understanding to the clinical sector to help them better secure and protect health information while using mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Building on the existing “HIPAA Security Rule-Remote Use Guidance”, the project is designed to identify privacy and security good practices for mobile devices, identify good practices and use cases, communicate information in plain, practical, and easy to understand languages for healthcare providers, professionals, and other entities. At this time, HHS is looking for input on the project and plans to announce a public roundtable this spring.

This year HHS has been involved in several mHealth initiatives such as the National Cancer Institute’s “SmokeFreeTXT” program a mobile smoking cessation service designed for teens and young adults in the U.S. HHS has also partnered with the White House to launch the “Apps Against Abuse “challenge to help young adults connect with trusted friends in real-time to prevent abuse or violence from occurring.

An important mHealth development announced in 2011, the HHS Office of Minority Health is working with the American Association of Diabetes Education (AADE) and ATT&T to use mobile devices to deliver Diabetes Self Management Training (DSMT) within an underserved minority community in Dallas Texas.

This is important in underserved minority communities because according to the report, “A Patient-Centric Provider-Assisted Diabetes Telehealth Self-Management Intervention for Urban Minorities,” African Americans particularly inner-city residents are likely to be medically underserved without access to constant provider monitoring. Also, they are most likely to be treated in a healthcare provider’s office with little or no self-management training or provider interaction between visits.

To deliver DSMT, AT&T is contributing $100,000 to AADE to provide approximately 150 smart phones with voice and data plans for the patients and provide diabetes educators and other education personnel. The diabetes educators are delivering DSMT to patients by using a video application on the mobile devices.