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Hardware can ease concerns over security of HIPAA information

How can officials keep that information safe?

By Michael Cayes

Mooring Tech, Inc.

This article is provided by Mooring Tech, Inc. and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of EMS1.

At this point, every American has moved, or been dragged kicking and screaming, into the Digital Age. Nearly everyone has, or at least has access to, a tablet of some sort. Tablets, possessing the portability of a mobile phone with the processing power and display of a laptop computer, are proven more versatile than believed with each new generation of models. They are steadily making their way into the hands of public safety officials across the country, and tech companies are responding with creative ways to enter, store, and transmit information.

The question becomes, how can officials keep that information safe? For the EMT who just entered a patient’s vitals to send to the hospital, or for the policeman who just accessed a network containing protected information about millions of people to pull up a criminal record, that is a real concern. It is not enough to be able to view and edit the information in all of the many available databases. There must be a way to protect it too. This security is especially poignant for EMS workers, who are face increasing treatment responsibilities in the field. As they are asked to do more, EMT’s are asking to know more about patients, generating the need for new security methods as information leaves hospital databases and moves into the field with first responders.

Enter companies like MooringTech, the company that currently sells the entire line of ToughPads by Panasonic. These ToughPads come with a range of options for security that prevents unauthorized personnel from even getting to the software programs inside. There are currently five models of the Panasonic ToughPad, and all of them support biometric and hardware-based security features.

On the biometric side, ToughPads are manufactured with a built-in fingerprint scanner. They can also be set to require facial recognition before they unlock. These features are not unique to ToughPads, admittedly; even iPhone users will recognize these particular methods of protection. But they are very effective in ensuring that access to the information on the device is restricted and kept in safe hands. Because of the excellent display of the ToughPad, and its ability to function fully even in bright light, facial recognition is a smoother process than it is on most mobile devices. If stolen, or even misplaced, the biometric security features ensure that the device will remain locked until it can be tracked or wiped remotely. Of course, the biometric options limit use of the ToughPads and require enough tablets for every employee in the field. When this isn’t possible, there are also attachments such as barcode scanners and magnetic strips that allow controlled access to multiple people on one device. The tablets, as with most Windows devices, can be configured with profiles for each user to access with the required passcode.

Whether customers choose to use the built-in biometric security measures, or purchase security attachments that allow access to the ToughPad and its software, they can be sure that their investment in a ToughPad is the safest possible choice for protecting their information.