Boston Children's Hospital creates mHealth development guide

Boston Children's Hospital researchers have created a 14-point mobile app development guideline for bring-your-own-device hospital environments to help developers with system integration, compliance adherence and software deployment strategies.

Once the Mobile Application Development guideline was developed, BCH researchers built the TaskList app, which is aimed at helping medical residents capture, monitor, create and share daily collaborative patient-focused tasks. The guideline's 14 recommendations cover four categories, from authentication and data management to secure app environments and remote enforcement, according to a report detailing the guideline's development, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

"The guideline helps both developers and security administrators balance between maximizing the use of personal devices in hospital settings and minimizing the security risk of BYOD with [protected health information," according to the report. "During the development and deployment processes, we also gained valuable knowledge and experience to build future apps that require similar robust security measures."

The BYOD mHealth environment presents concerns regarding data protection and use of confidential patient data and the potential for privacy infractions. Penn Medicine developed a BYOD policy last year to ensure patient and hospital information on a device was secure and to ensure employees that their own information wouldn't be accessed by the health system.

The BCH researchers note the guideline process revealed there is no single-bullet solution for addressing all inherent issues in a BYOD hospital environment, but that such guidelines as well as legal policy, education and comprehensive security detection can help mitigate potential security concerns.

For more information:
- read the report

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