Risk
12/1/2010
01:39 PM
50%
50%

IBM Expands Telehealth Partnership With American Well

Customized versions of American Well's Online Care application aim to improve the security of patients' personal health information.




Slideshow: Wireless Telehealth Brings Medical Help To Those In Need
(click for larger image and for full slideshow)

IBM and telehealth firm American Well have expanded their partnership to further embed security into American Well's Online Care system by integrating IBM's professional security services and skills into American Well's application development process.

American Well's Online Care system provides web-based technology and telephony that allows consumers to connect live and on-demand with healthcare providers from their homes or offices. Online Care is currently offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Hawaii, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, OptumHealth (a business of UnitedHealth Group) and TriWest Healthcare Alliance.

According to Dan Pelino, IBM's general manager healthcare and life sciences, the expanded partnership gives IBM the chance to further improve security for American Well's technology by developing customized versions of its Online Care application for each client. The expanded relationship also helps IBM's healthcare strategy.

"Our work with American Well aligns with IBM's smarter healthcare vision and specifically addresses an area in our portfolio where our clients and even patients have a growing need," Pelino told InformationWeek. "IBM believes that significant healthcare industry transformation and improvement is possible through the use of technology like this and IBM is bringing our healthcare and security expertise as well as our expertise in working with the major health plans to support American Well."

American Well's relationship with IBM started in 2008 when the company selected IBM to perform in-depth application vulnerability assessments for several of their customer, patient and provider web applications to identify potential security issues. These assessments verify tasks including transmission security, authentication, session management and passwords, and provide a high-level architecture review.

IBM says its assessments help identify potential security issues and eliminate possible vulnerabilities before they occur. The assessments also check to see that American Well's system protects personal health information (PHI) and remains in compliance with data security guidelines.

"All of American Well's Online Care products are built using a secure development framework, verified through a continuous vulnerability assessment process," Jason Medeiros, VP of hosting at American Well, said in a statement. "Through our partnership with IBM, our clients have the assurance and required confidence that their patient information is secure amidst an ever-changing threat landscape."

As the healthcare industry moves away from paper-based systems to electronic health records (EHRs), and as new health information exchanges (HIEs) are developed, the safety of patient information that is exchanged electronically will be a critical component to the success of a modern healthcare system.

According to Pelino, the current models of delivering healthcare are no longer sustainable partly because of a growing elderly population and an expected rise in the number of patients with chronic illnesses. These trends will give rise to an increasing demand for telehealth services.

"For a while now we've seen the adoption of telehealth for consultation among specialists such as radiologists, but in other fields adoption has been slow. This is due in part to reimbursement models," Pelino said. "As the nation continues to gray, as new methods of reimbursement become based on the quality of care not just on the quantity of visits, and with the roll out of health information exchanges across the country, we believe telehealth will become even more mainstream."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
5 Reasons the Cybersecurity Labor Shortfall Won't End Soon
Steve Morgan, Founder & CEO, Cybersecurity Ventures,  12/11/2017
Oracle Product Rollout Underscores Need for Trust in the Cloud
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  12/11/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Gee, these virtual reality goggles work great!!! 
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2017
A look at the biggest news stories (so far) of 2017 that shaped the cybersecurity landscape -- from Russian hacking, ransomware's coming-out party, and voting machine vulnerabilities to the massive data breach of credit-monitoring firm Equifax.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.