Wireless Technology Infrastructures for Authentication of Patients: PKI that Rings


American Medical Informatics Association


As the public interest in consumer-driven electronic health care applications rises, so do concerns about the privacy and security of these applications. Achieving a balance between providing the necessary security while promoting user acceptance is a major obstacle in large-scale deployment of applications such as personal health records (PHRs). Robust and reliable forms of authentication are needed for PHRs, as the record will often contain sensitive and protected health information, including the patient's own annotations. Since the health care industry per se is unlikely to succeed at single-handedly developing and deploying a large scale, national authentication infrastructure, it makes sense to leverage existing hardware, software, and networks. This report proposes a new model for authentication of users to health care information applications, leveraging wireless mobile devices. Cell phones are widely distributed, have high user acceptance, and offer advanced security protocols.

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