Unsecure use of WhatsApp in Healthcare
Apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have become the de-facto “urgent” way to communicate. With WhatsApp boasting a database of…READ MORE>
Smartphones have taken over the medical workforce as the go to method of communication. Consistent with this use has been an explosion in the use of the smartphone camera function at work. Doctors are now taking photos of patients using their personal smartphones more than ever before.
The reasons for this explosion are multiple. Smartphones now contain high quality cameras with automatic and instantaneous focus, improved flash and increased pixel density.
Access to a high quality mobile camera has allowed doctors to improve their workflow, instead of describing a wound to someone else in the care team, doctors can take a photo and instantaneously transmit the image to that person. Rather than mentally noting the appearance of a wound, a doctor can keep a log of the wound in their smartphone, as a timeline.
Doctors are not only taking photos of patients directly, doctors take photos of items such as patient labels, theatre lists, medical charts and other personal health information (PHI)
None of this use is malicious, but, it does raise a number of security and ethical questions.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) have produced a guide for the proper use of personal mobile devices when taking clinical images. A survey of junior doctors working in public hospitals show that these guidelines are rarely followed.
Doctors want to work efficiently, and clinical photo-taking allows them to do so, improving patient care. To adequately deal with security and the legal issues surrounding clinical photo taking, doctors need a more customised application, which has integrated the AMA guidelines for the proper use of taking clinical images.
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