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Protecting Privacy in Remote-Patient Monitoring
May 2001 (vol. 34 no. 5)
pp. 24-27

Audio-video-based remote-patient monitoring via the Internet raises privacy issues that only clearly defined confidentiality and authentication requirements for secure Internet communication can address.

MPEG compression technologies can transmit high-quality audio-video via the Internet so that a family member can use an office PC or wireless mobile terminal to monitor a bedridden patient's image and vital signs while a caregiver runs errands. However, such systems raise privacy concerns. Transmitting unprotected audio-visual signals, compressed in a standard format, over the Internet carries the risk that someone can monitor these transmissions, accidentally or intentionally.

For medical and healthcare applications, security issues in the Internet's transport and network layers cause the most concern. Although encryption can protect data, using such technology for remote-patient monitoring should not compromise Internet accessibility and performance. Patient-monitoring applications require excellent performance and quality of service to provide accurate live information to the monitoring side. Thus, the performance of the end-to- end Internet infrastructure itself must be the subject of future study.

Atsushi Kara, "Protecting Privacy in Remote-Patient Monitoring," Computer, vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 24-27, May 2001, doi:10.1109/2.920607
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