Morpho, committed to secure mobile access to e-health
Can you explain the principle behind this solution designed specifically for the healthcare sector?
The solution gives doctors totally secure access to patients' medical records from a tablet or smartphone. Authentication is based on a match between the device's SIM card and the unique ID number keyed in by the doctor, who has to enter a PIN code to be able to access patients' medical records on a secure Internet site.
What is the outcome of the trials run in Clermont-Ferrand?
They highlighted the advantages of mobile access for healthcare applications. They also demonstrated our ability to maintain a distinct separation between the two identities, i.e. the doctor's "original" identity and the mobile identity provided by Orange, so responsibilities can be clearly established. This was an important point, given hospitals' data protection and confidentiality requirements. And most importantly, the users are very happy with the system. We found that, during the debriefing sessions, they talked a lot about the healthcare application but didn't mention identification at all, which shows that they simply took that aspect in their stride. That was precisely our objective.
What are the next steps with this project?
Orange Healthcare is expected to put the solution on the market in the first half of 2015. In the meantime, another round of trials will be conducted in a hospital in Catalonia.
There is strong demand for a system like this. The Clermont-Ferrand hospital will undoubtedly be one of the first customers and a dozen other hospitals have already expressed an interest. It should be pointed out that this mobile identification technology can be used in many other fields, such as banking, retail, businesses, websites, etc. The solution developed with Orange Healthcare is perfectly in line with Mobile Connect, the GSMA* initiative aimed at providing a global SIM card-based authentication solution. The commercial version will be fully compatible with Mobile Connect.
How could biometrics - another area in which Morpho excels - be used to enhance this solution?
That is clearly the next step. Biometrics could be used when healthcare professionals are being enrolled, to add extra layers of trust and make their authentication even more secure. We could also use biometrics to replace or supplement the mobile device's PIN code.
In a broader perspective, the expertise and biometric tools developed by Morpho have opened the door to new uses in healthcare. It will soon be possible in emergency medicine, for example, to identify a patient with biometrics – perhaps by scanning their fingerprints – to access their medical records and start treating them as quickly as possible. In telemedicine too, biometrics will help check the identity of the patient about to receive advice or treatment remotely, the idea being not to restrict access but to reduce the risk of error and optimize the quality of data access.
* The GSM Association (GSMA) represents 850 mobile operators in 218 countries around the world. Its members also include 200 manufacturers and other industrial companies in the sector.