Verizon and Duke University are collaborating to develop new ways to connect health care with technology securely in the cloud and on mobile devices.
Verizon and Duke University
have announced a partnership that the two parties say will build on cloud
computing and mobile technology to change how health care is delivered.
"For every project
we've done, it comes back to how do we reconceptualize this so it hasn't been
done previously," Kevin Schulman, director of the health sector management
program at Duke University, told eWEEK.
Verizon's Connected Health
group will contribute computing infrastructure, staffing and
resources for developing new technology, while the Durham, N.C., university
will bring researchers, students and project management to the partnership.
Under the multi-year
agreement announced Oct. 5, the two organizations will test health care
technologies for commercial viability. Duke will establish an internship at the
university for students to contribute to the research.
The initiatives will bring
better care, expand access and lower cost of treatment, according to Verizon
"Our goal is to have a
meaningful impact on health care, and from a national policy level, we're
focusing on meaningful use and isolation of health technology on the provider
level," Schulman said. The project will show how connectivity can lead to
achieving health outcomes, he added.
infrastructure will play an important role in the project, Sam Bastia, general
manager of strategy for Verizon Business, told eWEEK.
The telecom company will contribute analytical processing
Products may involve
home-based medical monitoring of chronic conditions and remote sensors running
on Verizon's 4G network, according to Schulman. "The kinds of things you
begin to think about are how do you use that scale to build platforms to make
meaningful change in health care outcomes," he said.
The devices may be mobile
phone-based or connect directly to the network itself, Schulman noted.
"You can hang anything you want to off that network," he said.
Security and privacy will be
a consideration while building the new health care products, according to
Schulman. In fact, the two organizations are looking to transform how security
is handled for health care IT.
"What's attracted us to
the collaboration is Verizon's understanding of the HIPAA
[Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] issues
and the data
privacy and security issues that come in the health care space that might be
different from other spaces," Schulman said.
Verizon recently announced upgrades
to its University Identity Services-Healthcare platform
to allow secure
access to electronic health records (EHRs) and health information exchanges
(HIEs) on mobile devices.
Dr. Peter Tippett, vice
president of Verizon Connected Healthcare Solutions and a chief scientist at
the company's ICSA Labs division, is a pioneer in the development of antivirus
products and computer security.
"The ties between
academia and technology companies run long and deep, and this collaboration
underscores Verizon's commitment to enabling the transformation of U.S. health
care delivery through the common-sense application of health IT," Tippett
said in a statement. "Leveraging Duke's renowned research capabilities
will help Verizon's technical staff identify and deploy technologies that are
needed to advance U.S. health care in a sustainable manner."