DataMotion Launches Secure Data-Transfer Service for Health Care

DataMotion has introduced a cloud service that allows health care organizations to exchange data using the federal Direct Project encryption standards.

Cloud service provider DataMotion has launched DataMotion Direct, a service that enables health care organizations to transfer data securely while integrating the federal Direct Project messaging protocols and complying with the meaningful-use incentive program.

The Direct Project is a standards-based system in health care for sending encrypted messages among health care organizations, providers and patients. It uses digital certificates and Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME).

Launched Oct. 23, the DataMotion Direct allows for secure, encrypted transfer of email, documents and images that include health information.

DataMotion offers the service as a hosted option or on-premise. With its platform as a service (PaaS), DataMotion aims to reduce the cost and complexity of delivering health information electronically.

"We've taken the experience in secure transport of information and incorporated the Direct Project into that core data delivery offering," Bob Janacek, DataMotion's co-founder and chief technology officer, told eWEEK.

The service integrates large file transfers into the Direct Project, said Janacek, who noted that large medical images can be hundreds of megabytes in size.

By enabling the exchange of files of up to 2GB, DataMotion Direct eliminates data traffic bottlenecks that occur in health information exchanges, the company reported. Until now, large image files have been a limitation of the Direct Project, according to DataMotion.

In addition to email, DataMotion Direct allows doctors to transfer X-rays or other medical images and specialized files through the Direct Project, said Janacek.

"We extend the usefulness of the Direct Project, not just to small messages, but to be the backbone of medical imaging as well," said Janacek.

Health care organizations using the Direct Project include electronic health record (EHR) software companies, medical device manufacturers and data-transfer service providers such as DataMotion. The Microsoft HealthVault personal health record platform also integrates Direct Project messaging protocols.

"We're applying our core competency as a vendor in the data-transfer space to the Direct Project," said Janacek.

DataMotion Direct allows companies to meet data-transfer requirements of Stage 2 of the meaningful-use incentive program for EHRs. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule on Stage 2 in August.

As part of the checklist to comply with Stage 2, a percentage of communications in a doctor's office must be transmitted through the Direct Project, said Janacek.

"It's about secure transmission and proving who you are as the sender and proving who the recipient is," he said.

The service allows the secure transfer of data to remain transparent, said Janacek. It offers "checksums" error checking, disaster recovery and data backup.

In health care, an email service needs to use interfaces that doctors are acquainted with while incorporating security measures at the same time, said Janacek.

DataMotion Direct is designed as a "hub-and-spoke" system, which consists of multiple spokes extending to other systems to allow data exchange to occur.

"One of the spokes we have is a mobile interface that fits into a tablet computer or smartphone," said Janacek.

APIs integrate with doctors' workflows on email clients, tablets and smartphones.

DataMotion Direct "stitches together" the email interfaces of patient portals, he said.

Users access the service through a mobile skin or integrate it into their email client. It provides one-click email delivery and works with platforms such as Citrix, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, and Novell GroupWise as well as smartphones and tablets.

"If you access the system from a mobile device, it switches skins and becomes appropriate for that device," said Janacek. Most doctors and providers will be able to use the email client built into their mobile devices, he said.