Leading brain-computer interface and healthcare sensor company NeuroSky has created a cost-effective and secure medical monitoring solution that could radically improve remote patient care for people with long term chronic illnesses. The company is working with processor design company ARM, whose technology is in almost all smartphones, to introduce a trusted system that allows the user full control over their data while giving clinicians access to vital information that could help keep patients healthy and out of hospital.
At present, remote healthcare solutions often rely on Bluetooth Link Layer encryption to secure data from a patient monitor to a mobile device before it is sent to an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). This can leave data vulnerable to malware on the mobile device. Other solutions transfer data to the cloud without any kind of user validation before it is sent, leaving data security and privacy in the hands of third party cloud service providers.
NeuroSky has improved this system by using an ARM® processor based medical sensor combined with an ARM TrustZone® enabled Commercial Off The Shelf (“COTS”) mobile device, such as a smartphone, to channel data from the sensor to the patients’ electronic health records. This solution is more secure as data is encrypted on the sensor using ARM mbed™ TLS transport layer security and sent to the phone to be decrypted in a trusted area. The information then has to be validated by the user before data is sent to their ACO.
“Working with readily-available and secure ARM based technology will help to expand the scope of remote health monitoring,” said Stanley Yang, CEO, NeuroSky. “Providing a secure path for data transmission is vital in unlocking remote care at scale and the right systems aren’t yet in place. We believe our solution can change that and making even greater use of cardiovascular and neurological monitoring solutions will have a direct benefit for patients living with serious health conditions.”
The new solution will help ACOs remotely manage patients suffering from conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, and trigger interventions when data anomalies on patients’ medical dashboards are detected. This will help medical device manufacturers create holistic monitoring products for a variety of tasks including heartrate analysis, monitoring glucose and blood oxygen levels, gathering wellness data and sleep tracking.
“The use of trusted off-the-shelf mobile technology in medical sensors can cut billions of dollars a year from the cost of providing remote healthcare services,” said Karthik Ranjan, director, healthcare technology, ARM. “NeuroSky is the first healthcare device company to take this approach in a medical application but these technologies are already widely-used and proven for data sensitive applications such as banking. The healthcare industry is facing a real challenge managing long term chronic illnesses and post-operative care and remotely monitoring patients can lead to improved clinical outcomes as well as saving ACOs money.”
According to Spyglass Consulting Group, a market strategy firm focused on the implications of mobile and wireless technologies within healthcare industry, the solution being offered by NeuroSky has come at the right time.
“Remote monitoring solutions will play a key part in value-based healthcare where medical providers invest in tools to keep large groups of patients healthy,” said Gregg Malkary, managing director, Spyglass Consulting. “This is now encapsulated in law in the US as part of the Affordable Care Act which financially incentivizes doctors and medical facilities to keep patients, especially those with chronic diseases, out of hospital. The new ARM technology based solution from NeuroSky is a natural part this business model as it is designed to be highly secure and cost-effective to deploy at scale.”
NeuroSky is in discussions with healthcare providers to start a technology pilot in 2016.