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Telemedicine Technologies: Information Technologies in Medicine and Telehealth by C.K. Li, A.C.M. Fong, Bernard Fong

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6

Technologies for Safeguarding Medical Data and Privacy

Information has been a precious asset to society since the existence of mankind. Thousands of years ago, ancient people started sharing information about where to find food and shelter. As society became more complex, some information was shared as knowledge, while some was kept with strict confidence for security reasons. For example, books exist for the purpose of sharing existing knowledge and to enlighten new ideas built upon known facts; bank vaults are designed for locking up private effects so that whatever stored inside is only accessible by authorized persons. In the past, most medical information is stored in physical formats such as cards and logbooks. As a result of rapid expansion in the amount of information being collected and created, there are more incentives to use computer-based data storage media for safe-keeping of medical information. The topic ‘Information Security and Privacy’ is simply the course of protecting information availability, data integrity, and confidentiality, so that it will only be accessible to authorized personnel, data cannot be tampered with, and it will not be leaked out.

We have talked about the importance of data security and privacy from time to time throughout the earlier chapters. Its significance needs no further discussion as it should be well understood by now. There are two main rationales, either keeping information related to an individual in strict confidence, for example, ...

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