By: Cory Schultz and Iltifat Husain, MD

Recently, Diversinet Corporation, was granted a patent for an encryption method that addresses growing concerns about protecting sensitive personal data stored on a mobile device.  One key aspect of  the data storage method — it allows for health information to be accessed even without network coverage.  

Diversinet is a company based in Dallas and Toronto that provides secure products that enables healthcare organizations to rapidly deploy HIPAA-compliant mHealth applications on mobile devices. The technology is called MobiSecure and the aim is to have everything connected and protected.

U.S. Patent # 8,051,297, is a  “A Method for Binding a Security Element to a Mobile Device,” and covers the security of information on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet.

“The patented technology prevents unauthorized access to the data on a mobile device via encryption and prevents access to the information if it is transferred to another mobile device. Notably, unlike other methods, it uses characteristics of a mobile device’s unique identity, such as its serial number, to create the encryption passkey.”

Diversinet’s MobiSecure solutions are based on the Open AuTHentication (OATH) standards for authentication, and are created specifically to prevent unauthorized access to confidential patient data.

“For mHealth, the patented technology offers added security and flexibility, enabling healthcare payers and providers to rely on accurate, current information that patients carry on their mobile devices. The information is accessible even when patients temporarily do not have network coverage.”

Usually healthcare apps that are used by providers have been unable to store patient information due to security issues with mobile devices.  The apps have had to rely on network access so they can pull data from the secure cloud, making sure not to store it on the device. 

However, the ability to access a patient information even without data coverage is a nice advantage — there are plenty of scenarios where having good network coverage (think AT&T’s poor rural 3G service), limits your ability to look up a patients information.

Diversinet’s intellectual property portfolio now includes 16 patents in the U.S., Canada and Israel, with 32 patent applications pending.

“Our technology creates a highly secure information source on mobile devices, while providing our customers a patent-protected product,” said Diversinet Chairman and CEO Albert Wahbe. “We believe both of these aspects inherently increase the value of our company, particularly in the current environment of patent stockpiling and litigation related to mobile communication technology.”

Source: Press Release