ANN ARBOR — Using mobile devices to provide healthcare offers many benefits. However, there can be considerable security risks and points of potentially unauthorized access that companies must protect themselves from or risk serious penalties.

That’s one of the reasons why Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based ForaCare, a provider of chronic disease management products, is partnering with Ann Arbor-based Online Tech for HIPAA compliant managed cloud hosting. Online Tech’s cloud hosting provides the physical, technical and administrative safeguards needed to protect PHI (protected health information) and meet the compliance standards of the HIPAA Security Rule.

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ForaCare’s TeleHealth System is an interactive, internet-based platform that allows healthcare providers and patients to communicate via home monitoring devices. Healthcare providers and physicians can track patient’s vital signs every day and make recommendations or adjustments quickly. By closely monitoring their patients’ conditions, physicians can delay complications and potentially avoid patient hospitalization.

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The TeleHealth System is just an example of the growing number of mHealth applications being developed. According to Linda Daichendt of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, 40 percent of consumers said they would pay for mobile remote monitoring. Likewise, physicians said they could eliminate 30 percent of office visits by using mobile health strategies.

ForaCare chose to partner with Online Tech to protect PHI and help meet HIPAA standards. Online Tech is the only independently HIPAA audited hosting provider. Their multi-compliant data centers were found to be 100% compliant across all 54 HIPAA standards by an independent audit by a HIPAA certified security specialist (HCSS).

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Mike Klein will join a panel of industry experts to discuss cloud computing on September 27 at Lawrence Technological University. “Cloud Computing: Sunshine or Rain For Your Business” will address how the cloud can help your business, security and best practices when selecting a cloud computing provider. On a state-wide level, the panel of experts will also address what economic opportunity cloud computing means for the State of Michigan. The panel will be moderated by WWJ Newsradio 950 Technology Editor Matt Roush.