'Remote technologies' poised to become key part of home health care:
Commissioner Cavoukian

Privacy and System Functionality must both be delivered in unison

TORONTO, Nov. 2 /CNW/ - Remote health care technologies designed for in-home use are poised to become a vital part of the overall health care environment, allowing many seniors and chronic care patients to live longer in their own homes - with their privacy fully protected, says Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian.

"Advances in connectivity, sensor technology, computing power and the development of complex algorithms for processing health-related data are pointing the way to the delivery of innovative, long-term health care services in the future," said the Commissioner. "Given the demographics of our aging population, there is a critical need for such innovations."

The Commissioner today released a joint paper she produced with Intel and GE Healthcare - Remote Home Health Care Technologies: How to Ensure Privacy? Build It In: Privacy by Design - at an international privacy seminar in Spain.

"As with virtually all significant steps forward with technological advances, concerns about privacy arise," said the Commissioner. "System functionality and privacy must both be delivered in unison - a result that can be achieved by incorporating privacy into the design phase of technologies; thus employing Privacy by Design."

Her well regarded Privacy by Design concept is based on embedding privacy into the design of new technologies and business practices by treating privacy as the default as opposed to a much more expensive afterthought.

"As the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, my mandate includes raising awareness of privacy-related issues involved in emerging technologies or new programs that may impact one's privacy," said Commissioner Cavoukian. "I am pleased to have partnered with Intel and GE Healthcare on producing this white paper regarding the innovative work being done in the area of applying technologies to home health care. The technology currently available, combined with the continuing research and development in this field, provide a compelling vision of the future possibilities and benefits to home health care."

Many different types of remote home health care advances are cited in the white paper, including: medication assistance devices, intelligent tracking software, sensor technologies and telehealth systems. The paper also provides practical applications of Privacy by Design.

"GE's QuietCare(R) system is a prime example of how the principles of Commissioner Cavoukian's Privacy by Design concept can be incorporated into the design of technologies," said Agnes Berzsenyi, General Manager of GE Healthcare's Home Health business. "When you proactively build privacy in at the design stage, you have Privacy by Design. With the growth of the aging population and prevalence of chronic disease, the demand and need for remote home health technologies will continue to increase, along with the sensitivity to individual privacy. We are pleased to have been able to participate in bringing these important privacy and design considerations to light."

"As remote home health innovation accelerates, it is important for technology developers to know that it can be done in a way to increase the privacy available to individuals," said David A. Hoffman, Intel's Director of Security Policy and Global Privacy Officer - and a co-author of the white paper "It has been an honour to be able to work on this Privacy by Design effort with GE and the IPC. Commissioner Cavoukian has demonstrated tremendous leadership in showing how technology can be developed to improve privacy."

The white paper, Remote Home Health Care Technologies: How to Ensure Privacy? Build It In: Privacy by Design, is available on the Commissioner's website at: www.ipc.on.ca.

SOURCE Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario: Bob Spence, Communications Co-ordinator, Direct line: (416) 326-3939, Cell phone: (416) 873-9746, Toll free: 1-800-387-0073, bob.spence@ipc.on.ca; GE Healthcare: Arvind.Gopalratnam, Corporate PR manager, GE Healthcare, Cell phone: (262) 501-0777, Arvind.Gopalratnam@ge.com; Intel: Robert Manetta, Media Relations Manager, Intel Corp, London Office, Robert.i.manetta@intel.com, +44 (0) 207 292 8789 (office), +44 (0) 777 069 2432 (mobile), +44 (0) 207 292 8794 (fax)

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