Ones to Watch in IP, 2016
Medical IT Projects – Motivation for Business Leaders to secure IT Data more efficiently?
It is uncontested that all IT Data of our health systems are sensitive data. To expect specific regulations in the near future that would protect them adequately appears unrealistic at present. Therefore, Medical IT Projects should address and integrate IT Data and Intellectual Property Issues as a top priorityof any Medical IT Project.
By reviewing Medical IT projects, it may help a CEO to distinguish between business issues and intellectual property decisions, in particular when it comes to protecting and safeguarding his own business IT data. The insufficiency of effective IT Data Protection is currently the most important Achilles’ heel, but in spite of its importance, it is not given the focus it deserves.
A fresh look on how to improve the situation should not create additional costs, indeed it may result in a shrinking IT Budget by throwing out investments that have little or no impact. By that, one would acknowledge that the real risks are often outside the control of the business entity. Going back to the so-called old fashioned methods may not only save money, but also secure IT Data better with conventional methods. The price would be a slowdown compared to the current communication with electronic speed.
Never before has there been the ability for messages, pictures, graphics and even books to be transferred instantly. Today we are dominated and impressed by that, so we have accepted that our messages can be intercepted. As we do not really know whether it has happened or not, we hope it will prove to be irrelevant.
If this general trend continues, we may share the fate of a chain smoker, in that he or she does not care until they are really hit by the reality of the situation. In my opinion, this invisible trend needs attention because until now, there is no hard evidence that communication at electronic speed has really prompted an overall improvement of business or other transactions. At least in the world of medicine, the real factor is not speed but quality, but too much speed can cause a lack of concentration, hasty unreflected replies and decisions, such as a tendency to abolish keeping proper files and so on.
A short term solution could be to classify important documents, worth protecting (Class A documents) and documents that require no protecting (Class B documents).
Pending IT Medical Projects
Hoa Huu Phuc Ngyyen was born in Vietnam and was picked up by the International Red Cross in open sea at the age of 3, but today he is Director the Oncogenetics Section at the more than 500-year old University of Tübingen. He specialises on the Huntington’s Disease that causes the death of brain cells, currently with no cure. Nevertheless, he has a plan that with a time factor of 10 years, for an effective therapy to surface.
He developed 20 time-consuming animal models in an attempt to mirror the human disease, indeed he shares his IT Data with research groups from around the world, recognising that he cannot do the job alone. In my opinion, any academic researcher who is given the chance can find the breakthrough they seek and the top priority for them must always be to find a solution as quickly as possible. Protecting such data therefore plays a subordinate role compared with the IT Data of businessmen, lawyers or practicing medical doctors. Such data may even protect themselves, but the chances are that no third person will really understand such data.
The research of Christopher Schröder, also a Member of the Oncogenetics Section, investigates 11 genes for the mutations causing cancer. In his research, Schröder realised the need of compiling special data formats, therefore he elected to become a qualified Medical Computer Scientist. Only with this additional degree in his pocket did he really start to understand, manage, compile and interpret not less than certain 7 gigabytes of data. This work concerns the production of just one genome sequence, indeed Schröder shares his results with the Interdisciplinary Tumor Board involving pathologists, immunologists and geneticists. Furthermore, these medical scientists exchange their views on a monthly basis.
This type of work is a door opener for the new trend of Quantum Data, indeed to administer such medical IT Data deserves special attention. Once fully developed in the medical sphere, we may see applications of such principles in other areas.
The tedious work of comparing case law could be quoted as a potential example. A computerised list would provide a judge with all concurring and non-concurring facts and the points of law of similar cases at his fingertips. Needless to say, I think that the precision of interpreting the law will be unprecedented.
Global Health Foundation
Global Health Foundation promoted a new Medical IT Project at the Geneva Health Forum in 2016. The idea is to improve the efficiency of medical treatment of elderly people. The first step is to separate certain medical data in cooperation with the patient.
The second step is to keep such data both at the medical centre and at the home of the patient.
An individually preprogrammed computer system ensures the documentation of taking medications on time, checking compliance with medical protocols. Remotely located Healthcare Providers monitor patients at the time they choose to do so, and they also track down (potential) changes and trends. Health Care Providers could be alerted about any irregularities or unexpected changes. Family members of the patient would also get exclusive and registered remote access to vital health information, of course only when endorsed by the elderly patient. Family members would have the opportunity of assisting the patient outside of the medical treatment environment. Such circumstances suggest that staying at home (alone) becomes a safer place, particularly for the elderly patient. Little or no statistics are available on the question, that is how often a patient cannot react in a timely fashion, but the chances are that medical assistance can be carried out faster and more efficiently.
The most important argument for the elderly patient is that he or she can most probably stay longer at home before being admitted to another facility or hospital. All statistics confirm that most people, at any age, prefer a system that allows them to stay in their own homes as long as possible. The problems of mobility limitations and physical distance between patient and health provider can be significantly reduced in many cases. Patients, doctors and family members therefore waste less time and costs by commuting backwards and forwards.
Getting real-time data can lead to quicker and better amended care plans and a computer programmer, qualified as specialist for the medical industry and organisational management, can greatly assist the needs both of the patient and the health provider.
This would obviously be an ongoing long term process, based on experience in the future. Patient data needs to be presented in tabular and graphic formats, easily understood by patients and family members.
If transferred with electronic speed via the internet, a secure, encrypted line would have to be nonnegotiable for legal reasons, so this requirement is a reminder that the medical contract between the doctor and patient is protected and privileged by the law.
• Preventive steps have to be taken to avoid legal problems, indeed I believe that electronic speed has caused the death of distance.
Attacks on information that requires protection, have become easier than ever before. There is evidence of Product Piracy at an unprecedented scale, estimated to be 7,3 billion EURO in Germany alone.
• To transfer insecure data has become more dangerous than not locking your office. The recent Singapore High Court decision,
that leaked privileged and confidential communications have become freely available online, may not be used as evidence.
• It is a less known fact that effective copyright protection is possible through registration at the Copyright Office in Washington DC.
While copyright begins to exist without formal protection, as soon as it comes into being, there is often a dispute solely on that issue. It is easy to violate the copyright by claiming a copyright at an earlier time (after having copied it) and the software of computer programmes can therefore be subject to endless litigation. Therefore, before a new software programme reaches the general public for sale, it should be registered and deposited at the Copyright Office.
• Potential criminal acts may loom around the next corner, so protective measures against theft and disloyal employees, are the same as they are in any other type of business.
• Internet protection can be quite effective and inexpensive, but this is stubbornly ignored at an enormous and totally superfluous price. It is negligent not to change passwords every six weeks, indeed any IT adviser can provide a complete list of precautionary steps in this vein.
• Before a contract is signed, every (potential) contractual partner should be required to sign a watertight pledge of secrecy.
• Jurisdiction in Switzerland can be recommended for an International Medical IT Project for its proven neutrality and impartiality.
• To integrate Swiss Procedural Law would be the next logic step. Since 2011, a new Federal Civil Procedure Law replaced the previous 26 procedural regulations of the Swiss Cantons.
• Arbitration would be a cost cutting step, especially when not permitting to appeal
the Judgment. The application of the New
ork Arbitration Convention of 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards would help to recognise and execute a Judgement on a very broad international base.
Since the ratification of the NY Convention of Russia and Germany in 1961, a legal gap was closed, when the German and Russian business partners simply agreed to settle their disputes under the umbrella of the NY Convention.
• To permit interim injunctions is often also an effective cost cutting measure.
• On May 11th 2016, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) was signed into Law by President Obama. US Federal Law now allows a
private civil cause of action for Trade Secret Misappropriation, including ex parte civil seizure. Trade secret issues arise in every non-disclosure clause, employment agreement and so on. This new and broad reach is one of the most important recent IP developments in the US protecting trade secrets. Therefore, it is suggested to improve the Arbitration Agreement by means of a special clause permitting to secure a Temporary Restraining Order in U.S Courts in the event of a trade secret misappropriation occurring in the US.
Longevity has become a hallmark of the 20th and 21st century, indeed elderly people certainly do not live in conformity with the 24/7 lifestyle. This new business concept, however, could serve the elderly to reach their goal even better. It would require certain organisational, legal and last but not least, medical adjustments to be made.
A carefully planned Medical IT Project would hardly meet any harsh opposition, indeed, it is difficult to argue against medical progress in favour of the elderly. Such projects may also move medicine to a more sophisticated level, so successful Medical IT Projects could also become a model for other reform projects.
The key to success, however, is a non-medical issue. The internet must become a ‘clean’ tool of information. Given the unprecedented efficiency of the internet, we cannot allow daily attacks against the Internet to be tolerated any longer. The total economic damage caused by such attacks will in the long run clearly exceed the advantages. In my view, if this problem is not seriously tackled in the near future, we will simply have to remember that the world has not broken down by communicating with slower conventional methods.
Finally, instant communication is not always vital to get things done properly. Even a Medical IT Medical Project may be more reliable and therefore more successful when keeping the internet components at a low level at least from the outset. There are alternatives by applying conventional methods, but an independent safe intranet system would be the best option.