Move over Mardi Gras, the 2013 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) meeting took place this week in New Orleans. HIMSS is one of the largest gatherings of healthcare IT professionals and companies. Though Medgadget often focuses on new devices and apps, we appreciate the role that some of the more established companies play in directly or indirectly pushing forward medical innovation. We took this opportunity to get to know some of the people and companies participating at HIMSS, including this interview with CEO Dr. Hon Pak of connected health solutions company Diversinet. As Neil Versel of mobihealthnews reported recently, some hospital administrators are calling for highly secure hospital apps, which is what Diversinet has been laying the foundation for.
Shiv Gaglani, Medgadget: What need does Diversinet fulfill?
Dr. Hon Pak: Diversinet meets the healthcare industry’s increasing need for secure, agile mobile healthcare solutions that promote care coordination across various settings to improve and streamline service delivery. Engaging patients in their care is the most effective way to tackle the rising incidences of chronic diseases, which account for more than $3 out of $4 in U.S. healthcare spending. With the rapid growth of mobile communications and the bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, trend, providers and payers and those they serve need to be able to safely access and share personal health information on all kinds of mobile phones and tablets.
Our solutions foster patient involvement and care coordination while satisfying all security requirements (beyond HIPAA) and supporting all major mobile devices and operating systems. Ultimately, the goal is for healthcare organizations and patients to benefit from better service and outcomes at reduced costs.
Medgadget: Who, and how big, is your market?
Pak: Diversinet serves healthcare organizations and developers that need flexible mHealth solutions that protect patient health information at rest and in transit. The market includes healthcare providers, payers, population-health companies and medical-device makers, as well as application developers.
The global mHealth market is projected to soar from $1.3 billion in 2012 to $10.2 billion, representing a compounded annual growth rate of 41.5 percent, by 2018, according to a recent report from Transparency Market Research.
Medgadget: What enabling or unique technologies does your product rely upon?
Pak: Diversinet offers patented, proven, healthcare-specific solutions that combine the highest levels of mobile security, scalable and easy-to-use publishing tools, data integration, and patient-centric mass customization. Our patent portfolio includes 22 patents granted and 26 patent applications, most related to mobile security.
Diversinet solutions protect patient data at rest and in transit through built-in advanced security features, including encryption and OATH-standards-based one-time passwords for strong authentication. Our mHealth platform is the first to have its encryption technology awarded Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2 validation – certification that surpasses HIPAA rules and is required for U.S. and Canadian government communications systems.
Medgadget: Are there any competitors who are filling the same niche?
Pak: To our knowledge, Diversinet offers the most comprehensive, secure and agile mHealth solutions designed solely for the healthcare industry and specifically for care coordination and patient engagement.
Other companies provide only mobile security or healthcare solutions, or application development platforms. In addition, most of these companies offer general products for use in multiple industries.
Medgadget: What is your background in medical technology?
Pak: I am a physician who has been fortunate to be at the forefront of the developing areas of telemedicine, mHealth, care coordination and patient engagement. Before joining Diversinet as CEO about a year ago, I served as Chief Information Officer of the US Army Medical Department, an $11 billion healthcare system with more than 60,000 employees. Prior to that, I was the Army’s first Chief Medical Information Officer. In addition, I headed the Advanced Information Technology Group within the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, which serves as the U.S. Department of Defense health IT research and development arm.
In another role, as president of the American Telemedicine Association, I led the effort on global health and standards development for telehealth.
I hold a medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, completed a fellowship in dermatology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and am a distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy.
Medgadget: How did you come up with Diversinet and how did it get its name?
Pak: The name was chosen for the company at its founding in 1997 to reflect its diverse networks. Today, the name applies to the company’s provision of mHealth solutions compatible with a wide range of mobile devices and operating systems, as well as integration of diverse solutions and kinds of data.
For more information, check out this video interview about mobile health applications with Dr. Pak: