Protection of research data & targeted treatment data
Thanks to highly advanced techniques of DNA profiling it is becoming theoretically feasible to target treatments that will more closely match a patient’s specific treatment requirement than ever before. This is a new and potentially very exciting potential approach to obtaining treatment that is effective for the patient and efficient for the healthcare provider, since it can also reduce side-effects and avoid adverse responses whilst improving treatment response.
Obviously, targeted treatment is, by its nature, highly sensitive. It requires the use of patient specific formulations and dispensing and treatment cycle have to be controlled if the approach is to achieve the maximum benefits. This requires that the provider carrying out the profiling and calculations must be able to securely transmit the patient treatment details to the pharmacy unit and to the clinical staffs responsible for treatment administration, and be certain that the information cannot be altered or sent or forwarded to the wrong entity.
Locklizard DRM products are an ideal approach to providing the security needed in this environment. They can secure PDF documents so that only the designated recipient(s) are able to use them, and can allow limited printing with watermarking to make sure that both the identity of the recipient and the nature of confidentiality are clearly stated.
Using Safeguard PDF Security to protect research data & treatment data from unauthorized access & misuse
The benefits of DNA analysis go far beyond finding out who our historical ancestors were or providing forensic evidence at a crime scene. Such analyses can potentially offer the ability to develop therapies that are truly patient centric.
However, targeted solutions are highly confidential for a number of reasons. Firstly they must be usable only by the people who are authorized to use them. Secondly the recipient must be confident that the therapy has come from the approved source and that following what might be, in the normal course of events, a counter-intuitive approach, has actually been recommended for a reason. Thirdly they must not leak out to unauthorized third parties (insurers perhaps) where the nuances of treatment may be misunderstood as indicating other conditions that are outside of the treatment in hand.
Healthcare information is considered critical for security purposes in all nation states that regulate data protection (in the USA the HIPAA, in Europe the Data Protection Directive, in Canada PIPEDA, in Australia the Privacy Act, and so on). As healthcare data become more and more personal so the requirement to prevent unauthorized access and ensure leakage cannot take place beyond the boundaries of the enterprise increases, as does the requirement to implement encryption as part of the controls.
Several parties may be involved in the circulation of this information. The laboratory that has created by DNA analysis and the treatment schedule has to provide this to a pharmacist as a prescription for dispensing. The pharmacist will need to review the prescription in the light of any other treatments being used to control other conditions to make sure that there is no clash of drugs (interactions) or over prescription of particular drugs that would make the overall regime unsafe.
One or more clinicians may need to be advised of the prescription, and finally the patient may also need to be advised.
Although this may sound rather complex it is not too forbidding using Locklizard DRM systems to provide PDF document protection.
It is likely that a Document Management System (DMS) will be used to create the separate documents for each participant (they may all have the same basic data but the format and structure could well be quite different).
From the DMS, each document is prepared, and then, using the Locklizard Command Line feature, each document is protected for direct allocation to a specific user. As soon as it has been protected, the Locklizard Ecommerce feature is used to grant the correct user(s) access to the document. In the case of patients it may be necessary to use eCommerce to add a new patient prior to granting access to a document. It may also be necessary to allow the patient to print out the document so that they can show it to someone else whilst retaining the original that cannot be redistributed.
In this way a number of the PDF DRM controls supported by the Locklizard system are brought together to solve an otherwise difficult control problem. All documents are controlled so that they cannot be seen or used by anyone not authorised. None of the parties may forward the documents to anyone else. Applying controls to documents can be automated for reliability and accuracy, and allocation of documents to specific users can also be automated in order to streamline the process.