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Kiwi developed app aims to improve healthcare with secure info sharing
Tue, 1st Nov 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Medical clinicians will soon be able to safely share confidential patient information while on the go, thanks to a Kiwi-developed secure mobile application, which will ultimately be hosted on Microsoft Azure.

Steve Vlok, Celo co-founder and chief executive, says the Celo app, which uses healthcare grade encryption to provide secure and real-time mobile messaging, is currently being piloted at Canterbury District Health Board and is set to expand soon.

Celo and Canterbury District Health Board partnered to develop the app to provide a secure, efficient and user-friendly system to connect healthcare professionals wherever they may be, with an aim of improving patient care.

Celo claims the app makes referral more efficient, authenticates all users and enables all patient related communication to be added to electronic medical records via custom APIs.

The app enables real-time communication between clinicians – saving on phone calls and waiting time for responses to pages –  including capturing and sharing of patient images securely, while read receipts ensure ownership and accountability. Patient consents can also be captured and stored via the app.

No patient information is ever stored on the individual devices.

Celo, which will be hosted on the Microsoft Azure platform which recently received acceptance from the Ministry of Health for use by Kiwi organisations, will be showcased at the annual HINZ health informatics conference today.

Vlok says until now there hasn't been a secre way for healthcare professionals to use personal mobiles or tablets to email, text or send confidential patient information to each other, on the go.

“Besides the more obvious security risks in using personal devices for work, clinical images taken on a smartphoen camera would need to be added to the patient's clinical record, and there was no easy or secure way to do that,” Vlok says.

Saxon Connor, Canterbury eClinical health lead and consultnat general surgeon, says the app tackles the security issue of using personal mobile devices to communicate patient information, but also allows a more efficient means of communication, including capturing clinical imaging and patient consent.

While Celo is currently hosted on infrastructure located in New Zealand, Vlok says it is planned to host it on the Microsoft Azure platform – something he says is a key element underpinning the scalability and security of Celo.

“By taking advantage of Microsoft Azure, Celo can focus on innovation instead of infrastructure,” he says.

“With it's acceptance by the Ministry of Health, the Microsoft Azure platform will deliver the security and scalability to enable the next wave of health applications.

Vlok says using the Microsoft Azure framework, Celo will be able to set up a completely automated release pipeline and production enviornment that scales up as new district health boards and healthcare organisations come online.

“With Azure Resource Manager templates, Celo's cloud infrastructure can be deployed to new environments and regions with minimal effort,” Vlok says.