New threats reported by F-Secure underscore Android's vulnerability and may make it even harder for enterprise professionals to embrace Google's mobile OS.
iPads and tablets can fix many healthcare flaws, but only with well-designed apps
Doctors were one of the first professional groups to embrace the iPad when it launched nearly three years ago. Several doctors I interviewed at the time told me the same story -- that they saw the potential for the iPad to improve their work experience immediately. Within a few days of buying an iPad, all had brought it into their practice or hospital. A couple actually started taking their iPads to work on the same day that they bought them.
At the time, many healthcare IT professionals immediately saw the iPad as a giant red flag -- a mobile device that they neither owned nor managed. Many immediately assumed that the iPad was a giant potential compliance problem related to government regulations like HIPAA, the 1996 law that established clear privacy and security requirements for patient information. That fear wasn't entirely misplaced -- Apple didn't launch iOS 4, the first release to include enterprise security and management capabilities, until later that year.
Over the past three years, iOS has maintained its position as the preferred platform of healthcare professionals. Although sales numbers for the iPad mini haven't been published yet, it is expected to be popular with doctors -- mainly because it easily fits into standard lab coat pockets (companies have launched lab coats with pockets designed for full size iPads, but they haven't caught on with doctors).
Even with the management capabilities that Apple has built into iOS, many healthcare IT professionals are still wary of all consumer-oriented mobile devices -- tablets, smartphones, you name it. They aren't alone. Companies that develop software for the healthcare industry like electronic medical records (EMR) systems also seem wary of iOS and mobility in general. While some major healthcare developers like Epic have rolled out iPad-specific apps, others like have deliberately avoided mobile platforms entirely -- one company even said that it isn't interested in developing for mobile devices beyond Windows 8 and Windows RT devices.
On one hand, this has allowed independent developers and smaller healthcare software companies to make a name for themselves by delivering iPad-specific EMR products. Dr. Chrono is one great example -- the software designed specifically for iOS and Android devices and lets doctors manage their entire practice via those devices. MacPractice, a company that has developed EMR and practice management tools for Macs for years, has leveraged that experience in creating iOS tools -- including one called Clipboard that lets patients enter medical history and other information directly into their records -- that integrate extremely well with its desktop software.
On the other hand, larger institutions like hospitals or medical groups, generally already have EMR and other systems in place from the major vendors. Even without that investment, these entities generally need more functionality and scalability than apps aimed at individual doctors or small practices can offer.
Do you know what information your employees are creating, and where they're storing it? Could you retrieve it if required by law? Are they destroying information that's supposed to be kept, or keeping information that's supposed to expire after a certain date? Data governance is going to become a big deal in the coming years, warns CITE Conference speaker Deborah Juhnke.
Devices from BlackBerry and Samsung Electronics were earlier also cleared by the department.
Sony is a text book example of a disrupted company --and the same thing could happen to your IT department if you're not careful.