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James Boyd
IU Maurer School of Law

Debbie O'Leary
IU Maurer School of Law

Last modified: Friday, October 23, 2009

Workshop will explore privacy and security of health technologies

Oct. 23, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As congressional leaders continue the debate over health care reform, a workshop hosted by the Indiana University Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research (CACR) on Oct. 26-27 will bring together national leaders to discuss two critical components of the American health care system: privacy and security.

CACR Conference

IU's Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research will host a two-day conference on Oct. 26-27 on the IUPUI campus. Participants will explore privacy and security concerns related to health care.

"Everyone is talking today about health care and the potential of information technology to improve quality of care and reduce costs, but few are aware of the substantial legal, ethical and social challenges to implementing those technologies," said CACR Director Fred H. Cate, Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law-Bloomington. "Until we identify those challenges and develop an effective research-based approach to resolving them, the opportunity to save or dramatically improve lives will be needlessly lost."

The workshop, to be held on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, will focus on four critical areas: electronic and personal health records; patient-centered technologies and devices; systems infrastructure; and bio-banking, including DNA sequencing.

Participants in the workshop will brainstorm key privacy and security issues in those four areas, select the most critical problems, then develop a final report that includes scenarios to demonstrate the important nature of the problems selected. Results from the workshop will ultimately be presented to U.S. government agencies, foundations and corporate funders of health-related research.

Cate noted President Barack Obama's inauguration address, which included a reference to raising health care quality and lowering its cost by utilizing new technologies. With health care reform now at the forefront of the president's agenda, Cate said this is a momentous opportunity for the health care industry to be proactive in the early adoption of forward-thinking approaches.

"When utilizing technology in health care, it is critical to address issues of privacy and security in the initial design rather than waiting to retrofit patches into a weak system," Cate said. "To effectively use our limited resources, the research community and funding agencies of government must have a clear roadmap detailing both the needs and the challenges facing the privacy and security of health technologies."

The invitation-only workshop is being supported through a generous grant from Eli Lilly and Company. Participants will include representatives from Eli Lilly and Company and Clarian Health and academics from Harvard, IU, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Media interested in covering the workshop or speaking to participants should contact James Boyd at 812-856-1497 or for further information.

The CACR is part of the IU Pervasive Technology Institute, which spearheads the university's advanced information technology research, development and delivery.