Windows Phone 8 – right for healthcare

The new Start sceen in Windows Phone 8 is even more flexible, with more theme colors and three sizes of Live Tiles.Yesterday, we all learned a bit more about what to expect with the arrival of Windows Phone 8. I must say as a physician and former hospital CIO/CMIO I liked what I heard.

You’d have to have your head in the sand not to be aware of the BYOD (bring your own device) phenomenon that is currently all the rage among consumers. Since physicians, nurses, and other clinicians are consumers too, they are just as likely as anyone else to bring a personal device into their workplace and want to use it for both business and pleasure. But of course, their business is healthcare and that raises all kinds of issues about the privacy and security of data on the device, especially personal health information. Breaches or loss of personal health data pose a huge risk to the enterprise and subject it to severe penalties. So, IT staff will be pleased to learn that Windows Phone 8 surpasses its predecessor as a viable enterprise platform that I believe will also please consumers and clinical end-users.

Driving home this point is Peter Bright, a contributing writer who covers programming and software development, security and more for ars technica. Although his comments were not directed specifically at the healthcare industry, what he had to say should be reassuring to anyone who works in healthcare, especially those in IT.

imageWindows Phone 8 fills the gaps and makes Windows Phone a viable enterprise platform. Thanks to the common Windows core, it will support secure booting and full device encryption, based on BitLocker. This will integrate with existing device management systems for remote wiping and enforced password and PIN policies.

Application deployment has also been improved substantially. Corporations will be able to ship applications without Microsoft's involvement or intervention; they'll be able to put applications on internal Web servers or SD cards and distribute them without using the Marketplace”.

Take all that and combine it with a very pleasing user interface and some of the best-made, coolest Smartphones on the market and you arrive at what should be an excellent choice for healthcare professionals. Assuming developers respond with even more of the clinical apps doctors and nurses desire, I think we’ll have everything anyone who works in healthcare would want in a Smartphone – including the privacy officer and CIO.

Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft

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