Harris, Cisco demonstrate secure health info exchange in the cloud

Harris Corporation and Cisco Systems demonstrated how health information could be exchanged quickly and securely within a virtual or cloud computing environment.

During the Public Health Information Network Conference in Atlanta, Ga. the two companies demonstrated that security and privacy of web-based health information remains protected when data is encrypted in transit and stored securely in the cloud.

The demonstration was implemented over the CONNECT health information exchange platform between health information organizations across the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN). Harris provided the technical expertise for CONNECT to enable federal agencies, states, regional health organizations and private providers to seamlessly share health information upon request. HIEs in New York, Indiana and Washington demonstrated how influenza-related symptom information for public reporting could work using NHIN services, during the event, and the CONNECT solution, integrated with the Cisco router, acted as the gateway by which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrated accessing and retrieving the influenza data utilizing the NHIN.

“The innovative approach that Harris and Cisco demonstrated can be integrated with any healthcare organization’s existing infrastructure,” said Jim Traficant, vice president of Healthcare Solutions for Harris Corporation, in a statement. Mr. Traficant said the solution was idea for HIEs, hospitals and other providers that want to bridge to the NHIN for information exchange.

According to Harris officials, the solution was designed and implemented by a Harris engineers, in tandem with Cisco, in one week.

The Public Health Information Network Conference was held earlier this September by the CDC and it brought together officials and representatives from state and local public health organizations, academic institutions, standards development organizations, and the World Health Organization to share promising practices and lessons learned related to public health informatics.