A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the best ways to secure IoT-patient generated data-in-transit and consequently help comply with the HIPPA regulation. A key element in a VPN for health clinics solutions is the VPN gateway. A VPN gateway ensures not only a secure bidirectional site-to-site VPN encrypted tunnel to remote staff, patients, medical devices, and application providers but also full integration between IoT devices.
Challenges for Medical Devices in Health Clinics
Ensuring the privacy and security of a patient's health records and meeting compliance with strict regulations such as HIPAA can be quite a challenging task. But aside from striving to comply with regulations, healthcare professionals also have other responsibilities such as monitoring and inspecting medical equipment and inventory, supporting remote medical staff, and leveraging technology to stay competitive.
The challenges in IoT and security for healthcare:
a. Healthcare data privacy and security.
Although IoT-enabled medical devices collect data in-real time from patients, equipment, or medical staff, they generally lack data privacy and security standards. Data is either stored within the IoT device (data in-store) or sent to the cloud (data-in-transit) without a high level of encryption. Vital health data can easily fall into the wrong hands if a middle-man intercepts it. IoT medical devices may be connected to application servers on the provider's network or the cloud via a VPN to enable secure real-time remote connectivity, but healthcare clinics usually have multiple devices with different protocols, which brings integration challenges.
b. Integration of multiple devices and protocols.
The Internet Medical of Things (IoMT) is quite an extensive market, from vaccine temperature monitoring, air-quality sensors, imaging systems, vital signals collection, sleep monitors, etc. The challenge comes when healthcare professionals buy different and multiple types of IoT devices manufactured with different standards. The result is that these IoT devices will vary in communication protocols, software, and capabilities. So IoT devices will not work with devices or applications from other manufacturers. There is no way to integrate IoT communications and aggregate and compress their data.
Solution: VPN Gateway for Medical Devices in the Health Clinics
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the best ways to secure IoT-generated data-in-transit and help comply with HIPPA regulation. The VPN provides a secure bidirectional site-to-site VPN encrypted tunnel to all remote users. The remote staff, patients, medical devices, and application providers can connect to the health clinic through a medical IT-approved VPN. But still, all those components with different communication standards need to be integrated.
The IoT-enabled VPN Gateway.
The IoT VPN gateway is a key element for medical device-enabled VPN communications. It connects devices or entire networks together using VPN infrastructure. Aside from creating the VPN encrypted tunnel, the IoT VPN gateway also integrates all IoT communications. All IoT medical devices can forward their data to a single exit point.
Lanner’s LEC-7242 is a wireless IoT VPN gateway powered by Intel® Apollo Lake CPU. It is installed on the core VPN site (the health clinic), and it is configured to allow, block, or route VPN traffic.
- Powered by Intel Celeron N3350/Atom X5-E3940 (Apollo Lake).
- FCC/CE/PTCRB certification for LTE or Wifi.
- Onboard LPDDR4 memory with up to 8GB, 64GB eMMC
- Rich I/O. 2x USB 3.0, 1x Display Port, 1x HDMI
- Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM 2.0) Support
The IoT VPN gateway is designed for IoT/IIoT edge, wireless security, and multi-site management deployment in commercial, enterprise, and public sector applications. The gateway adds 802.11a/b/g wireless access point capabilities to the health clinic while providing end-to-end security to wireless (and wired) networks. In addition, the IoT VPN gateway also supports TPM 2.0 to speed up VPN-related encryption.
The LEC-7242 VPN gateway comes with robust wireless capabilities, including LTE, Wifi, and FCC/CE/PTCRB certification. The PTCRB certification ensures the device’s interoperability and high performance for wireless networks.
One of the most apparent benefits of using a VPN gateway for IoT medical devices in health clinics is the substantial improvement in healthcare data privacy and network security. A VPN helps with access, audits, integrity controls, and transmission security and thus plays a key component to help fulfill HIPAA compliance requirements. More benefits:
Empower remote consultations and secure telehealth. Patients at home can securely connect via VPN client to the health clinic’s VPN server and access or update their data. On the other side, the healthcare staff can connect to the remote patient via VPN and monitor vital signals in real-time. Health clinics can also use a VPN gateway to open secure communications with medical staff deployed at remote sites and provide medical assistance.
Help comply with HIPAA. HIPAA compliance requires policies and procedures to ensure the Electronic protected health information (ePHI) is safe. Healthcare clinics can configure a VPN gateway with HIPAA-compliant VPN software to protect ePHI. In addition, an edge IoT server such as LEC-7242 can also help store and process data on-premises. Some regulations may require that data stays on-premises with full data governance.
Allow secure remote monitoring, maintenance, and management. An IoT VPN gateway can be beneficial to health clinics staff and providers. Remote experts can connect via a VPN to medical equipment and applications and monitor them remotely. Experts can also use the VPN gateway solution for remote temperature monitoring for vaccines storage or environments in clinics. Health clinics can also improve their asset management. They can use an IoT device attached with a tracking device for real-time location tracking of traditional medical equipment like wheelchairs, oxygen pumps, or defibrillators.
Bring intelligence to the edge. IoT Edge computing integrates services and applications locally at the network edge (which also helps comply with regulations). Edge computing helps improve clinical support with real-time edge Artificial Intelligence AI-powered imaging and analytics. Rather than sending data to the cloud for storing or processing, edge computing brings more intelligence closer to the source of data (the health clinic).
Industrial wireless gateway with Intel® Apollo Lake CPU and FCC/CE/PTCRB certification for LTE or Wifi
|CPU||Intel® Apollo Lake: Celeron® N3350 / Atom® X5-E3940|