Smart Cards for Future Health System
The healthcare industry is dealing with pressure to control operational cost and manage the information system more efficiently more secure using the latest technology. As the healthcare industry advances, electronically data protection is a key concern. Current healthcare requires immediate and secure information access without compromising privacy. The modern medicine and the latest technology in the healthcare system are boosting life expectancy. People leave longer today causing a significant increase in healthcare cost. The increase in healthcare spending has led to an increase in ways to reduce the cost of healthcare.
One of the tools that healthcare industry is trying to implement in order to achieve a reduction in the healthcare cost is the “Smart Card”. Introducing smart cards in the healthcare industry might be a solution to reduce the healthcare cost in a future. Smart card provides a unique opportunity to provide healthcare solution for security information access and management with data mobility and patient privacy.
Some controversy exists regarding the introduction of smart cards in the healthcare system; the controversy exists due to privacy issues, confidentiality, security and lock of understanding. In this paper, I will discuss the key arguments in favor of using smart cards, as well as the opposition of the use of such technology. The first thing to explore and to discuss is the use of smart cards in healthcare and their purpose.
What is a smart card?
The Smart card first invented in 1974 by Frenchman Roland Moreno in France; during that time the card uses as a payment for a telephone call; since than smart cards have been in use into different industry including healthcare. A number of countries have implemented different ways to save money but, each approach is different and must be adapted to local requirements depending on policy and culture. Smart cards are in use especially in Europe because of ease of use and governmental support. Germany has medical cards in use since 1995, and France, Belgium, Slovenia are using smart cards, as well. (Resch, 1998).
A personal medical smart card system is a chip card, made from plastic that contains an embedded computer chip; this card has memory or microprocessor that store and transacts data. Smart cards contain RAM for temporary storage, ROM to store the operating system and an operating system (Thede & Sewell, 2010) (see Box 14-1) (pg.239).
The smart card look like a credit card, embedded with an integrated circuit chip providing storage and computational power; the smart card has features to protect the card from mechanical stress such as bending and the effect of static electricity. There are three types of smart cards: memory cards, microprocessors cards and cryptographic cards. . Security, confidentiality and privacy, are three separate and distinct issues; to address those we have to recognize and understand their meaning....