Securing Tablet devices in the clinical workspace.

“If we go with a Tablet device, how do we stop it from growing legs?”… Several CIO’s, IT Directors and CMIO’s have posed this very question to me over the past year and I must say the answer is somewhat more complex that it should be, considering the iPad has been widely adopted since 2010.  I think it would be instructive to read a recent NewYorker essay by Chris Crowley titled “Follow that Cab!.. The age of the i-chase”.  Mr. Crowley describes how he and his wife tracked a cab containing his i-pad laden suitcase in it’s trunk around Manhattan using Apple’s Mobile Me™ (now replaced by the iCloud service).

Stanford School of Medicine’s Information Technology and Resources (IRT) department advises users of Apple devices to install and configure “Find my iPhone” in order to protect Apple hardware.  Unfortunately, their advice for securing non-Apple mobile devices consists of “you need to keep an eye on them”.

Another option to consider is a proximity alarm.  Again, Apple’s App store sells a proximity alarm app called Proximity Alarm and the unimaginatively named but apparently effective Anti Theft Alarm System.   Other device tracking systems include Gadgettrack and some hospital IT departments have even toyed with the idea of piggbacking tablet asset management onto their newborn location protection systems.

RFID – best practice?  WiseTrack is Asset Tracking Software that can be used to determine the location of mobile devices and the identity of the individual using the device.  I expect several vendors to develop RFID based tablet and device security systems in the coming months and will update this post with the latest information as it becomes available.

Other resources:

1) Securing Mobile Devices in Healthcare.  Kevinmd.com 2011

2) Staypad.com

3) STOP

4) BitDefender

 

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