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Health Telematics ISHTAR

Lead investigator: Dr Steven M Furnell
Other researchers: Dr Matthew Warren, Mr Mike Evans
Project duration: 1996 - 1999

Implementing Secure Health Telematics Applications in Europe.

The use of information technology (IT) systems is now an integral part of modern healthcare provision, with computers being used to hold and communicate information that may be critical to both the care of patients and the general operation of a healthcare establishment. As such, the issues of IT security and data protection represent important considerations that must be addressed if patient trust is to be maintained. However, in order to achieve this healthcare staff require support and guidance in relation to IT security issues.

The requirement for support has been recognised within Europe and was the focus of ISHTAR (Implementing Secure Healthcare Telematics Applications in Europe), a three year collaborative research and development project involving 27 participants from 12 European countries. The objective of ISHTAR is to support healthcare security through a range of awareness and advisory activities. These include :

* creation of an advisory panel of legal, medical and technical experts on data protection;
* the establishment of a range of security training courses;
* provision of consultancy services to other healthcare projects;
* establishment of a healthcare-specific incident reporting scheme (HIRS);
* creation of a security dissemination service based on the World Wide Web (WWW).

The Network Research Group was responsible for the 'world wide dissemination' workpackage, establishing a comprehensive web service providing information and advice for healthcare professionals. The service provides a range of facilities that are of use to healthcare establishments wishing to increase the protection of their systems or, indeed, respond to a security breach. Key elements include online access to healthcare security guidelines (which were also developed by the ISHTAR project), an archive of relevant presentations and publications, healthcare security incident reports and a brief IT security tutorial for healthcare users.

Health Telematics ISHTAR (1996 - 1999)