Bloomberg Businessweek: Take 2 Asprn+Txt Me in AM

By John Tozzi

Doctors who don’t like electronic health records often complain that the software is cumbersome to use. Patients fear that confidential information about their health will be exposed. Imprivata, a 220-employee company in Lexington, Mass., helps hospitals solve both problems with systems that let staff sign into and out of shared computers with a fingerprint or swipe of an ID badge, keeping records secure without slowing down doctors. Some 1,200 hospitals in the U.S. and Europe use it, and the privately held company expects $60 million in revenue this year, says Chief Executive Officer Omar Hussain. Now Imprivata is betting it can solve the same dilemma for doctors who want to communicate by text message. If doctors and hospital staff text each other about patients—say, to tell a physician in a different department about the condition of a patient on the way—it can violate the strict privacy laws intended to protect people’s personal health information. “There’s a tension between security and efficiency,” says Dr. Sean Kelly, Imprivata’s chief medical officer, who also works in the emergency room at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. The company’s new app, calledCortext, links doctors’ smartphones into a hospital’s directory and lets them send texts and images to other users on the system. The messages are encrypted and archived securely, not stored on wireless carriers’ servers or on individual phones that could be compromised. Other companies that make secure text messaging software, including TigerText and Gryphn, are targeting health-care providers, too.

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