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Clinical software on personal mobile devices needs regulation

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To the Editor: Fernando makes a valid statement on the need for regulation of clinical software on personal mobile devices (PMDs).1 Her timely comment regarding acting now before the “courts decide” is fair, given that many doctors, including a high percentage of specialist trainees, are now using PMDs.2 However, it is important for doctors to remember that the security risks highlighted by Fernando are not just limited to clinical software. Other intrinsic functions of PMDs — such as text messaging, and video and image capture and transfer — need careful consideration too. These tools are commonly used by doctors to convey information to one another and their use may involve storing potentially sensitive information.3

We acknowledge that text messaging and image capture provide valuable means of improving clinical handover and optimising the provision of medical advice, but warn that any transfer of information has the potential to breach patient–clinician confidentiality. This is especially true if the information is not de-identified. We are concerned about the ease with which this information can be accessed if a clinician misplaces their PMD.