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Report Says E-Health Depends on Identity Authentication

January 25, 2008
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The use of electronic health services and PHRs can be encouraged by proper identity authentication, according to a new report released today by Connecting for Health, a public-private Washington collaborative group operated by the Markle Foundation, as part of the Common Framework project.

To manage consumer identities online, the report recommends that in-person proofing should continue, and encourages greater use of “knowledge-based authentication” to confirm a person’s identity through an electronic dialogue about facts that only the proper user should know. The group also recommended new efforts at “bootstrapping,” by allowing healthcare organizations to make use of confirmed identities managed by other reliable parties, such as financial institutions.

The report contains the recommendations of 38 health and technology leaders in healthcare, technology companies, government, consumer groups, and others. Experts encourage knowledge-based authentication, and call on National Institute of Standards and Technology to study current identity-proofing practices.

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