Digital physician IDs secure exchange of health data between desktop and PDA

San Francisco 13 June 2001MEDePass Inc., a trusted third party company in health care, issuing authenticated digital identities, has selected Certicom to be its exclusive security solutions provider. MEDePass Inc. will use Certicom's MobileTrust managed Certificate Services to manufacture MEDePass Certificates for physicians and their staff to enable the secure, authenticated electronic exchange of confidential health care information. A MEDePass Certificate authenticates a physician's electronic identity, providing verification of his or her professional and license status.


Catherine Roth, CEO of MEDePass stated: "We are excited to be working with Certicom because of their commitment to health care. The rapid adoption of handheld devices in health care and the mobility of physicians in their daily work make it imperative that we offer MEDePass certificates for workstations and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)."

MEDePass was created to meet physicians' need for secure on-line identities. MEDePass Certificates, designed to respond to HIPAA, the proposed Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act security regulations, provide proof of the physician holder's identity and license status as well as the ability to encrypt and digitally sign e-mail messages and other types of data such as contracts, medical records, and even spreadsheets.

MEDePass Inc. issues MEDePass Certificates in partnership with the state medical associations. Dr. Frank Staggers, President of the California Medical Association (CMA), commented: "The MEDePass approach is the only alternative to physicians having scores and scores of separate digital IDs. A different one is demanded by each health plan, hospital, and medical group with which the doctors share patient information. Therefore we embrace the MEDePass philosophy that physicians must own and control their electronic identities. We are pleased that MEDePass has selected Certicom as its new certificate vendor because they possess the technical ability and tools to help MEDePass achieve its goal of establishing a physician-centric digital identity."

Certicom is currently the only vendor offering a deployable PKI or public-key infrastructure that can be used in both desktop and wireless environments. MEDePass cites Certicom's flexible PKI technology, administrative tool sets, complete offering of wireless (ECC) and non-wireless (RSA) solutions, and unique partnership approach among the reasons for the change from its former PKI vendor. Andrew Pashman, Vice President Business Development of MEDePass stated: "Both the technology and the market have evolved rapidly since we first started issuing MEDePass Certificates over a year ago. Today we need a vendor able to meet the unique and stringent requirements of health care and provide a more robust technology. Certicom is precisely that vendor."

Certicom is the innovator of elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), enabling the wireless devices to recognise digital certificates used to encrypt and digitally sign e-mails and other types of data files. Certicom has become an innovator and leader in the mobile health care market by providing advanced security solutions and services that address HIPAA compliance and by spearheading initiatives such as the Mobile Health Care Alliance (MoHCA). MoHCA, of which MEDePass Inc. is also a founding member, is focused on developing a secure, standardised architecture for mobile health care computing.

"MEDePAss will leverage Certicom's MobileTrust Certificate Services to enable the use of digital certificates in e-health applications that address the needs of today's wireless and wire-line health care enterprise", stated Rick Dalmazzi, President and CEO of Certicom. "MEDePass has taken the lead in the health care industry by having the foresight to build an infrastructure which supports a physicians' digital identity in both the wired and wireless worlds and is in the enviable position of leveraging its strong relationship with the California Medical Association to extend its reach out to other state Medical Associations."

Leslie Verswevyeld

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