Virtual Global Health IT Platform Solves Patient Privacy Problems

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New HealthCapsule platform increases patient privacy by an order of magnitude.

John Barkley, a former NIST employee who invented the technology, added, "We see patient privacy as a rapidly growing concern as more healthcare organizations adopt EHR software."

Virtual Global, a leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions, has released HealthCapsule™, a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) for Health IT that incorporates “Role-based Workflow,” an invention exclusively licensed from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for improving patient privacy.

Healthcare is undergoing a major shift in the United States, as healthcare organizations from coast to coast are implementing electronic health record (EHR) solutions to reduce risks and medical errors, while providing better access to vital patient information.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is rapidly accelerating the adoption of EHRs, and prompting new concerns about patient privacy and interoperability. Healthcare organizations of all types are affected. Mark Sheppard serves as the Director of Information Systems for LIFE Pittsburgh, a community-based alternative to nursing home care in Pittsburgh, PA. "We're taking privacy very seriously as we grow, and we see this as an important way to improve efficiencies while ensuring the continued privacy of our program's participants," says Sheppard.

"The problem is a lot bigger than many people think,” said Cary Landis, Virtual Global CEO. “Most EHR systems today still allow hospital workers to look up any patient’s records, whether they’re involved in that patient’s case or not. They may look up their family members, friends, acquaintances, or even records of public figures.” John Barkley, a former NIST employee who invented the technology, added, "We see patient privacy as a rapidly growing concern as more healthcare organizations adopt EHR software."

HealthCapsule™ uses “Role-based Workflow,” which Barkley invented and patented when he worked at NIST. The platform restricts access to patient information based on a situational need. Instead of giving a healthcare worker 24x7 access to thousands of records under the assumption that they have broad authorization, this system gives that same healthcare worker momentary access to a single record or set of records that are relevant only to the case at hand. “We see potential for order-of-magnitude improvements,” said Landis. The privacy imposed by Role-based Workflow is a big win for patient privacy. It preserves the productivity and time-saving enhancements of other EHR systems, while also protecting against unnecessary abuse.

The HealthCapsule™ platform is based on the underlying TeamHost™ enterprise architecture, which was largely engineered under a 2006-2007 NASA grant at Glenn Research Center. The NASA-sponsored TeamHost™ architecture provides a common security model and online toolkit for rapidly deploying enterprise software systems on the cloud.

Since 2008, Virtual Global has received funding from the NIST Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) Phases I (a feasibility study) and II (the principal R&D study) to integrate Role-based Workflow into the HealthCapsule™ platform, and to commercialize the resulting special-purpose platform for applications in Health IT. The announcement comes as Virtual Global finalizes an exclusive license agreement for use of NIST’s “Role-based Workflow” patent for applications in Health IT. Virtual Global is now submitting proposals for Phase III support, which is a non-SBIR-funded commercialization phase that would facilitate efforts for federal organizations to access Role-based Workflow.

For more information about HealthCapsule™, visit

About Virtual Global:
Virtual Global, a West Virginia corporation, is a provider of cloud-enabled enterprise IT solutions, including the TeamHost™ cloud platform for building SaaS applications without programming; TeamLeader™, a project management 2.0 software for tracking and reporting on virtual teams in real-time; and, a website that brings cloud computing information to the masses. Since 1995, Virtual Global’s platform technologies have served commercial and federal customers worldwide with enterprise-class IT needs.

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