Sun to make health care play through identity

If you're at home accessing a health care site and need authentication to reach a patient portal it's transparent to you as a patient. It's the infrastructure for their authentication and authorization

Open SSO logo from SunSun Microsystems plans a new play in the health care space through the question of identity. Sun has been a major player in identity management for some time, and was one of the founders of the Liberty Alliance, which has been working on identity standards since before the turn of the century. But with the re-launch of its Open SSO project today, with one version and one level of support for both Enterprise and Express customers, Sun is seeking to make itself essential to the new health care information revolution. As we've written here many times, that revolution involves patients accessing their own Electronic Health Records and adding their own data, creating complete Personal Health Records to be accessed when needed. The big problem is the HIPAA law, not because it limits patients' access to their own records, but because it requires they prove their identities to gain access. Open SSO is a solution which hospitals, clinics and insurers can install which can provide this identity management. John Barco is director of identity management for Sun. 

"This is enterprise technology," he said. "If you're at home accessing a health care site and need authentication to reach a patient portal it's transparent to you as a patient. It's the infrastructure for their authentication and authorization.

"Health care is one of our top tier industries we sell into," he added."There's complexity around privacy, securing access to applications and services, then being able to effectively audit those records, who has access to what and when. It's really critical."

The resulting solution will support the ambitions of both Google and Microsoft, Barco said.

"Google and Microsoft have broad ranging initiatives. With this technology our approach is it has embedded federation capabilities as well.

"Where we've seen success is with smaller communities where the records and the authentication can be managed as a smaller community." In other words specialty Web sites like DiabeticConnect may be able to take advantage of these tools, because they're free and based on industry standards.

"This is a very simple way to complete the circle of trust with service providers."

 

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