Massachusetts General Hospital and Nextcloud support fight against COVID-19
Massachusetts General Hospital and NCI-ITCR supported development of open-source web-based medical imaging libraries are used in medical image viewing integration in Nextcloud. The viewer is used in the fight against COVID-19 in Brazil and Nextcloud plans to accelerate development of HIPAA compliance related features to support further use in medical sector.
Stuttgart, April 30 2020 – Nextcloud is currently used to diagnose COVID-19 cases in Brazil, as noted in a press release by the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH is the original and largest teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA). To support the global fight against COVID-19, Nextcloud announces the upcoming release will feature additional HIPAA compliance capabilities, enabling even more extensive use with medical data.
The MGH press release concerns a paper in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on the OHIF Viewer and Cornerstone libraries for web-based medical imaging. Support for viewing medical images was added to Nextcloud by lead developer Aysel Afsar with the release of the DICOM viewer in February 2018 and is currently being used in Brazil to diagnose cases of COVID-19.
The use of OHIF/Cornerstone imaging technology as a web viewer for the Nextcloud open-source file sharing platform is being made available for free to help save lives during this COVID-19 crisis. This type of integration is exactly the kind of use of open source software that we envision to benefit the medical sector and it is our main motivation behind building open, easy access technology and imaging platforms for medical data.
— Gordon J. Harris, Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, Director of 3D Imaging at the Massachusetts General Hospital and President of the Open Health Imaging Foundation
HIPAA compliance development to facilitate medical use
In support of the global fight against COVID-19, Nextcloud has accelerated the development of a number of security features important in medical settings. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires applications to implement a series of security features. Nextcloud 19 will support several new capabilities and introduce a compliance app providing an overview of the current compliance status. This will facilitate deployment of Nextcloud in HIPAA compliant settings.
It is exciting to see Nextcloud continuing to make progress in the area of security and privacy, becoming an even more versatile tool for use with private and medical data.
— Aysel Afsar, lead developer on the Nextcloud DICOM viewer
Several dozen Nextcloud customers in the medical sector have deployed Nextcloud over the last few years. This includes a Ministry of Health in the middle east, more than a dozen medical institutes and hospitals in European countries as well as many the US, UK and Australia. There is also a number of regional Red Cross organizations and several international research organizations active in disease modeling and cancer research.
Improved HIPAA compliance in Nextcloud 19 is offered by the introduction of automatic logout, password reuse limitations, automatic account locking in response to failed login attempts and password expiration features. The current compliance status will be visualized in a compliance app.
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