A healthy dose of identity

* Identity management in healthcare

Continuing our look at niche marketing by identity tool vendors, today we’ll see what’s up at Sentillion.

Sentillion is no Johnny-come-lately to the identity party as the company was started way back in 1998 – just as Oblix and Business Layers began marketing these new “electronic provisioning” applications. Usually though, Sentillion gets only an after-thought-type mention in this newsletter but that’s not because it’s small or insignificant, but because it concentrates on a single vertical market, though not a small one at that – its emphasis is on the healthcare market.

While talking to CEO Rob Seliger last week, I tried to get him to admit an interest in branching out beyond healthcare. Nothing too exotic; perhaps an allied market like pharmaceuticals? But he wouldn’t be baited. He claims Sentillion knows the market well – the company was spun-off from HP’s Medical Products Group nine years ago - and wants to leverage its expertise to do healthcare identity better than anyone else.

Faithful readers will know - and all of you involved with healthcare professionals can attest - that we often point to healers and their associates as the bane of identity professionals with their disregard for security and privacy issues in authentication and authorization. Getting doctors, nurses and their associates to log in and, perhaps more importantly log out, to not share credentials and to update electronic medical records in a timely manner is a thankless and seemingly eternal challenge. Sentillion likes to state that its “…open, flexible and standards-based solutions for single sign-on, provisioning and remote access are built to meet the specific needs and challenges of the healthcare environment.”

Sentillion is familiar with all of the healthcare applications. It provides multiple authentication methods to be used alone or in concert for any environment. Its innovative single patient selection technology allows a caregiver to see all the information about a patient, information spread over a myriad of applications and services, in a single interface – and to have that information follow the caregiver from session to session. There’s a lot more, so if you are in healthcare you need to investigate its offerings. If you’re not, then keep the company in mind – your situation might change.

Seliger has written an interesting article pointing out the difference between “trust” and “confidence,” two terms we sometimes use interchangeably, and probably shouldn’t (see: “It’s more than a matter of trust”). It’s interesting reading even if you aren’t in healthcare.

Upcoming events: If you’re going to the Internet Identity Workshop in Mountain View, Calf., next week you might want to stay in town for the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) focus group on identity to be held on the VeriSign campus Thursday and Friday, May 17 and 18. It’s open to all.

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