- Startups and innovation
by Kristina Liebute
Telehealth, like other digital health innovations, was slowly paving its way in healthcare until the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated it to an unforeseen extent. But while visiting a doctor virtually is convenient, saves time, and reduces the risk of infections, it also raises data privacy concerns.
Today patient consultations can be conducted via phone or video calls.
Plus, patients’ well-being is measured through wearable devices or implanted sensors. Overall, there is a myriad of programs, platforms and products that collect and use patients’ data.
According to a report conducted by Kaspersky, 91% of medical organizations practice telehealth. As the scope of what they offer expands and more intricate technologies come into play, vast amounts of patients’ data have the potential of being exposed to cybercrime.
For example, since the launch of the most common wearable device platform, Qualcomm Snapdragon Wearable, more than 400 bugs have been reported, many of which have yet to be patched.
Investment in virtual care and digital health has exploded in recent years:
the level of venture capitalist digital health investment in 2020 was 3 times that of 2017. Kaspersky warns that the rapid and complex growth of healthcare technologies attracts those with malicious intent looking for quick gain.
As a matter of fact, cybercriminals are already at work:
they are increasingly using medical lingo in their phishing attempts. According to Kaspersky, more than 150,000 of such phishing attacks were detected between June 2021 and December 2021.
Those numbers will only keep growing and healthcare organizations have to be ready to tackle cybersecurity threats at their roots.
We discussed in another article the importance of data regulation and the EU’s effort to create a common health data space.
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