Addressing Security Issues in Connected Healthcare

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Addressing Security Issues in Connected Healthcare

When it comes to healthcare, IoT is starting to take over the field. Learn how developers can better protect IoT devices against cybersecurity threats.

· Security Zone ·
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Connected devices are expected to drive nearly $47 billion in revenues in healthcare revenue by 2020. The hugely popular IoT concept has the potential to radically alter the industry; as wirelessly connected medical devices increase patient mobility, healthcare professionals get real-time access to patient data and improve healthcare outcomes.

Devices that were previously operated through a computer are now wirelessly communicating with one another, people and systems using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The things connected technology can do and achieve to improve healthcare outcomes are endless, enabling you to offer an optimal experience for patients while improving product functionality.

connected Healthcare


Digitization of the health care industry has resulted in several vulnerabilities that are inherent across healthcare applications.

  • Connected devices produce and transmit highly sensitive, extremely private patient information that speeds up diagnostic process and enable easier collaboration, resulting in better care.

  • Despite significant improvements in performance, the transmission of sensitive information is a risk.

  • Security and privacy are an integral part of the industry, where consequences of medical errors are severe.

  • Healthcare data often flow from one machine to another, to the hospital administration, to doctors’ offices, into consumer apps, and other cloud-based software and storage devices – and is highly susceptible to interception and manipulation.

  • In addition, unauthorized access to patient health records, implanted medical devices, and other equipment can have devastating, even fatal impacts.

Ensuring Security

Although medical devices solutions can transform how medical services are offered and consumed, there are several technical challenges that device manufacturers need to overcome.

Through Sensors

  • One of the best ways to rise above these challenges is by integrating sensors into devices that not only enable the continuous monitoring of vital stats but also to safely and securely integrate the device with the Internet and other devices in the network.
  • Connected healthcare devices incorporate sensors that generate and collect enormous amounts of valuable data – not just patient health, but also its own performance data.
  • Sensors track patient health, monitor the device environment, and indicate possible malfunction or threat of downtime.

  • Such information can help hospitals to proactively attend to device issues, order new parts before they break, and send maintenance teams to assess problems.

  • Doctors can accordingly schedule appointments around planned fixes, ensuring optimum patient care, and reducing doctor hassle.

Through Encryption

  • Many parties and stakeholders are involved in the connected healthcare space that collects, shares, receives, and stores data.
  • In order to select the appropriate wireless technology, ensure the quality of service, co-existence in the IoT space, compatibility of the device with others, design validation, and risk analysis are important aspects of the medical device design process.
  • Since determining optimum connectivity often depends upon the device’s unique environment, you need to incorporate a sufficient level of privacy and security using suitable encryption methods.
  • Encrypting patient record data, using identity management to verify correct access, and segmenting network traffic are a few ways to ensure security.

Drive Value

Although connected devices drive significant value, they heighten security and privacy risks. Through stringent device testing, validation, and verification methods, sensor technology, and encryption methods, you can comply with the necessary regulatory requirements, meet the security standards, overcome the unique challenges of wireless-connectivity integration, and reduce time-to-market.

By having the appropriate processes in place, you can ensure that information is available only to authorized people and does not fall into the wrong hands.

cloud security, iot security, security

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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