Technology is accelerating the healthcare industry and the attackers are right behind.
The healthcare industry is being transformed by technology, as an example, people are using mobile devices and apps to measure their fitness, wellness and physical health. Data is flowing from wearable devices directly into apps and mobile phones. With all this data, pharmaceutical companies are closer than ever to offering personalised treatments.
Indeed, at the same time, there is an ever increasing number of cyber hacks into people’s medical records and connected devices, resulting in personal identities being stolen. Organisations worry about breaching individuals’ privacy rights and some have stalled digital health initiatives due to concerns of increasing regulation and fines. However, we believe effective security and privacy strategies can enable the right balance between digital opportunity and risk, so that advancements in digital health, positively enrich how we care for ourselves and others; and how we measure, monitor and treat our own health.
KPMG’s second event, Innovation and Information Protection in Digital Health, saw over 30 digital health innovators, technologists, security experts and senior executives gathering to discuss the challenges facing digital health innovators.
Early on, Mark Thompson Privacy Director and David Ferbrache, Technical Director, both from KPMG in the UK, broached the topic of the organised cybercriminal. We discussed the scary truth that today’s cybercriminal has a business model, a strategy and clear objectives. Later we were treated to a series of presentations from individuals at the frontline of digital health.
Among these were some intriguing topics. We discussed a business model that provides the individual patient risk rankings directly to the general public, rather than to insurers. We heard about a paperless healthcare system and the possibilities being offered by blockchain. We had insight into insurers’ use of data from wearable healthcare devices. We even rounded off the event with a fascinating talk on the latest developments in consumer genetic testing, specifically the alternative approach from the application DNAnudge. This app allows users to test themselves and have the results underpin wellbeing advice, even as far as dietary habits. The worlds of preventative medicine and consumerism really are colliding.
Running throughout all of the insights and anecdotes of the day was the advice that security and privacy considerations must be accommodated from the outset as digital healthcare moves towards becoming a mainstream commercial reality.
This article discusses each of the topics presented to us during the event in more depth, and pulls out the key issues that arose and what our tactics should be when facing these issues going forward.