You have already heard about how the internet of things is taking the healthcare industry by storm, haven’t you? It is redefining how devices, apps as well as people interact with each other in delivering healthcare solutions. The current COVID scenario has completely changed the immediate health and emergency needs of the people. Consequently this has changed the responsibilities that are expected from the healthcare industry. IoT is constantly offering efficiencies as well as new tools that contribute to an integrated healthcare system. Here, the main aim is to reduce the healthcare costs to a great extent, making sure that the patients are cared properly and the outcomes of the treatments are improved. These days, most hospitals use IoT for controlling temperature and humidity within operating rooms and for the management of asset.
Want to know what benefits internet of things offer to the healthcare industry? Keep reading.
Better outcomes of treatment
As healthcare solutions are connected through various virtual infrastructure or cloud computing, they provide the healthcare staff with the ability to access real time information. This, in turn, helps them to offer high quality treatment as well as informed decisions. The healthcare treatment outcomes can improve vastly this way.
Monitoring of patients can be done on real time basis if healthcare providers take advantage of the connectivity. This works in favor of the doctors, as they do not need to visit unnecessarily. To be precise, advanced home care facilities always reduce the re-admissions and hospital stays.
Enhanced management of disease
With IoT in healthcare, patients are continuously monitored on a regular basis. This enables the healthcare providers to have access to real time data. This, in turn, allows them to take appropriate care of diseases before they go out of hand.
Better patient experience with healthcare IoT
As the internet of things allow for a better connectivity in the healthcare system, it helps a lot in meeting the needs of the patient. Improved accuracy, proactive treatments and timely intervention of doctors – all these contribute to an enhanced patient experience.
Less errors with healthcare IoT devices
Automated workflow, precise collection of data and data-driven decisions are a great way to minimize errors as well as reduce system costs.
Apart from providing these advantages, IoT devices add to healthcare security risks. How? Read below.
Encryption makes the data secure. If you are an unauthorized user and you don’t have the proper decryption key, you will not be able to read the information. Sounds interesting? Well, there are many healthcare providers who are unsuccessful in installing encryption on their system.
Non-existent or weak access controls within healthcare IoT
According to recent studies, almost 80% of online accounts don’t need secure passwords. Moreover, there are many users who create weak passwords. So, in case the business account of one of your employees is under attack, all your healthcare records will be at risk.
No guidance is provided for new technologies
There are strict regulations in healthcare organizations regarding how one can create health records, store them, access them and share them. It is only FDA that mandates guidance on few mobile devices, but not on mobile medical applications. There are many organizations out there that don’t know how much it is important to maintain proper cyber security.
Inefficient software protection
The majority of enterprise applications are patched or updated irregularly. This is why, devices fall prey to attacks by malicious and newly developed viruses.
What will happen if the healthcare devices are compromised?
Both the hospitals and its patients are negatively affected if there is a security breach. For example, a system in California lost the personal information of around 30,000 records of patients. This led them to a cash payment of 7.5 million dollar to the members of the participating settlement class. Insulin pumps, pacemakers and other implantable devices can be programmed remotely. For instance, as former Vice President of the United States of America worried about the hackers hacking his device, he asked the doctors to disable the wireless capabilities of his pacemaker.
So, how can healthcare organizations protect themselves from the risks of healthcare IoT?
- Data governance policy creation can help safeguard the data as well as the devices.
- In order to protect healthcare IoT network’s security, you can use digital certificates. This will help in establishing trust using encryption technology and authentication so that all communications within the network stay secure.
- You can choose to migrate to the cloud. In that case, make sure to take help of expert cloud service provider.
- Before connecting the devices to hospital systems, make sure that it meets the security standards.
- You need to make sure that the partners as well as the third party suppliers can store, manage and use personal healthcare data in a way that it complies to all the privacy and security responsibilities.
Digitization and Health Care Security
- Is the security requirement extremely complex? Well, you need to make it simple so that the patients can use it with ease.
- You need to make sure that from medical devices to email – the employees should know as well as understand all the procedures and policies.
- In order to prevent your healthcare organization’s email from spoofing, use open standards like DMARC or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance to have a tool.
In every new technology, there may be people who exploit it for personal use. However, that can never stop technology. It is true that IoT in healthcare has risks, but the benefits are sure to outrun them.
The architecture of IoT is a strong analysis engine which needs a hypervisor or hybrid cloud environment to run. These tools are important not only to ensure the auditing of network, but also to ensuring the real-time anomalies. To conclude, though there are some drawbacks and complications in healthcare IoT that might hinder certain stages of progress, it can be said that healthcare IoT is here to stay and are sure to achieve heights of success in near future. If the security factor of IoT tools is part of the overall digitization strategy, it could actually bring a huge difference in the lives of the people across the globe.