You can’t go a day without hearing about some new potentially disruptive Telehealth, telemedicine, and healthcare transformation product and solution. Amazon wants to create the amazon prime of healthcare. Google has talked about it. Comcast mentions telemedicine and the elderly stay at home care at healthcare conferences. Marketing hype or the future of healthcare? What can hospitals and health organizations do to not be disrupted ?
One thing that is left out of all these “global” conversations is security and privacy. We already know IOT devices and medical devices have lax security at times. And even with HIPAA and other regulations, hospitals have ransom attacks and data leaks.
And who exactly would trust Amazon or Google or Comcast with their healthcare data privacy worries ?
These are companies who thrive off of collecting all the data for AI and advertising. It’s all the data , all the time about people and their customers. Why would anybody believe what Comcast or Google or Amazon say when it comes to “we won’t do that with the data.”
The market for VR/AR devices , Apple smart watches , smart home security devices like Ring and Nest is thriving. And Ring and Nest what to track and watch everything you do and share that data, audio and video with the police and government and nextdoor apps. Oh and Ring is Amazon and Nest is Google if you’d didn’t know.
Yes these devices can help with better health checks, better home automaton and security. But at what cost ? It’s 1984 without the need for 1984. Hand everything over for a free camera. So when looking at the telemedicine and the elderly stay at home telehealth sensors and devices collecting and transmitting your health and body information and daily activities, when is too much , too much ?
What happens when someone wishes to just keep their private stuff , well, Private.
It’s the excuse of “I don’t have anything to hide.” Except, at least in the US, everybody is addicted to pain meds and opioids and viagra and who knows what else. Insurance companies love knowing about your substance abuse and daily routines. Others might love knowing when your home is unoccupied during particular times of the day.
It’s all good until it isn’t.
And why is it big pharmaceutical companies and others are allowed to hide the transparent nature of their shady activities, but normal people should share everything for free. Hand me a free watch.
Any highly personal data stored or transmitted by any device, opens it to being accessed by third-party users or hackers. Or nation state organizations.
It’s already happening.
Which is why Even more security risks associated with telemedicine raise several ethical implications. If a doctor-patient relationship and sensitive data cannot and won’t be protected, will this practice ever obtain widespread support from individuals or hospitals and federal organizations?
Many hospitals have been slow to adopt telemedicine and telehealth because of these data security concerns. So how can hospitals not be disrupted by Amazon or Google or Comcast or some telehealth startup?
The answer lies in those companies histories and lies. Amazon wants to get into healthcare, but cuts healthcare for many part time employees. The great Jeff Bezos Con game to the extreme. Others are not really tech companies but they aren’t a real estate firm or a taxi company or a hospital ….
you name it in any industry and some shady well funded founder usually comes up with what they are not excuse for why they were just poor human beings out for themselves. You really Trust them with your health and private data ?
So hospitals wanting to jump into telemedicine and telehealth should go straight after the Jeff Bezos and other startup founder lies.
Use blockchain. Use encryption.
Don’t make it a data play. Make it a better health and hospital community play. Using cardano or hyperledger or ethereum or whatever blockchain to enable secure, immutable , More transparent and pseudo anonymous transactions across various permissionEd networks to allow a mutually agreed upon interaction between different organizations in a pseudo decentralized way.
In healthcare, this can help facilitate a more efficient way to transfer encrypted data effectively and communicate across different groups and organizations. Even offer payment options for the uninsured and unbanked.
Blockchain also allows medical records to be stored in a more secure distributed and pseudo decentralized system, This hybrid blockchain and big data platform can contain encrypted big data and thus enabling providers the capability of storing a complete encrypted patient history with authorization and access control limitations And not a system where data leakage and data hacks happen frequently. Or allow inside jobs that destroy reputations.
Blockchain for telemedicine will help establish a seamless exchange of encrypted data and better patient confidence and faith in healthcare. The data entered must be verified and approved by the patient and doctor, as well as verified against a previous blockchain ledger.
Both the patient and doctor can secure a personal copy of the ledger, rather than a single party having control over the data. This method ensures multiple checks are in place for protecting sensitive data, reducing some of telemedicine’s and Medical device security challenges.
Because of HiPAA and other strict regulations, providing HIPAA compliant telehealth and telemedicine products and services for patients is currently both expensive and complicated. A work in progress as they say. But we know how amazon and google treat ring and nest. Privacy. Security. Regulations. What’s that ?
Telemedicine will help older patients stay healthier and safe at home. It’ll provide access to world renowned doctors from
Afar. One hospital already did a robotics arm surgery with a doctor thousands of miles away from the patient.
So it will lower healthcare costs, increase productivity, optimize efficiency and open new revenue streams. Secure Remote patient access to healthcare services when they most need it.
But If telemedicine is to become a widely accepted practice among patients and hospitals and doctors , the IOT and telemedicine security vulnerabilities need to be addressed through innovative risk management, thought provoking ideals and must include new technologies such as blockchain.
While there is no one security or risk compliance program that prevents hackers from accessing a network, there are many precautions hospitals can take to enhance their security.
Establishing a infosec center of excellence, forming a innovation lab to Test emerging tech , thoroughly doing end to end IT risk assessments, penetration testing and security compliance plans. This is necessary for managing sensitive data and maintaining transparency across all hospital organizations, large and small.
The infosec COE should identify the types of software in place, access and policy controls , and thoroughly evaluate existing processes to ensure the entire system is functioning and secured properly. Whats an ideal future start look like and how can you achieve this vision ?
Blockchain for telemedicine and innovative infosec COE and labs might make your healthcare organization cutting edge and a thought leader in The industry.