While most people use technology for entertainment and social purposes. In the healthcare industry, technology is not used in the same way.
Technological items are being used more and more in the healthcare industry. During a visit to your local doctor’s, you may notice that staff have personal electronic devices to hand. You may also notice that while there are some areas where devices are not allowed, there is not a ban of phones in medical facilities.
Consumer technology and its medical uses
Consumer technologies can have many benefits. Such as, improving patient care, reducing medical costs and offering new services. Advances in technology have allowed medical practices to offer patients an online appointment service. As well as many other things.
Developments in technology have also meant that surgeons can use phones to take pictures after a procedure. This is primarily for their reference.
Some medical professionals suggest that patients use activity trackers to monitor their health. Many patients who wear these trackers upload the results to cloud devices and share them with others.
Another increasing trend, is online self diagnosis. More and more people are using the internet to diagnose themselves. As well as researching medical diagnoses and treatments online. During medical consultations, doctor’s are also turning to online information for advice.
Advancements in consumer technology have meant that medical facilities and patients can keep in touch more easily. For example, some medical facilities send patient’s reminder texts about appointments.
To help doctors keep on top of patient health. Many people use health care apps to store their health and fitness information. This includes things like blood group and blood pressure.
While this is all well and good, the use of consumer technology in the healthcare industry does come with some security risks.
What are the security risks that come with the use of consumer technology in healthcare?
The main security risk of using consumer technologies to store patient information, is a leak. Leaked information tends to be caused by hackers.
For example, if a health insurances company’s online records database is hacked. Then patient’s have had their confidentiality leaked through a security breach. This type of breach of security can have severe consequences and can cause all sorts of problems.
Patients who upload their medical information to an app, are putting themselves at risk of hacking. Or, loss of personal medical information.
What can we do to reduce the security risks?
To reduce the security risks associated with consumer technologies, there are things that can be done. For example, medical facilities must follow HIPAA security procedures. As well as, ensuring that all patient records on electronic devices are protected from hackers. As well as from other security breaches.
Medical staff sharing patient information on mobile phones could also put patients at risk.
Where as, if doctors and medical professionals instead use a secure electronic device for keeping patient details safe. The risk would decrease.