From FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to FBI (Federal bureau of Investigations), they see a core issue bubbling up: The vulnerability of Healthcare systems to cyber-attacks. Both agencies have issued an advisory in this regard in the last 1 year.
Source: DataLossDB.org -- Healthcare amounts to 17% of incidents in 2013
FDA Advisory was focused on medical devices and hospital networks, while the FBI’s communication is focused on hackers attempting to hack personal medical records and health insurance data and even goes to calling out the gaps in resiliency to cyber-attacks as compared with other sectors such as financial and retail sectors.
In addition, looking at statistics from datalossdb.org, Health Care sector has consistently been in the top 3 sectors that have had the most incidents.
But the question is, why now?
This is where the correlation with the Health Care IT transition time lines adds up. It’s the other side of Health Care IT transitions that we looked at in the previous part (At the security cross roads of Healthcare reforms and IoE – 6 Health Care IT Transitions) of this blog series – the threat that have emerged from open anywhere, anytime, any device access which has enabled convenience and transformational experience to patients and care teams.
Let’s see an example of the changing dynamics of some of these transitions from a Hackers perspective by analyzing one of these transitions: Transition from Paper charts to EMR and enabling anywhere anytime, any device access to my care teams and my patients.
Health Care IT Transitions and their Security Implications (1-3 of 6)
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Tags: Cisco Healthcare, Cisco Security, CiscoCloud, e-health, healthcare reform, Internet of Everything, mobile healthcare
The saying ‘Tell me how you will measure me and I will tell you how I will behave’ could have been the perfect tag line for the US Health Care Reforms. When we look at how Health Care Information technology is getting used to enable reforms, we see that most of the technologies existed prior to the reforms, but there wasn’t a compelling reason to adopt it. Once the measurement criteria, the carrots and the sticks were defined, the behaviors changed, and to achieve the metrics, the technology adoption picked up. As an example, according to CDC’s report, the adoption of office based physicians with EHR systems has increased to 78.4% in 2013 from 17.3% in 2003.
Percentage of office based physicians with EHR systems in US
Maybe a coincidence, but the Health Care reforms and Health Care Internet of Everything (IoE) are very much intertwined. The Health Care reforms focus on the ‘why’ and ‘what’ changes are needed to enable outcomes and define how performance is measured. The Health Care Internet of Everything focuses on how technology can be leveraged to enable the goals of Health Care Reforms. By connecting the unconnected, IoE brings more information from multiple sources (things and people) to create an enhanced evidence based model to enable better outcomes.
From an IT perspective, Health Care Reforms requires breaking boundaries, opening up the access, enabling choices, improving data collection from multiple critical sources, and enabling information sharing. It is definitely a challenge to achieve these needs using the traditional approaches in Health Care. Hence Health Care approaches have evolved to leverage Health care IT as a change agent, thereby resulting in many new Health Care IT transitions.
Let us explore six key Health Care IT transitions that have significant security implications.
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Tags: Cisco Healthcare, Cisco Security, cloud, healthcare reform, InternetofEverything, sensors
In the past, they were called ‘Patients’, today their mindset and their behavior patterns have changed; they are called ‘Consumers’ of healthcare. They just don’t look at healthcare to consume the services when they are sick, but see it as a means to help them maintain their wellness and remain healthy. They want to be in the driver’s seat, and they want to be empowered and be part of the care decisions.
The Health Care Reforms and Health Care Internet of Everything (IoE) have accelerated the adoption of ‘consumer like’ behavior. From its focus on increased access to care and information, prevention and wellness, the meaningful use criteria calls for specific metrics such as the need for at least 5% of patients to send secure messages to providers. These have accelerated the use of patient portals and mobile apps and wellness devices. According to a report by Research and Markets, the mobile health market is expected to reach $26 billion in revenue by 2017.
Earlier this week, I was presenting at a security conference, the SecConX conference 2014 on the subject ‘At the Security Crossroads of Health Care Reforms and IoE enabled e-health’. I started off the presentation with a slide with three questions to gauge the audience’s adoption of consumer grade fitness devices, patient portal and mobile apps.
Gauging Consumer Adoption of Fitness devices, Patient portals and Mobile Apps
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Tags: healthcare, healthcare security, InternetofEverything, mHealth, sensors, telehealth
In the last two parts of this series, we looked at
Part 1: Why we need to consider virtual care as part of our strategy for pandemic preparedness
Part 2: How virtual care can enable the process transformations to enable business continuity while mitigating the risk of exposure to staff and patients.
In this part, we ask the question: Why Cloud?
When it comes to preparing for a pandemic, there are many unknowns; however, three things are very difficult to precisely predict:
- Timing: When will the next Pandemic happen?
- Impact: Who will be affected and how much disruption can happen?
- Geographical spread: Where will the outbreak happen and spread?
When the scope is unclear, it is always very difficult to plan well. When we look at the options in front of us, we have mainly two options
- Commit infinite resources to address the worst case
- Leverage a model that can scale based on the need
Obviously, the first option is not a practical business solution. With option 2 being the default approach, this is where the agility of the cloud comes handy. While cloud provides many advantages, let us look at some of the key benefits of cloud when it comes to preparing for a pandemic. They are:
The Convenience of the Cloud:
As we saw in the last part, navigating around the path of the virus can be achieved by using virtual care. Cloud based solutions provide the convenience of accessing services from anywhere, anytime, from any device without having to pre-install. Patients can leverage SaaS based Virtual care solutions to interact with the care teams without leaving their home. New work flows can be pushed out quickly to enable Self-service and dynamic process changes. Read More »
Tags: Cisco cloud, Cisco Healthcare, Internet of Everything, Virtual care
We continue our journey from where we left on part 1 of this series on leveraging Cloud based virtual care in our strategy for pandemic preparedness.
As the news of the pandemic outbreaks occurs, and as patients start seeing flu like symptoms, it’s natural for patients to show up in hospitals and urgent care centers. The care givers that the patients with flu interact are at higher risk of exposure. The US occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) has classified healthcare workplaces to be at very high or high exposure risk for pandemic influenza. For example, a personal that is collecting specimens from pandemic patients is at a very high risk of exposure.
Path of the Virus: Touch points where the healthcare staff is at risk of exposure in a traditional care model
According to CDC guidance, People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away through droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. So proximity and in person interactions must be managed carefully while services are provided.
If we were to track the imaginary path of the flu virus (as a person with flu travels to various places in a hospital), every interaction he has with a staff in person is a potential touch point where he can spread flu. It could be the parking lot, the lobby where he might be passing through healthy visitors, care givers or other patients, the staff at the registration/check-in desk, the nurse or the doctor in the examination room, the staff in the lab, the checkout desk, and list goes on.
Now, let’s look at how virtual care technology driven strategies can help reduce the risk of exposure and at the same time provide essential services to patients. Here are few approaches: Read More »
Tags: Cisco Extended Care, Cisco Healthcare, Cisco HealthPresence, Virtual care