On one level, wearable healthcare could be the answer to many of the problems faced by patients, hospitals and medical practitioners – by providing better monitoring, freeing up beds and saving money. On the other hand, they could add another cybersecurity risk to the already hard-pressed healthcare industry.
While clinical wearables can improve patient care and even help to save lives, they could also make patient data vulnerable to hackers and offer them a route into healthcare networks for distributing malware. The onus is on hospital IT departments to pressurise tech vendors into making sure their products are hack-proof – through encryption and connection to a secure VPN network. In addition, the devices should only connect to a hospital’s data network via a single entry point.
The impact of digital medicine on patient welfare, health budgets and resources could be game changing – but security issues will need to be addressed.