Well, I learned a new acronym last week. Kinda catchy. And makes me chuckle. I’ve focused on wearables quite a bit on this site and talked about integration with the care provider’s systems. But, it seems, there is a whole world of “things” that I may have been leaving out -especially when it comes to cyber security. It’s the “Internet of Things”! And for those in healthcare IT we go even further to say IoMT – Internet of Medical Things.
The Internet of things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices“), buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data
The question, in relating it to healthcare apps, is whether this IoT keeps everything secure if only the methods and safeguards around laptops, desktops and the behind the scenes servers are secured. (My post stems from this article on the topic.) It seems that those in the know or working in healthcare IT believe that, yes, they are secure for those reasons. They also report that with the methods of monitoring their networks they can tell when something is “not behaving as intended.”
So let’s flip the situation: If that care provider’s IoT has been compromised and your device (iPhone, iPad, etc) connects to it at the provider’s office could it compromise your device?
Drilling down specifically into the vulnerabilities and security risks of IoMT devices, Beth Musumeci, vice president, cybersecurity at GE Healthcare, said the threat is significant, as connected health devices, by definition, “increase the attack surface.”
Though most health systems have made advancements on the cyber security front those small rural areas who have just been struggling to get internet at their facilities are well behind the ball of the huge health conglomerates. Another aspect is the massive numbers of IoMTs that must be addressed.
Rasu Shrestha, M.D., chief innovation officer at UPMC and executive vice president at UPMC Enterprises:
What’s more, providers are becoming increasingly dependent on Internet-based resources to facilitate patient care, Shrestha said, noting that UPMC has 105,000 connected devices to manage and support. These connected devices, which are connected to networks and the cloud, have the potential to act as a gateway to break into a hospital’s main networks
By 2020, 78.5 million number of people worldwide will be using home health technologies … By 2019, 87 percent of healthcare facilities will implement IoMT, up 60 percent from this year.
Cyber security, to me, seems to be a swiftly growing “next big thing” in IT. And that doesn’t apply to just the medical arena. It applies to your bank, your home internet, and the nail salon where you might connect to their internet while they paint your toenails pink.
Looks like we’ve got another topic to follow on here!