The close of a year and the anticipation of what’s to come in the New Year always brings about some interesting reviews of the past 12 months and predictions for the future by industry analysts, company executives and the trade press. Two articles recently caught my attention.
The first was an article on healthcareanalytics.com that noted Healthcare IoT topics dominated their top 10 stories of 2015. In fact, three IoT related stories made their top ten, including the year’s most popular story, Why Healthcare Big Data Analytics Needs the Internet of Things.
I found this quote from writer Jennifer Bresnick in particular to be a very clear indicator of the power of the IoT for healthcare: “While some may view the IoT as the perfect set-up for a post-apocalyptic novel, it has real power for healthcare. Analytics systems that integrate medical devices like imaging machines and beside monitors can reduce unnecessary spending, improve diagnostic accuracy, and slash repeated tests. Monitoring hand hygiene through internet-connected sanitizer stations can cut infection rates and save lives. Increasing patient engagement through smartphones and patient-generated health data doesn’t just improve satisfaction and overall health, but it also helps providers get paid.”
These two thoughts go hand in hand. There is great potential for the IoT to dramatically change the healthcare delivery landscape, from improving patient safety and outcomes to enhancing the way care is delivered. But, success will be predicated upon the ability to integrate these connected systems, devices and data in a secure manner while ensuring patient privacy and protecting against cyberattacks. And this applies to all industries where IoT solutions are being developed and deployed, and that’s just about everywhere.
Fortunately, technology exists today that enables the device developers to incorporate security into their designs and provide that safety assurance. Wibu-Systems co-Founder and CEO Oliver Winzenried, wrote an interesting article that appeared in Medical Device Developments magazine recently, entitled Stay Secure, where he addressed both the challenges and the security solutions for the medical device industry.
He wrote: “Manufacturers of IoT devices in the medical space must implement security mechanisms by design to safeguard patients’ safety and privacy, and device availability and robustness against cyberattacks and product piracy.”
The article goes into great depth about technologies that will help developers effectively meet these challenges.