Despite the convenience of telemedicine, this technology raises enormous potential security concerns. If the virtual connection between a doctor and the patient is unsecure, it is possible that patients’ location, data and other sensitive information could be leaked.
“The privacy risks associated with telemedicine mostly stem from the lack of security controls over the collection, use and sharing of data,” said Blaise Wabo, associate director of A-LIGN, a cybersecurity technology and services vendor.
“For example, home telehealth devices and sensors may collect and transmit information on activities in the household that a patient wishes to keep private, such as substance abuse or their daily routine, including when their home is unoccupied during particular times of the day,” said Wabo.
Third-party access to personal data
This highly personal data may be stored or transmitted by the device, allowing it to be accessed by third-party users, Wabo explained.
“Additionally, while smartphone apps are useful tools to help manage personal health, they too can share sensitive data with advertisers and other third parties,” he said. “This includes sensor data on location, which allows advertisers and third parties to access an individual’s location and store that data in third-party libraries or online servers.”
Prepare for next-gen cybersecurity threats and join the #HITsecurity discussion at the HIMSS Healthcare Security Forum this Dec. 9-10 in Boston.
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