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Healthcare, Cybersecurity, and Innovation in the Wearable Technology Market

The amount of innovation we’re experiencing in the medical IoT and wearable technology market is huge, and there’s enormous potential for more effective, efficient, and cost-effective management of chronic diseases and public health concerns like heart disease and diabetes. However, the major caveat we repeatedly hear is the relative absence of adequate security protocols being put in place by the creators of these IoT apps and gadgets.

Because of this cybersecurity gap, it would behoove healthcare providers and institutions to create their own HIPAA-compliant apps and devices. Doing so would not only help to bridge the information security gap, but it would also increase the consumer appeal — which is currently a bit on the weak side, given the myriad of privacy and security concerns. Let’s explore a few specific ways medical innovation and big data could save consumers a great deal of time and money, as well as the power of big data, wearable technology, and strategic cybersecurity to maintain health and prevent fraud.

How to Infiltrate the Healthcare App Market

Let’s be clear: America has a heart disease problem. In fact, nearly 28 million people in the U.S. have heart disease, which is also the main cause of death in the United States. However, it could be argued that we have an even bigger problem with healthcare costs in the U.S., as NPR reports: more than $9,000 per person, to be precise — as compared with just under $4,000 in the UK and Japan. Moreover, spending amounts don’t always correlate to better health care.

Since politicians don’t seem capable of solving the problem of skyrocketing medical and insurance costs anytime soon, the IT world is poised to fill the market need for more cost-effective ways to connect patients with healthcare providers. However, the major obstacle to success in this market is related to cybersecurity. Specifically speaking, app developers and wearable device manufacturers must address the glaring information security gap preventing wearables and IoT technology from really catching on. If personal data remains easily accessible to hackers and malicious identity thieves (as well as marketers hungry for big data and business intelligence insights), popularity for these devices will continue to wane.

Imagine, instead, if entrepreneurs, healthcare providers, and medical institutions stepped up to answer the call for HIPAA-compliant wearable devices. Those same devices would become dramatically more popular among the market that needs it most: baby boomers and aging seniors in need of reliable options they can trust that address their desire to age-in-place affordably and remain mobile, healthy, and independent without compromising their privacy or security. Moreover, younger consumers would feel confident their information wasn’t easily obtainable by whomever decided to hack into their smart home system or smartphones first.

Information Security Specialists in Healthcare IT

Imagine if IT departments in hospitals and healthcare clinics were fully staffed by cybersecurity specialists capable of deflecting even the most sophisticated virus or malware, while also being invested in creating department-specific apps and wearable technology. This kind of expertise would not only allow wearable technology to be HIPAA-compliant, but it would also address the cybersecurity and privacy concerns voiced by so many.

The projected growth for information security analysts is currently at 18 percent — much faster than the current growth for other occupations, on average. While specialists in cybersecurity often begin as network administrators or a similar role, professionals often work up to more specialized security-related positions — due in part to the sensitive nature of specific security breaches. As long as the information security gap for wearable devices and IoT technology exists — which it is projected to do for quite a long time — there will be a dire need for cybersecurity professionals willing to work with HIPAA protocols, healthcare providers, and IT innovators to revolutionize the healthcare IT market.

How do you predict the wearable technology market will change, over the next five years? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

About the Author

Avery Phillips is a freelance human based out of the beautiful Treasure Valley. She loves all things in nature, especially humans. Leave a comment down below or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or comments.

 

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Comments

  1. Avery,

    I would like to discuss with you how our ground-breaking three patents as the only solution for the security problem associated with transmission of encrypted data and files directly from wireless device to another wireless device, through a network interface over the Internet. Can we discuss this please. I am available at your convenience at 612-237-6754

    Doug Denny
    CEO
    SecureWiFi Technologies, LLC
    612-237-6754

  2. Leonie Abrahams says:

    Hi,

    I would like to discuss what you think is the right limit for these wearables. Do you think we need to gather all this information from everyone and store it at an online platform, where doctors can see when things are starting to get messy?

    I would like to hear from you soon.

    With kind regards,

    Leonie Abrahams

  3. Melody Spencer says:

    Good article. Today a lot of money is spent on wearables devices, especially in healthcare. This brings highlight to the aspect of personal data security concerns captured by these smart devices. Introduction of IoT to connect such wearables raises more eyebrows. This is where high quality solutions with tight security on data handling comes in, and at the same time educating the users of these wareables to follow best practices.

    Here are some simple suggestions for enhancing data security. Well-maintained access logs will help to easily recognize attacks and ambiguous patterns. Should facilitate the use of encrypted protocols and secure password policies. A restrictive network communication policy and a virtual LAN will be also helpful. A good failover design will assist the end user for disconnected operations on failure such as broken internet connectivity etc.

    Many companies are launching highly secure IoT based healthcare applications which are equally helpful for both the outpatients and their healthcare providers. You can refer to this case study for more details: https://www.zerone-consulting.com/Case-Study/Healthcare-Plan-Monitoring-Mobile-Application.html . Preservation of data confidentiality and security should be a key factor while designing any application. 

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