Connected health: how to ensure the protection of medical data?

Today, connected technologies are part of our daily lives. In the healthcare environment, these devices provide easier and faster access to patient records. In this context of connected health, the protection of medical data and risk prevention remain priority issues

Medical data security: a major issue

In recent years, studies have shown that a large amount of medical and confidential data is stolen from health care institutions. It is important to know that sensitive information (contact details, hospitalizations, treatments, consultations) circulates via connected devices and that more and more actors have access to it.

To cope with what connected health and its challenges entail, digital system protection devices are now available. These innovations are constantly evolving.

To encourage healthcare professionals to effectively protect medical data with appropriate medical devices, the French government has implemented the mandatory application of the Politique Générale de Sécurité des Systèmes d’Information de Santé (PGSSI-S). Compliance with this law is monitored by the authorities.

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Connected health and medical data: what risks?

A medical record includes:

  • all traces of a relationship between the doctors and the patient,
  • exchanges between specialists and the treating physician,
  • consultation and hospitalization reports,
  • medical history,
  • the evolution of a pathology,
  • the results of the treatments,
  • the tests performed.

In a connected health network, when this sensitive information is not adequately protected, various threats can lead to serious consequences. Medical procedures such as diabetes treatment and monitoring, as well as blood pressure monitor results, require access to the patient’s record at all times. The latter can become the target of identity thieves, scam attempts, phishing campaigns.

Some fraudsters use personal data sensors to obtain drugs. On the authorities’ side, the Commission Nationale Informatique et Libertés (CNIL) carries out monitoring operations and ensures that health professionals remain sufficiently informed. You can obtain more information on this subject on the CNIL website.

How to ensure the protection of medical data?

Various solutions adapted to multiple uses are available to specialized institutions to support the operations of connected health and its challenges.

A device such as the Private APN (Access Point Name) allows to secure a communication between an organization or a community and remote devices (computer, equipment, sensors, etc.). The data is transmitted via a secure “tunnel” and no longer via the Internet. The use of an IoT platform guarantees the confidentiality of data, from its capture to its reception.

Thanks to these innovative technologies, the security level of medical devices is optimized and contributes to the prevention of risks related to cybercrime. Therefore, it is important to follow its evolution.

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