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Can IoMT Protect Healthcare Systems from Cyberattacks In 2021?

Analytics Insight analyses whether IoMT can protect healthcare systems from cyberattacks

The Internet of Medical Things or popularly known as IoMT is considered to be an amalgamation of medical devices and applications that are connected to multiple healthcare IT systems through networking technologies. Recently, IoMT is thriving in the healthcare systems due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The strict protocols have created an immense demand for IoMT in 2021. The global market size of IoMT in healthcare systems is expected to reach US$142.45 billion with a CAGR of 28.9% by 2026. The share prices of some popular MedTech companies are also rising because of the cutting-edge smart connected devices.

It is well-known that the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a plethora of opportunities for cyberattacks in multiple industries due to data explosion and excessive use of connected devices. Malicious hackers have selected MedTech companies also to search for weak links and demand millions of dollars of ransomware. It is, indeed, creating a lot of pressure on MedTech companies to enhance cybersecurity against malicious cyberattacks. Connected devices are insecure by design and attract the eyes of cyber-criminals because these IoMT MedTech devices consist of sensitive data as well as patient’s safety concerns with medical records. There is a record of almost 237 data breaches with more than 10 crore healthcare data had been exposed in 2020.

 

 

These internet-connected healthcare devices are being immensely used in hospitals and clinics to ease the regular check-up processes of patients. IoMT in connected devices has reduced unnecessary medical visits by connecting patients to their respective doctors during the mentioned appointment. It also helps to transfer confidential medical data over a secured network. Smart connected devices such as wearables or monitors are contributing to telemedicine. Wearables include activity trackers, bands, sports watches, smart belts, sport headsets, and neuromodulation devices. These are helping the elder generation in staying fit and healthy through constant monitoring and detection of any unusual activity. Multiple connected devices are produced by eminent MedTech companies and are prescribed to use by health authorities.

There are three in-home segments of connected devices— Personal Emergency Response Systems, Remote Patient Monitoring, and telehealth virtual visits.  There are five community segments as mobility, emergency response intelligence, kiosks, point-of-care devices, and logistics whereas six in-hospital segments include asset management monitors, personnel management measures, patient flow management, inventory management, environment and multiple innovative devices through IoMT.

COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented risk on the healthcare system. The eminent MedTech companies consider that IoMT has increased the risk of cyberattacks in the MedTec industry as well as hospitals because enormous volumes of data are not available for hackers. The potential risk is much more high and complicated in IoMT connected devices than the classic machines.  The involved risks are denial of services during emergency cases, blackmail with patient’s information, stolen patient’s medical records, malfunction leading to death as well as lateral access to other departments. The more unprotected IoMT connected devices, the more chance for cyberattacks.

This can be mentioned that IoMT itself cannot protect the healthcare systems from cyberattacks in 2021. It is high time for the healthcare system to understand that IoMT consists of some major vulnerabilities. Thus, the healthcare system can install some hi-tech cybersecurity measures into IoMT devices to protect confidential medical data from the hands of hackers— screen all traffic to constantly monitor regular activities as well as unusual activities, Cloud-driven network infrastructure, blend of automation with procedures, implementing the zero-trust approach and many more.

Thus, IoMT can protect our lives through connected devices but MedTech companies have to protect IoMT from malicious cyberattacks.

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