To what extent does privacy matter if it’s related to your personal health?

To what extent does privacy matter if it’s related to your personal health?

Internet of Things (IoT) plays a significant role in a broad range of healthcare applications. We definitely think that both patients and hospitals will benefit from this evolution in healthcare. Thanks to IoT, mobile medical applications and wearable devices allow patients to capture their health data. Examples of these devices are blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, weight scales and blood glucose monitors. With the use of complex algorithms this data can be analysed and then shared – often using a wireless network – with medical professionals, afterwards. These professionals then diagnose the patient.

You might think: What’s the problem if it contributes to my own healthcare?! I would say the same if I did not know that there often are commercial intentions in play as well. In other words, these companies from then on have access to your personal data. So, that’s definitely something to keep in mind. On the other hand, these devices will provide a huge contribution to the quality of the existing healthcare. The obtained data from these devices will be relayed to a remote device (tablet, smartphone, pc etc.) in order to track and monitor a patient’s health and give alerts when the patient’s health status is not like it has to be. As a result, patients with chronic diseases may be less likely to develop complications. Also, acute complications may be diagnosed earlier then in the situation where they did not use this device.

In conclusion, I think these developments in healthcare are going to save lives. There’s one big threat though: the patient’s privacy. When every (commercial) company is able to collect data about your health, what will happen with this data in the end? Imagine that this data ends up at your (future) employer or health insurance company for example. Especially when companies with commercial purposes keep continuing developing these devices. What are they going to do with the collected data and to what extent are you willing to give them permission to use this data? These are questions I’m also struggling with. Keep this in mind: Whenever you use a device like this, make sure that your data is securely saved and that no third parties are allowed to get access to this data.

As an organisation you need to be aware of the sensitive data you’re working with. Therefore, you need to make sure that this data is securely saved. Most often you also need to prove this to your auditor. To help you with this Guardian360 offers an arsenal of scanners, which are capable of scanning your entire network systems including these IoT devices. Besides that, these scanners also test conform the ISO27001 and NEN7510 standards.

More information about these Guardian360 scanners? Click here.


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