The internet of Things (IoT) adds convenience and capabilities in both personal and professional applications. Smart device usage in the medical field is growing by leaps and bounds: in fact, over 161 million smart devices will be installed by 2020. The demand for these IoT devices is obvious. But what about security concerns?
While these tools can improve patient care, it’s imperative to understand any security concerns as well as the benefits.
Standalone Equipment Becomes Part of the Network
Most pieces of equipment that are now smart were once standalone and independent. Now they are part of the network. The IV dispensing medicine and the sensors monitoring vital signs are no longer segregated; they communicate with other devices to exchange data and automate actions.
An integrated network has many benefits for healthcare. It helps care be more responsive, with automated features performing special tasks like adjusting the flow of medication from the IV. It is clearly improving care, but without proper security, the risks can outweigh the rewards.
Medical Device IoT Threats
Without proper security, smart medical devices are easily breachable. To a hacker, they only need one weak device to penetrate a network. The threat is real: