The future of healthcare data security in 2023 is now easier to access because of new technologies
Like many other industries, healthcare is going through a significant data-driven revolution. More detailed medical data is produced and is now easier to access because of new technologies like telehealth platforms and the internet of things (IoT). While there are obvious advantages to this, there are also significant security risks to healthcare data.
In 2021, there were 714 healthcare data breaches involving 500 or more information, about twice as many as in 2018. Because of its high level of sensitivity, personal health information (PHI) is a prime target for hackers. Security must advance along with the industry as it adopts new data-sharing technologies and becomes more data-centric.
The regulatory environment is changing, which is one of the biggest shifts happening. The new legislation will probably replace or modify laws like HIPAA since they don’t offer enough precise direction for today’s data transmission and security requirements. Sector data professionals need to get ready to adjust to these new laws.
One such new rule is the Trusted Exchange Framework and the Common Agreement (TEFCA). TEFCA is a non-binding agreement, but it is anticipated that many healthcare companies will sign on to make the cross-country exchange of medical data simpler. Then, participants’ data workers must make sure that their procedures comply with TEFCA’s security requirements and don’t violate any new definitions of information blocking.
Regulations that don’t necessarily concern security will nonetheless influence data privacy issues. The No Surprises Act forbids billing for emergency treatment by out-of-network providers starting in 2022, when it will apply to almost all health plans. More distant data exchange will probably be necessary, which data professionals must make sure is safe.
Increasing patient access is another development that is altering healthcare data security. Technologies like telehealth meet consumer demands for greater openness and control over their medical information. It could be difficult to strike a balance between privacy and accessibility.
Expanding access to patients who might not have complete cybersecurity understanding raises issues since restricting access credentials is essential to data protection. In 2019, 31% of healthcare data breaches were due to simple human mistakes, and medical companies are less able to instruct patients than they are personnel. Data experts must thus provide a data access platform that considers users’ propensity for making errors.
Security features like two-factor authentication and encryption should be enabled by default on consumer IoT devices and medical apps. Teams may also lean towards improving user control by letting users select how these applications utilize their data and notifying them of pertinent security issues.
Healthcare applications are increasingly utilizing machine learning. Intelligent algorithms can facilitate hyper-individualized healthcare by facilitating quicker and more accurate diagnoses, but training them is challenging. When creating these models, data scientists must take care to avoid unintentionally disclosing private medical data.
The solution is found in artificial data. The risk of unintentional exposure during training is removed by using this synthetic data in place of real-world PII. This need was identified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and Synthea was established this year as a result.
A healthcare data engine called Synthea creates synthetic medical records from publicly accessible health data. Similar materials could become available soon as well. Data scientists must embrace these techniques as machine learning in healthcare becomes more prevalent so that models may be trained on synthetic data rather than riskier but perhaps more useful real-world Information.
For data professionals, the growth of data-centric technology and procedures is both a blessing and a curse. New and exciting economic opportunities are presented by this transformation in sectors like healthcare, but it also raises security issues. Data scientists must take care not to raise security threats as they assist the industry in utilizing digital data.
The future of healthcare data security will be significantly altered by these three phenomena. Data professionals must keep an eye on these changes and adjust as necessary to provide the best value while enhancing compliance and safety.