November 16-22, 2020 is Digital Health Week in Canada. It is an annual celebration and recognition of how digital health is transforming the delivery of healthcare across Canada.
This year’s celebration may resonate more deeply than any before it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By necessity, large segments of staff in the medical sector had to start working remotely. Worldwide, many healthcare professionals had to innovate and change their practices practically overnight, delivering consultation, diagnosis, and therapy digitally.
The pandemic has brought significant challenges, but also important opportunities. While technical hurdles are being cleared, healthcare facilities are also realizing the cost savings and efficiencies telehealth can bring.
Overall, the healthcare sector has digitally transformed at a record breaking pace to adapt during the pandemic. This rapid change brings about an ever-expanding cyber threat landscape. As you protect our health, we will be by your side to protect your digital assets every step of the way.
Exclusive Offer: We’re making it easy to get started with a complimentary and confidential BitSight Security Rating Report that details the cyber risks in your organization and how you benchmark against your peers in twenty major cybersecurity risk categories. It’s quick, free, and could be a real eye-opener.
As an added incentive, ISA cybersecurity specialists can also review the security ratings report with you to investigate any cyber risks in your organization, and deliver a clear and compelling action plan to implement improvements and strengthen your cybersecurity posture. Get your free and confidential report today.
Digital Innovation in Healthcare
This year also saw the trend of the Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT) – or, if you prefer, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) – continue its relentless expansion through the healthcare sector. Wearable devices have evolved from rudimentary “step counters” just years ago to sophisticated tools that can measure glucose levels, vital signs, and provide real-time communications with medical personnel. Personal wearables can remind wearers to take medications or simply prod them to get up and get moving. Healthcare devices in the clinic or hospital are even more numerous. Connected equipment for diagnostics, patient monitoring, medication delivery, and more are essential in delivering positive patient outcomes, and helping to organize and share data with care teams and facilities.
The use of AI in healthcare has tied nicely into the digital health delivery model that took hold in 2020. Artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques have been used increasingly to bring efficiency to a variety of aspects of healthcare, from diagnosis, automation of manual tasks, and safe prescription of medication, right through to operationalizing benefit claims handling. AI front-ends help doctors and emergency wards triage patients quickly and safely. AI can scan massive amounts of case histories and other data – both structured and unstructured – to provide diagnostic image recognition, effective treatment plans, and analytics faster than humans possibly could.
The impacts of AI have been felt in the lab as well as in the examination room. The search for a COVID-19 vaccine has been accelerated by the use of technology, and many have used AI to scan and assess research papers, anonymized patient data and clinical trial results much faster and more accurately than ever before.
Cybersecurity & Healthcare
Understandably, cybersecurity in the healthcare sector is an essential topic for discussion in the digital health world. We’ve seen attacks against healthcare infrastructure by criminals holding operations and data hostage. Healthcare holds some of the most personal, sensitive data, so protecting this information from theft, tampering, or unauthorized access must be paramount in every healthcare organization.
ISA has extensive experience in helping healthcare organizations secure this sensitive data. We are Canada’s leading cybersecurity-focused company, with nearly three decades of experience delivering services and people you can trust. Our mission is to help customers achieve their privacy and security goals, and to be proactive in the fight against security threats.
Our assessment services help identify key areas of concern, highlighting what needs protection, what you’re doing well, and what can be improved. Our awareness training programs help reinforce the essential last line of defense – your staff – in being vigilant in using digital assets wisely. Our identity management approaches can help limit the access to your data only to when and by whom it’s needed. Our managed services and hosted offerings help you get up to speed quickly, keeping your patient care facilities running uninterrupted, protecting your patients and staff from data disclosures, and protecting your reputation from harm at the hands of a cyber criminal. Our incident response teams can help coach you through a breach should the worst happen, guiding your staff through quick response and best practices in cyber crisis management. Finally, if your facility is exploring new horizons of medicine by employing new digital tech, ISA can help guide you with the appropriate technology and third-party/vendor risk assessment that’s critical to have in place before signing a new service contract.
The risks are real and immediate: devastating attacks against hospitals throughout the United States and Canada are in the news daily, with ominous warnings of more attacks to come. ISA can help you understand and mitigate these serious risks and keep your facility available to help patients and conduct life-changing research.
We at ISA encourage all organizations to learn and celebrate the new frontiers that digital health can offer. We will be by your side to protect your digital assets every step of the way.
Further reading: ISA has published several recent articles regarding cybersecurity in healthcare: