• E-health solutions need to improve to deal with security threats

Technology is helping to make patient interaction with healthcare professionals more meaningful, but it shouldn’t come at the price of security, according to Caroline Clouser, executive VP of healthcare at insurer Chubb Group.

With the accuracy of sensors and wearable devices having vastly improved, she said paperless health records are increasing the quality of care. Clouser added, however, that as more healthcare services go digital, the risks of data breaches will dramatically grow and organisations need to do more to prevent this.

“Health care organisations need to control costs, and technology is going to be one way to do that,” Clouser said. “But with that transformation comes new exposures that we haven’t faced in the past.”

These ‘exposures’ include remote criminal attacks from hackers, but also from employee negligence with company devices also at risk of damage, theft or loss.

She added that breaches of security not only compromise patient data but also carry significant financial and reputational implications for organisations.

“Among other things, patients whose electronic medical records have been shared publicly may begin to seek indemnification,” said Clouser.

Her comments back up a KPMG study from 2015 which found that around four in five health IT executives admitted their firm had suffered a cyber attack in the last two years.