Telehealth and Cybersecurity: 3 Best practices to ensure data security in remote patient care

Telehealth refers to the remote access and delivery of healthcare by integrating digital devices, healthcare equipment, and healthcare systems. The pandemic has accelerated the reach and adoption of telehealth.

There are many telehealth products in the market today. Here are a few examples  –

  1. Sesame care –  Provides listings of healthcare providers with affordable pricing, which varies with region. Patients can book appointments for the same day and for a future date.
  2. Klara – Enables real-time video visits between caregivers and patients. Includes scheduling appointments, insurance verification, sharing reports during the consultation, and documenting instructions for individual care. It also provides a virtual waiting room for the patient.
  3. HealthTap – Another telehealth product that enables patients and families to find an affordable virtual care provider for primary health.
  4. MeMed – Provides virtual healthcare in several areas such as general health, mental health, child care, etc. It works with businesses to develop solutions that bring down the cost of healthcare services for their employees. 

While there is greater adoption of telehealth services, there is reluctance from patients worried about their data privacy, while others are not comfortable going virtual. While the latter can be resolved through user education or caregiver-assisted consultations, cybersecurity is a bigger problem.

Read more: How to transition to telehealth

Access to healthcare and information from anywhere increases the threat surface and the associated security risk. With the increase in telehealth traffic, cyber-attacks have increased exponentially.  American legislation provides for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which is the cornerstone of governance around healthcare. Any telehealth service must be HIPAA and HL7 (Health Level 7) certified as it holds patient data.

HL7 is a set of international standards around transferring electronic information on health between healthcare providers and related systems. One of its key protocols, FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), defines how healthcare systems can share data,  irrespective of how it is stored in these systems. It is web-based, with REST being one of its standards. This makes it possible for easy integration with healthcare-based consumer apps providing lightweight data as per need. 

You may also like: FHIR – The winning edge for successful patient engagement

Three best practices to ensure data security in remote patient care are:

Multi-factor authentication of identity

Healthcare providers, patients, and payers can access health records outside the network via cloud-based solutions. Simple user/password authentication and authorization will not suffice in such scenarios. A hacker can quickly gain entry. Multi-factor authentication that requires at least two pieces of information to enable user access from different networks will significantly reduce potential threats. It could be a 2F authentication or token from a verified phone number associated with the account and a strong password. Biometric authentication using fingerprint, voice recognition, or facial recognition are other means of multi-factor authentication. 

Cloud Infrastructure security

Today serverless architectures take away the load from developers to scale their applications based on load, with the additional benefit of reduced costs. A serverless application or service gets triggered by different data sources, i.e., distributed cloud services. Each data source comes with its event data format, each with a potential data injection loophole. Additionally, there are no firewalls protecting these services. 

Adequate serverless security would include: 

  1. Least privilege access for serverless services. Default deny approach by the service being accessed unless the necessary permissions are granted.
  2. Implementing a Web Application Firewall to protect against attacks like SQL injection.
  3. Cloud Encryption (or cloud storage encryption) – Data is encrypted before being stored in files and databases so that only authorized personnel can access this data.
  4. Continuous checks on third-party integrations
  5. Continuous monitoring of services auditing logs to take quick action or prevent cyber attacks
  6. The shared responsibility model between the user and service provider keeps the environment secure.

Network and data security 

Telehealth services over the internet, insecure connections, and lag in security updates pose a considerable security threat to patients’ health data. 

Using a VPN that restricts access to users with the proper credentials is one way of preventing such issues.

Striking the right balance between security and complexity of use is essential. Having said that, there are other systems that a telehealth service would need to interact with. Specifically, remote devices and sensors are being used for monitoring a patient’s health. All of this data that goes to the telehealth service and out of it would need to be encrypted at rest and in motion. Ensuring the data is transmitted on SSL, and secured storage reduces the possibility of a leak. Enabling periodic anti-malware and virus scans will also check cyber threats. Over and above application and network-level security, patients must be educated on the importance of cybersecurity while maintaining a  relatively lower complexity.

Ensure cybersecurity for your organization

Cyber-security is a crucial parameter to telehealth adoption. Therefore to manage this, an organization could  – 

  1. Partner with cyber-security providers, 
  2. Set up the proper framework and governance around telehealth,
  3. Adopt the latest security measures and tools, 
  4. Enable security at the application level,
  5. Continuously monitor all devices, data handshake points, and the overall network.
  6. Have scheduled virus scans and update anti-malware installed.
  7. Ensure solid passwords and meeting ids while using third-party tools such as Zoom to not compromise the patient’s identity.
  8. Keep the patient and caregivers well-informed on the usage of devices, password management, and enabling virus scans on their devices.
  9. Have an eye out for new security loopholes cited in the market.

Reach us at Trigent to evaluate the existing and build new secure telehealth application(s) and apps for your organization.

Build secure and efficient telehealth applications for your organization. Call us now!

3 ways to beat the competition and stay ahead in the Media and Entertainment industry

The media and entertainment sector saw quite a few changes with respect to content development, aggregation, and delivery as major players in the business adopted new strategies and agile approaches to leverage the changing consumer demands. Everything evolved in the M&E industry; mainstream movies battled with the growing popularity of digital OTT content while music records and CDs were replaced by music streaming apps and Apple iTunes. Then there was the pandemic which despite posing several challenges also offered an impetus to the M&E industry.

As Deloitte’s global TMT industry leader Ariane Bucaille explains, “There have been five years of change in five months due to the pandemic. Covid-19 has been a catalyst – an unwelcome one, but still a catalyst – for needed changes across the TMT landscape.”

The fast-evolving OTT landscape

The global OTT market size that stood at $171B in 2020 is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 29.4% to touch $1,039B by 2027. Ad-supported VoD platforms are doing increasingly well amidst the pandemic with ad revenue of the five major ad-supported streaming platforms namely Hulu, Peacock, Roku, Pluto TV, and Tubi touching 31% year-over-year.

47% of households have increased their use of content streaming services, 60% of respondents have signed up for free trials of subscription video on demand (SVOD) services due to the pandemic and a good 15% are ready to become paying members once the free trial concludes. The United States, which is also one of the largest OTT markets in the world, tops the national average at 8.55 hours of viewing time spent on OTT video content as compared to the global average of 6.8 hours per week.

As the market continues to see growth in the number of M&E studios and OTT service providers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to win this race. It is certainly challenging to create your own niche in this overly crowded market, though there’s a lot you can do to stay ahead and rise above the noise.

We believe M&E companies can get a competitive advantage if they meet the new demands of consumers by concentrating their efforts on 3 fronts – Experience, Technology, and Marketing.

Here are our top recommendations for you to consider to underpin the M&E domain like a pro:

  1. Tailor-made viewing experience to retain customers

Consumers are in demand as they continue to grab free trials, seek original content, and balance costs between paid, premium, and ad-supported services. They are quick to choose, sign up and cancel as well, as research indicates that 62% signed up to watch a particular show and cut the service once they were done while 43% canceled the same day once they realized they did not want it anymore.

This gives little or no time for providers to level up and respond. Besides, viewers are jumping from one platform to another as more immersive platforms see the light of the day. From live to connected TV, desktops to mobile, and new immersive platforms driven by Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) – the transition is for all to see. Advertising models are being revised too in order to factor in this paradigm shift making way for native, vertical, 360-degree, and programmatic ads. Ad-supported video streaming services (AVOD) are also being well-received.

M&E companies must study and monitor consumer behavior closely to understand whether certain behaviors are temporary or are pointing towards a permanent shift in preference. For instance, ‘watch party’ became quite a trend wherein groups of people watched movies and other video content together using popular social media platforms, but whether the trend will continue even after the pandemic is something that needs to be seen.

  1. Technologies to spur growth

The media and entertainment ecosystem can benefit a great deal if companies rest their strategies on technology foundations to navigate their infrastructures to next-generation architectures. The ones that play pivotal roles include:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – AI is the key to personalization as consumers continue to look for personalized content recommendations from service providers. Recommendations apply to both contents as well as ads that users may be inclined to watch. AI in tandem with machine learning will also offer insights into the payment preferences of consumers. In fact, 66% of respondents had in fact opined in favor of having an AI-powered digital assistant too.

Augmented /Virtual Reality (AR/VR) – We’re now seeing increasing adoption of digital technologies like AR/VR as the wave of innovation sweeps over M&E. With continuous advances in AR/VR, both will play an important role in offering rich, deeply engaging, multisensory experience. While cloud, edge computing, and 5G will move VR forward, AI technology will continue to push AR into the realm of mainstream. AR market value is predicted to go up to USD 200 billion by 2025 from just USD 5.9 billion in 2018.

Digital transformation – As technology continues to prove its worth, M&E companies are now making more investments in the development of intelligent enterprises. Higher efficiencies and lower operational costs while staying aligned to business objectives have become their forever goals. The focus is now on digital transformation. As Jennifer Cooper, Global Head of Media and Communications Industry Strategy & Solutions, Microsoft points out, “The disruption created by COVID-19 has agitated the industry into accelerating innovation and digital transformation in areas that were previously only in planning stages of cloud migration. The stage is set for an industry-wide metamorphosis.”

Stringent data privacy measures – As instances of a data breach and misuse of consumer data continue to plague the minds of viewers, M&E companies should invest in disruptive technologies such as AI and Blockchain to protect their identity and also detect and block deepfakes. When leveraged correctly, blockchain offers transparency, immutability, and decentralization to help distinguish between a real and a fake video and verify the legitimacy of content.

  1. Marketing mantras to strike a chord with customers

The way you promote your content can make a world of difference to your M&E business. Here’s what you can do:

Grab their attention – There’s a lot to see when it comes to digital content but consumers will almost always remember how they feel when they engage with the content. For instance, ‘live’ content never disappoints viewers because it gives them the feeling of witnessing everything firsthand. Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries for instance asks viewers to share their opinions & findings on episodes aired making the whole experience more engaging and personal.

Go multi-platform – Often overlooked, yet very important for your entertainment app success is to ensure that you meet your customers on different platforms. For instance, non-subscribers will not have access to trailers of upcoming shows and seasons unless you promote them through targeted advertisements and postings on different social media platforms.

Advocate ethical practices – It is important that topical issues are handled with sensitivity. It is becoming increasingly common to participate in societal revolutions one believes in. Make sure that you have content fact-checking policies in place to ensure that you adhere to ethics and transparency and imbibe them well in your brand culture.
Leverage the power of personalization – You can maintain a good rapport with your followers by engaging with them through social media advertisements, push notification strategies, and emailers announcing a new season launch, etc. Without being intrusive, you can connect with them and stay on top of their mind through these simple but effective gestures.

Sharpen your competitive edge with Trigent

It’s easy to reimagine your M&E business growth with a specialist by your side. We can help you chart your digital journey successfully with robust apps designed to succeed while delivering value and experience to consumers consistently. Together, we can study consumer behavior to come up with a more nuanced approach to empower you to lead in this overly crowded market. Our agile technologies at the helm of strategies are just what you need to stay ahead.

Book a consultation today. We’re just a click away.

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