Telehealth, Security and the Impact of COVID-19

Ditching telehealth isn’t an option, but the technology to provide virtual care securely often leaves much to be desired

December 16, 2020

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The technology of healthcare continues to evolve even in the face of the tremendous challenges presented by COVID-19 pandemic. As technology evolves, however, managers involved in information technology need to remain vigilant in understanding the way healthcare facilities, technology and related applications evolve to meet the needs of all involved, including patients. Consider the impact of telehealth.

Everything changed overnight for telehealth at the onset of COVID-19. It went from a small footprint to becoming one of the most common ways Americans access care. But with widespread healthcare breaches making news, security executives should be on guard because the rise of telehealth has provided new entry points for hackers to exploit, according to Forbes

Ditching telehealth isn’t an option, but the technology to provide virtual care securely often leaves much to be desired. Consumer technologies aren’t specifically designed for highly regulated industries such as healthcare.

If providers don't take privacy seriously and the threat of breaches via telehealth continues, the situation threatens the inroads made on telehealth being seen as an essential tool rather than a passing fad. A recent survey found nearly 50 percent of respondents would limit their use of telemedicine if a telehealth-related breach occurred, and the majority of respondents indicated they would change providers if they found out that their data was not properly protected.

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