We are heading into an era which embraces the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning (MI) that have immensely overturned the tech world. With particular reference to IoT, it has profoundly impacted global commerce and lifestyle.If this existing pace remains consistent, then it wouldn’t be onerous to predict the trends that we might witness in the upcoming year.According to the predictions by Forecast, IoT is just into its beginning phases and will expand to an overwhelming volume of 75 billion devices till 2025. However, there are a few expected trends that may stun the customers and corporations all around the globe.Improved HealthcareIoT has provided various benefits to the healthcare facilities and is expected to have an expended impact on this industry. With 2017 over, we have witnessed a burst of wearable gadgets that in part encompass the features of fitness tracking in varying forms, mostly hand watches.For 2018, engineers have predicted that IoT’s revolution in the market will take along the analytics, thereby increasing the relevancy of data interpretations wile lowering the time users require to piece together data outputs. At the same time, a new category of “personalized preventative health coaches” (Digital Health Advisors) will surface in a coming year. These workers will be able to process and understand data, and they could effectively assist their clients who might suffer from chronic and/or diet-related illnesses. Along with this, the digital advisors can help users attain an enhanced lifestyle, improved mental health, and better cognitive functioning.With other aspects, the most prominent boost to the healthcare system from IoT is in terms of money management and fewer investments. For instance, IoT drastically reduces hospital costs when it’s possible for a patient to be remotely monitored without being hospitalized.Also, hospital data management is overwhelmingly improved due to the implementation of IoT devices such as scanners and monitors. We’ve already seen this in the detection of wide-spread and common diseases like diabetes. The self-management wearable gadget constantly monitors the situation of a patient, and special apps could be used to control the fluctuating blood sugar level.Therefore, it’s pretty obvious that an ongoing boom will further bloom in the year 2018. However, by the year 2019, almost 87% of healthcare organizations are expected to incorporate IoT technology.With such expanded use of IoT in the medical sector, we could probably see some prominent benefits such asMore Accurate Data AnalysisMinimization of errors is a well-known feature when working with machines, especially while dealing with huge amounts of data. Automated workflows incorporated with data-driven decisions are a suitable way to minimize errors along with the reduction of system cost and waste.Enhanced Disease ManagementA health care worker who’s monitoring a patient and their medical condition through real-time data analysis could possibly diagnose some diseases before they get out of control. By extension, treatment procedures could be more effective in the earlier stages of diagnosis.Better Treatment ResultsTimely treatment and better outcomes will be achievable through healthcare solutions that are connected to cloud computing and other virtual infrastructures. Such ease helps medical caretakers to monitor real-time information and thereby make active and informed decisions.Reduced Treatment CostsCostly healthcare factors such as hospital admissions, doctor visits, and prolonged medical stays could effectively be managed through internet-connected healthcare solutions. The fluctuating medical condition of an individual can be analyzed on a real-time basis, evading the need of regular doctor visits. This means home-care facilities could be enhanced, thus reducing the costs of hospital stays.Improved Patient ExperienceEffective cost reduction, instant disease diagnosis, better treatment, and a more efficient health care system will certainly boost the patient experience. All these things together will increase a patient’s trust in the medical sector.Potential Risks of IoT in Healthcare SectorAlong these productive aspects, IoT could expose certain risks to the healthcare sector that shouldn’t be ignored by us. Health information in terms of machine-managed data is really efficient, but along with that,a single disorder or irregularity could damage reputations or ravage careers, amongst other things.Like any other networked technology, IoT is also susceptible to malicious intrusions with the intent of data theft. IoT devices in the health sector with a massive amount of patient’s data and health records could pose an extreme concern to patients and their privacy even if the slightest disruption occurs. Through these information exchanges, the vital information of a patient’s health condition must be maintained as confidential. Also, the erosion of IoT or unintentional disturbance could leak private health records. Critical data could be misused if accessed by the hackers or data snoopers in either scenarios.To establish IoT networked systems, the healthcare sector makes settlements and agreements with different vendors. Before taking such a step, an institute should affirm that the data traffic between IoT devices is encrypted. Encryption is a vital factor that could efficiently mitigate the threats of data theft or data leaks for information processing.Towards that same end, it is important to confirm and authorize the identity of an individual before granting them access to network systems. This could be achieved through built-in security controls such as login credential confirmation to avoid the misappropriation of sensitive data.Along with these preventions, IoT devices should be configured to prevent data storage media from being stolen and accessed.Where it’s an easy task to understand the extensive use and advantages of IoT, it is necessary to recognize the potential threats to healthcare.
About the Author: Zehra Ali is a Tech Reporter and Journalist with 2 years of experience in infosec industry. She writes on topics related to cybersecurity, IoT, AI, Big Data and other privacy matters on various platforms. You can follow her on Twitter.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this guest author article are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Tripwire, Inc.