While improved interoperability between medical devices will certainly lead to better care management and more efficient, effective medical treatment, new cybersecurity issues for hospitals and health care organizations are also on the horizon. A recent, and ongoing, study conducted by the University of Michigan School for Computer Science and Engineering found that “the more devices are interoperable, the more complex these systems become, and complexity is what a hacker wants.” Securing medical devices before hospitals and health care organizations add these devices to their networks will provide a more secure method and better protect patient’s personal and medical information. Unsecured medical devices can be an easy gateway for a hacker to access hospitals’ IT and financial management systems.
Additionally, a recent survey of 526 nurses between January 7 and January 16, 2015, found that improved medical device interoperability may save the health care industry billions of dollars each year and could reduce the number of medical errors. To read the full survey, click here. The lesson here is to ensure that medical devices are secure and untouchable by third parties before potentially allowing unauthorized access to droves of personal and financial information.