Do Telehealth apps put the security and privacy of medical data at risk?


Every industry in this technological era is concerned about the security of its data and privacy as everything is digitalized.

This digitalization of data gave a new ocean of opportunities to the new cybercrimes and criminals to sell this personal health data of patients to various companies that are always in need of such healthcare data.

Technological advancements in the healthcare industry provide a perfect answer to all the challenges which are faced by the healthcare industry across the world.

Connected health is the new concept that is emerging in the overall telehealth industry as it provides a wide range of telecommunication services.

This connected care and communication models in the telehealth industry further deliver a customized solution to all the patients through improvised self-care and clinical care.

The hi-tech healthcare systems which incorporate information on patients and their data from telehealth apps and devices can be further utilized to create an approach that is patient-centric and with customized health interruption.

Such an innovative technology pledges to provide improved care in its quality, Reducing costs and increasing the level of satisfaction enjoyed by the patients. This gave rise to a number of moral issues.

Though arguments and discussions keep on continuing in this industry whether the data of patients in this telehealth sector are secured or not?

What are the ways to solve the dispute when a breach of trust takes place in this sector?

Such crucial risk factors and data security risks in telehealth systems negatively affect the patient’s and doctor’s level of belief and inclination for using such systems.

There are some regulations that do not deliver proper enlightenment to the app developers for securing the data of various users.

The researchers also suggested that the Federal Trade Commission organize the formation and make sure that the global privacy and security standards are incorporated by the app owners and developers.

The researchers also cited that prevailing circumstances and regulations are not sufficient which can deliver strong security and protection of the user’s data.

As of now, HIPAA includes the basic rules and regulations that assist in protecting the data of the health information.

HIPAA provides recognizable health information must have end-to-end encryption so that the information does not get in the hands of the wrongdoers.

HIPAA is only applicable to elements that work in delivering healthcare services and not the patients.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) often modifies their medical devices but not those apps and devices which has a patient-centric approach that needs to focus on their technical issues and problems.

Such a manner gets followed by FDA which makes sure that the patients are safe and not their data or privacy.

The researchers also asked for having a single agency and Federal trade commission can further help in developing and implementing telehealth regulations pertaining to its privacy and security.

The experts also said that privacy and security of data help in executing laws relating to the data’s security and further help in supporting the innovative methods for further amending the laws in an innovative manner.

The experts are also of the opinion that Stakeholders and developers of the app must have a certain code of conduct or they must create it on a voluntary basis and the guidance must be provided by FTC.

For protecting the security and privacy of the data such laws will act as armour when apps face any legal action under their code of conduct.

If the companies do not follow any protocol on their own then FTC might further assist in framing out codes which suit the organization.

Hall and McGraw also made a conclusion regarding the FTC that this authority is the perfect alternative to issue any regulations for the creation of privacy and security standards which provide assurance to the users that the Telehealth apps and devices are safe and secured.

Both the researchers gave a deep explanation and briefly described the tenancy regarding its privacy and security challenges.

Though the steps taken for securing data and privacy might get improved but may not get the trust of customers and users.

Increase in cyber crimes and majorly data theft has been increasing at a rapid rate and such negative things further breakdown the trust of users.

Whether to use such apps or not? Can be decided by the individuals themselves as in spite of the pros and cons of the apps.

There are people concerned about their data and on the other hand, there are people which are willing to use it no matter whether their data is secured or not.

The individuals are of the opinion to use it despite concerning their data as they want enhancement in their technology.

At last, for encouraging patients to sustainably use such apps the telehealth systems and clinicians must make the first step towards it.

Therefore, the implementation of telehealth systems in the traditional health industry makes it more useful to others.

Summing up

Nowadays, individuals are more concerned about their data security and privacy in the overall telehealth sector.

The hi-tech standards and protections for data are not only required in the telehealth industry but also to other sectors which inculcate such data.

Even the patient with chronic diseases is of the view that such data on telehealth apps provide a new path to the criminals to commit data theft.

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