By Juan Francisco Aguilar
Health systems have been at the center of social and economic recovery in the last twenty months. Their resiliency and innovation have been immense in dealing with the pandemic and other everyday medical challenges. Now, as governments collaborate with healthcare leaders and tech experts to harness the true potential of a new digitized health sector, it is not only necessary to prepare for innovative technologies, but also to face the growing specter of cyberattacks and ransomware. .
Health systems rely on digital transformations to enhance their long-term resiliency, but the disruption of large hospital operations by cyberattacks can result in a lack of access to patient data, leading to delays and cancellations of urgent procedures. For this reason, according to the Digital Transformation Index 2020 study, 80% of public and private health institutions in Latin America anticipate that data privacy will be a protected basic human right in the coming years.
Health data is our most sensitive data and as such requires strict protection. According to the same study, in 2020, 82% of health institutions made investments in cybersecurity and privacy, while 40% plan to do so in the next year.
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Today more than ever it is of great importance that key decision makers place intrinsic safety at the center of their digital strategies. Maintaining confidence in the digital innovations that underpin future economies and social well-being is critical to sustaining progress.
Planning and preparation are essential. Cyber security is rapidly evolving through strategies based on three areas: people, processes and the best technological solutions. Similarly, they must be constantly transformed, with ongoing stress tests and evaluations to ensure they are fit for purpose for each medical institution.
Additionally, placing this critical data in a vault will help ensure that it is isolated, cannot be changed, and can be quickly recovered in the event of an attack, allowing healthcare services to get back up and running quickly. This evolution of data protection will allow us to meet new demands and continue to solve healthcare problems.
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Innovations like Digital Twin technology are transforming the industry and enabling healthcare institutions to tackle pressing challenges, from personalizing care to reducing patient wait times. The powerful combination of the digital twin, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and data analysis will improve the performance of hospitals and thus the ability to offer better service to patients. However, this must be backed by strict cybersecurity to evolve with the trust of patients and healthcare providers, and continue operations in the event of a ransomware attack.
Achieving a direct, long-term impact on the well-being of citizens and protecting future economies requires ensuring the viability of healthcare innovations with best-in-class cyber strategies. As we seek more equitable and sustainable futures that put citizens at the forefront of progress, cybersecurity must be at the core of the digital healthcare infrastructure and the foundation for future progress.
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Juan Francisco Aguilar is CEO of Dell Technologies
The opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of their authors and are completely independent of the position and editorial line of Forbes Mexico.