IDC: IoT and Big Data will improve healthcare – if hackers can...

IDC: IoT and Big Data will improve healthcare – if hackers can be stopped

Alphabet’s Verily partners with 3M on population health management IoT tech
Alphabet’s Verily partners with 3M on population health management IoT tech

One of the industries expected to benefit from the upcoming Internet of Things revolution is healthcare, but a recent IDC report has issued a note of caution surrounding the adoption of new technologies.

The IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Healthcare 2016 Predictions (registration required) indicates that although IoT devices will improve efficiency within the medical profession, cyber-security concerns will need to be addressed. It predicted that one in three individuals will have their healthcare records compromised by cyber-attacks next year, as hackers take advantage of the increased amount of patient information being stored online.

“Frankly, healthcare data is really valuable from a cyber-criminal standpoint,” explained Lynne Dunbrack, research vice president at IDC Health Insights. “It could be 5, 10 or even 50 times more valuable than other forms of data.”

However, the IDC report was not all doom and gloom with many of the predictions having positive implications.

By 2018, it is estimated that 80 percent of all patient interaction will make use of IoT and Big Data to deliver faster and higher quality care. The adoption of connected medical devices also means that virtual care, a key component of self-care, will be routine by 2018.

Although the IDC report does not directly link the rise of IoT devices with an increase in the number of healthcare cyber-attacks, it is a natural consequence that as more data is stored online and more network access points are created, the threat increases. The rise of IoT also means that patients and medical professionals are likely to require further education regarding the best ways of keeping data secure.

Some of the other major healthcare predictions made by IDC include that by 2018 physicians will use cognitive solutions to identify the most effective treatment for complex cancer patients and that by 2017 surgeons will use computer-assisted or robotic surgery techniques to assist in planning, simulating and performing 50 percent of the most complex surgeries.