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New IEEE Programs Improve Healthcare Data Security

Encouraging collaborative development among organizations will help improve healthcare data security as cybersecurity threats continue to evolve.

healthcare data security

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) released a collection of work that focus on data privacy as evolving technology puts organizations at risk for more sophisticated cyberattacks. Healthcare data security needs to be at the forefront of health IT infrastructure strategy to keep patient data safe.

The collection was released in conjunction with the upcoming Data Privacy Day on January 28, 2018. Data Privacy Day is an international effort to encourage businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data, and enable trust, according to the US National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).

“The goals of Data Privacy Day are at the core of what IEEE stands for,” IEEE-SA Managing Director Konstantinos Karachalios said in a statement. “We have multiple, varied activities in the areas of data agency, digital literacy and privacy that are all designed to enhance the dignity and security of people in the global infosphere.”

“When anyone connects to the internet anywhere for any reason, it should happen in such a way that the individual’s privacy and security are safeguarded and freedom is protected. IEEE is working toward this vision on multiple fronts,” Karachalios continued.

The IEEE-SA Digital Inclusion Through Trust and Agency Industry Connections Program focuses on bringing together technology innovators, academics, and industry executives to develop a framework to protect data across all types of organizations.

The program will leverage the multi-stakeholder perspective to develop plans, educational platforms, and industry action reports by doing the following:

  • Engaging policy advocates and leaders across different countries to identify and create standards that will have a positive impact on the policy and business landscape with a particular focus on disruptive innovation
  • Examining the ethical considerations around consumer/patient data in all cases
  • Engaging the broader community in the domains of digital identity, distributed ledger technology, and related fields
  • Coordinating and partnering with other initiatives with common areas of interest, focus and applications (e.g., includes IEEE AI Ethics Program, Cybersecurity Initiative, IEEE Internet Initiative, and others as appropriate).

The program’s goal is to advance the development of trust-enabling solutions for the global digital community to encourage blockchain and other more advanced ways of exchanging data.

The Digital Literacy Connections Program is an open-source program and a series of workshops designed to help organizations develop skills to realize the potential of future digital technologies. Entities will also be shown how to protect data while technology evolves.

“The goal is to put in place tools that will help ensure that digital literacy receives the attention and investment it deserves in the context both of domestic and overseas development policies,” said the IEEE. “By establishing a standardized definition and taxonomy, the articulation and coordination of efforts becomes more holistic and coordinated.”

“By identifying best practices and making progress towards metrics, stakeholders can work to improve the effectiveness of their work in this area,” the IEEE added. 

The last program, The IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems, will help developers and organizations interested in the design and development of AI and autonomous systems. These entities will be educated and trained in how to make advancements based on ethical considerations for the benefit of humanity.

According to ONC, 2018 will be significant in the development of healthcare AI. AI’s healthcare advantages are significant because it gives organizations access to actionable data based on the vast amount of data collected from patients. These insights can give clinicians more accurate information to diagnose patients quickly, reducing return visits and saving money.

These three IEEE programs are designed to prepare healthcare organizations for future technology developments. As infrastructure technology grows more advanced, so do the threats against it. Collaboration and open source initiatives can help organizations prepare for the future.  

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