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Data Explosion Escalating Healthcare’s Cyber Risk 

  • February 2016
  • 13 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 3691059


Table of Contents

Data Explosion Escalating Healthcare’s Cyber Risk : Digital Transformation and Cyber Defenses Should March as One


The digital transformation in healthcare is moving forward. What were once exclusively brick-andmortar provider-patient interactions at specialty facilities of clinics and hospitals are transforming to an expanding set of “anywhere and anytime” wellness and healthcare touchpoints, which epitomize the galloping state of connected health.

Evidence of connected health’s growing consumer demand is present, for example, in consumer interest in telehealth and tracking of health and wellness. Through a late-2014 survey of adults in the United States, American Well reports that % of consumers are willing to have a video-based doctor visit; on a specific healthcare situation, % of parents with children under the age of prefer this option for middle-of-the-night care. Reflecting connected health’s potential disruption in established provider-patient relationships, % of consumers would switch to physicians that offer online visits from those that do not.

As expected, adoption attitudes vary by age: % of survey respondents in the 18-36 age group indicated that they would switch to physicians offering online visits, versus % in the 45-54 and 55- 64 age groups.2 Regarding health and wellness tracking, a late-2015 Frost & Sullivan survey found that % of consumers in the United States currently use mobile apps to track health and wellness; and % use wearable sensors.

In two years, consumer adoption of each is expected to exceed %.3 Feeding the engine of connected health are vast streams of digital information. These streams include information that identifies the individual (name, age, address, physical attributes, social security number, provider-specific medical ID numbers, and financial account information), and information on the individual’s medical profile, family history, current and past medical and psychological diagnoses and treatments, and insurance (provider, account number(s), co-insurance, deductibles, and account balance).

Although essential in the delivery of health and wellness services, this same information attracts others intent on profiting by fraudulent use. Moreover, deepening pools of digitized information; the broad ecosystem of interconnected participants in the end-to-end development, delivery, and payment of health services; and the openness necessary to satisfy consumer access to medical information, creates an environment ripe for data breaches and identity fraud. In this insight, we present data on the state of healthcare data breaches and identity fraud, clarify who are the victims, and provide recommendations on risk reduction.

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