Cybersecurity and eHealth

Last couple of years there is a tremendous investment in medical devices, cloud services, ICT-infrastructure systems for the Healthcare industry. This implicates big changes in our care landscape. Current traditional Healthcare systems will be very different in the future compared as we now know it. There is a trend of keeping the patient safe at home with domotica, homecare devices, fall-prevention, Telemedicine, Telehealth services. For example , nowadays many out-patient visits are conducted by using video-consultation. Instead of “Doctor centered medicine”there will be a transition to “Patient centered medicine” : the patient can see you now. This asks for changes in the workflow of healthcare professionals. To facilitate this process there is a need for ICT-solutions and these solutions will become increasingly important. These ICT-solutions cost money and investment is a necessity. But we have an expensive healthcare system, and need for reduction in costs.

Connectivity, IoT Internet of Things, Big data analysis will expand the boundaries of our medical expertise and focus will be set on care and prevention within our healthcare system. This will be for the in-hospital care but also for out-hospital care like in the homecare setting. Because of direct accessibility of patient-data (which needs to be protected and safe), easy access to communication devices will increase exponentially the quality of care and patient outcome. Telemedicine ( for example Ambulance-Based Telemedicine systems or using Head Mounted Diplays supervising wards or remote ER’s by Telesupervision ) facilitates communication between doctors, nurses, para-medics etc. But connectivity implicates possible data hacking.

Security in Healthcare: data protection of patients.

Medical professionals are worried about patientdata security because of increasing use of all kinds of healthcare devices and more means of communication devices (connected with Wi-Fi etc.) which can mean as possible threat. This threats consists of data hacking, cyberattacks etc. On one side the healthcare industry is very critical on technological and potentially disruptive changes because of fear that interference with critical systems can bring damage to patients. On the other hand, not investing in data security can also potentially cause damage to patients if private data is stolen. Also, the medicolegal aspect is an issue. Jurisprudence is behind of the technological developments. But in my opinion also the patient itself should have a certain responsibility protecting his or her data and must be aware of the dangers of social media. Diseases etc. are sometimes shared on social media which potentially can do damage.

So, to mitigate these problems the healthcare industry should take, and are taking , a proactive attitude to protect itself against ransomware. Healthcare institutions are taking increasing responsibility for their data security but the dangers are still existing.


Next year’s we will face more and more challenges regarding eHealth. Healthcare professionals should be aware that eHealth is not an item for the future but the future is now. Awareness, co-creation and legitimacy are key factors for success. Many barriers at different levels have to be taken down. And special attention should be paid to datasecurity.Also the business models concerning eHealth should be redesigned, quality and safety of care is very difficult to express in money.

Healthcare institutions should increasingly focus on the demands, and subsequently expectations, of the patient. Taking care for the patient is the most important. In the acute care chain Ambulance-Based Telemedicine systems can be of great value for the patient. I am working on this very interesting project for several years now. In a next report I will address this project more extensively.

Interview with Pieter Cobelens

Zeer interessant interview van Paul van Liempt met Pieter Cobelens , voormalig MIVD-Directeur , in het programma “Voor de Ommekeer TV”. Onderwerp van gesprek betreft privacy en veiligheid. Pieter Cobelens : NL te argeloos over digitale veiligheid. Deltaplan is nodig in tijden van corona.